A beauty queen fell from grace after allegedly stealing a bejeweled crown from South Korea.
Around a decade ago, the winner of the 2014 Miss Asia Pacific World competition became embroiled in controversy in South Korea and its surrounding countries following a series of altercations with the pageant organizers.
May Myat Noe was only 16 years old when she took home the crown for her country, Mywanmar, in May 2014. In September of the following year, this same title was taken away from her after organizers complained she was spouting “continuous lies.”
May Myat Noe told journalists in a press conference held in her home country that she was pressured to receive copious amounts of plastic surgery that she did not consent to. Moreover, she accused the pageant of attempting to pimp her out to powerful men connected to the organization.
I was told that in order to generate funds to produce my music album, I needed to accept invitations to escort some business tycoons.
— May Myat Noe
The organizers denied these claims, saying that she was invoking sympathy by bringing up the infamous incident from three years prior: “It’s a lie. She thought that she might make a stronger attack invoking the 2011 incident” Here, British beauty queen Amy Willerton dropped out of the competition after alleging that the rankings were pre-determined favoring contestants who accepted bribes to place higher in the competition in exchange for sexual favors.
We were putting up with so much and realized there was no way we were going to win anyway. A lot of the girls wanted to win the £12,700 prize money, but were told they could only do it if they did favors. They basically relayed to me that ‘I know what I can do for you, what can you do for me?’ I decided to leave.
— Amy Willerton
The Miss Asia Pacific World organizers went on record to say they paid for May Myat Noe’s breast implants which she supposedly had done “under the supervision of her mother” in Busan, South Korea. Even more seriously, they accused her of stealing the $100,000 USD ruby and Swarovski crystal-studded crown which she took with her on a last-minute flight back to Myanmar a few days after her surgery.
May heatedly denied that she stole the crown, stating that she boarded the plane without knowing she was dethroned. She refused to have the crown returned to South Korea until the organizers offered a formal apology.
I will return the crown only when they apologize to Myanmar, for the dignity of our country.
— May Myat Noe
How the two entities eventually reached a settlement was not made public. A decade later, however, it is clear that the Burmese beauty queen is doing better than ever. May is now active as a professional singer, actress, and model.
Bouncing back stronger than ever from the pageant incident, she joined Asia’s Next Top Model in 2016 where she eventually placed within the top fourteen finalists.
Some of her acting credits include the films Tae Kyat (2018), Kyay Kyi Tai (2019), and Invincible (2020).
Some people may recognize her as the “gorgeous woman” who acted alongside Park Seo Joon in a commercial for Smart Communications.
She also has an official YouTube channel where she posts videos such as a guide on how she ventured into the international modeling scene.
Besides making a name for herself in the entertainment world, May stood alongside her people in the anti-coup movement following the 2021 Myanmar coup d’état.
You can keep up with May on her Instagram page where she regularly posts updates on her photoshoots, travels, and more.