May Myat Noe, Miss Myanmar and winner of Asia Pacific World pageant, has refused to return her bejeweled $100,000 crown after the Asia Pacific World organizers dethroned her and accused her of lying and stealing. She says the allegations are false and demands an apology.

The controversy erupted last week when organizers of the Asia Pacific World pageant stripped May Myat Noe of the title that she had won at the pageant held in Seoul, South Korea, in May 2014. Miss Noe is the first international beauty contest winner to come from Myanmar (aka Burma) after the country started sending contestants in 2012.

David Kim, director of media for the South Korea-based Miss Asia Pacific World, accused Miss Noe as dishonest, unappreciative, untrustworthy, and that she ran off with her tiara after learning she was dethroned. According to Kim, Miss Noe “lied and never had respect for the main organisation, the national director, the manager, media or fans who made her the winner."

Mr. Kim also said that the pageant committee paid $10,000 for the 18-year-old Miss Noe for breast enhancement surgery to boost her stardom. "We thought she should be more beautiful ... so as soon as she arrived we sent her to the hospital to operate on her breasts," said Kim.


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On September 2, Miss Noe held a press conference in Myanmar and denied the allegations. She said she never intended to steal the bejeweled crown, but would only return it if the pageant organizers apologized to her country, Myanmar. She said she had left for Myanmar before learning she was dethroned.

With the jewel-encrusted crown sitting in front of her, Miss Noe said, "I'm not even proud of this crown; I don't want a crown from an organization with such a bad reputation. But I won't give it back to the Koreans unless they apologize. Not just to me but my country for giving it a bad image."

She also denied having received free plastic surgery and reportedly said, "I was put under duress to undergo head-to-toe cosmetic surgery, which I refused... I didn't have breast implants, but I don't want to go into details, to preserve my dignity." Her complete statement is posted on her Facebook page.