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Date Posted: 06:19:31 02/15/03 Sat
MISS UNIVERSE CHINA SUED
BEIJING (AFP) - Months after Miss Russia lost her Miss Universe title, third place winner Miss China is facing troubles of her own at home which could threaten her own place in the "universe".
Shanghai model Zhuo Ling is being sued by the Beijing company which organized the Miss China contest, with approval from the Miss Universe Organization in New York, for contract violation, a Beijing newspaper said. The Beijing Golden International Investment and Consulting Company has filed a lawsuit against Zhuo, 19, in a Beijing court seeking 10 million yuan (1.2 million dollars) in compensation, according to the Beijing Morning Post.
The company alleges Zhuo had agreed that if and after winning the title, she would seek the company's permission before participating in any promotional or advertising activities. But instead Zhuo has ignored many charity and advertising activities the company organized for her but chose her own promotional activities, the company told the newspaper. The company is contacting Miss Universe Organization to urge it to revoke Zhuo's title.
Zhuo, in an interview with the paper, declined to comment on the contract violation charges, but said she was forced by the company to sign the contract. "What commercial activities? As of now, all the commercial activities I've been involved in were not done under the name of Miss Universe ...," Zhuo countered. Asked why she had listed in her Miss Universe paperwork that she had graduated from a Shanghai dance school when the school said she never graduated, Zhuo said others told her to write that on the documents.
"I believe whether I graduated or not, it's all my business," Zhuo was quoted as saying. Grilled by the reporter on whether she believed honesty should be a characteristic for Miss Universe winners, Zhuo maintained: "I believe I won the Miss Universe China title through my hardwork."
Controversy has plagued Zhuo since she became the first China contestant and first winner in the competition in Puerto Rico in May. The Chinese government, which frowns on beauty pageants, did not give authorization for Miss Universe Organization to run the Miss China contest, according to local officials in the southern province of Guangdong where the contest was held. Except for Shanghai media, Chinese media have almost completely ignored her success and have questioned how she was chosen to represent China.
Zhuo's problems come just months after Miss Russia, Oxana Fedorova's contract was terminated after press reports claimed she may have been pregnant or secretly married to her boyfriend -- both direct violations of Miss Universe rules of tenure. The allegations were denied by Miss Universe Organization, which attributed her being replaced in September by second place winner Justine Pasek of Panama, to her inability to show up at promotional and charity events. The beauty pageant is run by US property tycoon Donald Trump. (AFP)
Thanks To Global Beauties