The franchise holders for Miss Grand International are today denying claims by the winner, Venezuelan national Mileidy Materano, that she decided to step down from the competition due to sponsorship issues.
During a press conference on Wednesday, her attorney Wayne Sturge stated that she decided to step down after learning that she would have to seek sponsorship and fund her own trip to Vietnam next month, where the Miss Grand International finals is taking place.
However, according to a GML report, Marketing and PR officer for Stolen Productions Limited (SPL), Kerry Goberdhan, says the company is sponsoring the delegates.
First runner-up Rebekah Hislop will now be travelling to Vietnam to represent T&T as the crown is now passed to her.
Goberdhan says the accusations made by Materano’s team are inaccurate and their own attorneys are preparing a statement.
The company says the tickets and accommodation are already paid for and the only thing they were seeking sponsorship for at this time is the airline ticket.
Sturge said that Materano and her manager were told that in order for her reign to continue, she had to fund on her own the trip to the Vietnam pageant as well as other incidentals, and failure to do so would result in her reign being terminated and her crown being passed to the first runner up.
“In the circumstances, Mileidy has decided that she will formally step down,” Sturge confirmed. “She wishes to assure that her decision was in no way influenced by any other considerations. Mileidy wishes to indicate that had it not been for this latest development she stood ready to continue her reign.”