Uzuri Int'l fires back

Observer senior reporter

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

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Uzuri International, organisers for the Miss Universe Jamaica pageant, have cleared the air regarding the non-appearance of 2017 winner Davina Bennett, at last Friday's coronation of a new queen.

Just hours before the show, which was held at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in St Andrew, came reports that Bennett, who finished third at Miss Universe in Las Vegas last November, would not be attending as she was not invited by franchise holders.

In a statement issued on Monday, Uzuri called it “unfortunate” that Bennett released a statement giving the impression that Uzuri International Limited and the Miss Universe Jamaica organisation excluded her from the coronation.

“The fact is that there is nothing that we would have wanted more than to have Davina Bennett at the grand coronation show. We spent a considerable amount of time to prepare Davina for the Miss Universe pageant, where she represented Jamaica well... The Miss Universe Jamaica title holder does not have to be specifically 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... it is unfortunate that this did not happen this year,” the statement read.

Uzuri claimed that it is Bennett who chose to dissociate herself from their organisation.

“... immediately upon her return from the Miss Universe pageants in Las Vegas she dropped references to her title as Miss Universe Jamaica and only kept her title as 2nd runner up, 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's statement continued.

Relations between the organisers and Bennett soured in March when she went public via a post on social media.

“I am asking the @officialmissuniversejamaica and all the other pages affiliated with it to please stop using my images and stories of me, reposting my travels and brand affiliations with Shea Moisture, as neither @uzuriinternational nor the Miss Universe Jamaica Organization paid, organised or otherwise contributed to this. It is misleading, unethical and unlawful. Do NOT use me as leverage to lure people in for auditions because soon the world will know!” the post read.

Miss Universe Jamaica franchise holders are Mark McDermoth and Karl Williams.

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