Beauty queen Radlein fights back

August 16, 2016
Gladstone Taylor/ Photographer Sharlene Radlein

Dethroned Miss Universe Jamaica Sharlene Radlein has launched a blistering attack on the principals of the local franchise.

Radlein, the 2015 winner, in a response emailed through her attorneys, told THE STAR ONLINE that "the only reason this step has been taken is because I stood up for myself and have refused to be bullied, intimidated and further mistreated."

Radlein, a New York resident, was stripped of her crown on Friday due to what the franchise holders described as several breaches of the agreement. Among the breaches cited was her failure to be in Jamaica for at least 21 days per month.

However, Radlein said this is far from the truth.

"It is disingenuous to claim that my absence from the island at times was in breach of the contract when I was specifically told when I enquired about activities that no appearances could be secured for me [is] because, in their words, 'no one wanted me'," she said.

The stripping of Radlein comes after she filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court on July 20.

Karl Williams; fellow Miss Universe Jamaica manager, Mark McDermoth; and Uzuri International Designs are the registered holder of the Miss Universe Jamaica franchise, and are being sued by Radlein.

In the lawsuit, which was filed in the Supreme Court on July 20, Radlein alleged that the defendants were in breach of an agreement to award her a prize package valued at more than $2 million, and in further breach by not paying over the cash award portion of the prize that was due since January.

 

SEE FULL STATEMENT BELOW

I am deeply saddened by the turn of events, but I am not surprised that the franchise holder and its managers would take this step in their bid to show who has the greater power. My objectives have always been to work closely with the franchise holder and its managers to support and promote the brand and to have a productive and successful year. Unfortunately, from the beginning of my reign what unfolded was not at all the picture that was presented when I was invited to enter the 2015 competition. Having won I had hoped to receive the "guidance" which they now purport to have given me, but in truth and in fact I have never received same.

After the local competition I was basically left to make my own arrangements for training and instruction for the international competition. They saw it fit to meet with me on only three occasions prior to my departure for the international competition. At every turn concerns raised by me about my preparation were brushed aside and suggestions made to improve visibility during my reign were disregarded. They have been condescending and belittling in our every interaction.

It is disingenuous to claim that my absence from the island at times was in breach of the contract when I was specifically told when I enquired about activities that no appearances could be secured for me because in their words "no one wanted me". My very limited itinerary over the period will attest to this, as well as written communication from the franchise managers in May 2016 in which they acknowledged the very "limited activities" on the ground as they were also overseas between January/February to April 2016 and not able to make any arrangements or organise any events. I was present at all scheduled events that I was required to attend.

As to the use of my image, I have never given anyone permission to use my image contrary to the terms of the title winner’s contract. On the issue of the cash prize, I received payments as agreed from September to November 2015. December’s payment was received on February 22, 2016, and no further payment was received until July 21, 2016 despite numerous requests by my Attorneys-at-law who had, on my behalf, sent a formal demand after my requests fell on deaf ears, and who had responded to the false allegations made for suspension of payment upon which they are now seeking to rely. As at July 21, 2016 suit had already been filed to protect my interests as my experience with the local franchise had engendered tremendous distrust. Ultimately, I believe that the only reason this step has been taken is because I stood up for myself and have refused to be bullied, intimidated and further mistreated.

This year has been an extremely difficult one, but I am confident that when all the issues are ventilated in the proceedings I will be fully vindicated. I want to thank all the persons who have supported me throughout the year, and to the current contestants and the future Miss Universe Jamaica, I wish you the very best.

Sharlene Radlein

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