'I refuse to be bullied' - Beauty queen, organisers trade blows in ugly controversy


August 17, 2016
Sharlene Rädlein
Mark McDermoth

Organisers of the Miss Universe Jamaica pageant are expected to formally respond to blistering claims made by dethroned Miss Universe Jamaica Sharlene Radlein.

Radlein, the 2015 winner, in a response emailed through her attorneys yesterday, launched a blistering attack on the principals of the local franchise, saying the only reason why she was dethroned was because she stood up to the organisers and refused to be bullied, intimidated, and further mistreated.

Yesterday evening Mark McDermoth, one of the organisers, said he was in studio and tied was up in some exercise with the current contestants. He said he would have responded to Radlein's statement in writing last night or this morning.

several breaches

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.

"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," she added.

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.

The full statement can be seen on The Star's website at wwww.jamaica-star.com.

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