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16-yr-old Miss Myanmar says she was coaxed to ‘escort’ Korean tycoons

Heavy lies the Crown: Mae Myat Noe at the Rangoon press conference on 2 Sept 2014. (PHOTO: Reuters)

Burma’s Mae Myat Noe, the dethroned winner of the 2014 Miss Asia Pacific World competition in South Korea, has hit back at the pageant organisers who stripped her of her crown, accusing them of coercion, manipulation and lies.

At a packed press conference in Rangoon on Tuesday, Moe Myat Noe dropped several bombshells that are sure to rock the beauty pageant world. First and foremost, she admitted to being only 16 years of age.

“My only regret would be not protesting firmly enough when the national directors changed my age from 16 to 18,” she said.

May Myat Noe was savaged in the press last week by David Kim, director of media for the Seoul-based pageant, who said that the Burmese beauty was a “disappointment from the start”, and that she had been “rude and dishonest” with pageant officials.

He also said that the organisers had picked up the tab for a US$10,000 operation to have her breasts enhanced, a claim that May Myat Noe denied on Tuesday.

“I was put under duress to undergo a head-to-toe cosmetic surgery which I refused,” she said in a statement posted on her Facebook page.

Perhaps the most shocking allegation was the young woman’s contention that she was coerced to act as an escort for rich businessmen in the wake of winning the beauty contest.

“I was told that, in order to generate funds to produce my music album, I need to accept invitations to escort some business tycoons whenever they require my company,” she said.

According to a report last week by The Associated Press, the organisers in Seoul said they were arranging singing and video deals for her. Kim reportedly said they wanted to “change the teenager’s looks” as well.

With regard to allegations that she absconded with the Miss Asia Pacific tiara, May Myat Noe told reporters on Tuesday that she will not return the crown until she receives an official apology from the organisers.

May Myat Noe became a household name in Burma when she won the Miss Asia Pacific World 2014 crown in June.