Sunday 23 September, 2018

Miss Universe Jamaica organiser hits back at Davina Bennett

Davina Bennett

Davina Bennett

Miss Universe Jamaica pageant organiser Uzuri International has hit back at former title holder, Davina Bennett, over her non-appearance at the coronation of her successor.

Bennett, in explaining her absence, had claimed that Uzuri International did not invite her to Friday's event.

But in a news release Tuesday, Uzuri dismissed Bennett’s claim, stating:“The Miss Universe Jamaica title holder does not have to be specially invited to the grand coronation ceremony.

“In fact, it is the duty of each Miss Universe Jamaica title holder to attend the grand coronation show to hand over her sash to the incoming title winner. Therefore, it is unfortunate that this did not happen this year."

Bennett, who finished second runner-up in the Miss Universe pageant in the US last November, has had an uneasy relationship with Uzuri. It played out in front of the public earlier this year when the beauty queen, via social media, advised the local franchise holder of the Miss Universe pageant to desist from sharing her posts highlighting her affiliation with American natural hair brand Shea Moisture.

The company signed her to an endorsement deal after her strong showing in the Miss Universe competition.

"Neither @uzuriinternational nor the Miss Universe Jamaica Organization paid, organised or otherwise contributed to this. It is misleading, unethical and unlawful," Bennett said at the time in relation to her new endorsement deal.

Uzuri, pointing to that development in its release Tuesday, claimed that it was Bennett who chose to distance herself from the local pageant.

“It should be clear to all Jamaicans who follow Davina on social media that she has made it clear to us that she has chosen to disassociate herself from the Miss Universe Jamaica Organisation and Uzuri International Limited. You will note from the social media posts of Ms. Bennett that immediately upon her return from the Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas she dropped all references to her title as Miss Universe Jamaica and has only kept her title as the 2nd Runner-up to Miss Universe.

“Additionally, earlier this year Davina made a post on Instagram in which she sought to distance herself from the Miss Universe Jamaica Organisation and asked us to stop posting contents about her on our social media pages,”  Uzuri said, adding "In light of what has transpired, it is clearly not true that we 'chose' to exclude Davina from the grand coronation ceremony.”

In a press release last Friday, Bennett said: “I feel duty bound and compelled to inform my fellow Jamaicans and my beloved fans worldwide that Uzuri has chosen not to include me in this year's coronation, August 24, 2018, following our parting of ways in February 2018.” 

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