Sharlene Radlein, was received the title of Miss Universe Jamaica in 2015, has lost her crown as a result of a lawsuit she filed on July 20, 2016, in the Supreme Court. Karl Williams and Mark McDermoth, Miss Universe Jamaica managers, and Uzuri International Designs, the registered holder of the Miss Universe franchise, are subject of a lawsuit by Radlein. According to a statement from the principal defendants, they believe they have “painstakingly sought to guide Ms. Radlein in a manner which reflects the vision and ideals of the organization.” However, they say, Radlein’s actions have be completely inconsistent with the pageant’s culture on both local and international levels. Radlein’s lawsuit alleges that the defendants are in breach of an agreement to provide her with a prize package worth over $2 million. Additionally, the suit claims that they further breached the agreement by not paying her the cash portion of the prize that has been due since January 2016. The defendants now have 14 days to acknowledge the claims in the lawsuit and 42 days to file a counter-suit to provide the facts of the case as they see them.
Sharlene Radlein posted the following statement on her facebook page.
I am deeply saddened by the turn of events but I am not surprised that the franchise holder and its managers would take this step in their bid to show who has the greater power.My objectives have always been to work closely with the franchise holder and its managers to support and promote the brand and to have a productive and successful year. Unfortunately, from the beginning of my reign what unfolded was not at all the picture that was presented when I was invited to enter the 2015 competition. Having won I had hoped to receive the “guidance” which they now purport to have given me but in truth and in fact I have never received same. After the local competition, I was basically left to make my own arrangements for training and instruction for the international competition. They saw it fit to meet with me on only three occasions prior to my departure for the international competition. At every turn concerns raised by me about my preparation were brushed aside and suggestions made to improve visibility during my reign were disregarded. They have been condescending and belittling in our every interaction.
It is disingenuous to claim that my absence from the island at times was in breach of the contract when I was specifically told when I enquired about activities that no appearances could be secured for me because in their words “no one wanted me”. My very limited itinerary over the period will attest to this as well as written communication from the franchise managers in May, 2016 in which they acknowledged the very “limited activities” on the ground as they were also overseas between January/February to April 2016 and not able to make any arrangements or organize any events. I was present at all scheduled events that I was required to attend.
As to the use of my image I have never given anyone permission to use my image contrary to the terms of the Title Winner’s contract.
On the issue of the cash prize I received payments as agreed from September to November, 2015. December’s payment was received on February 22, 2016 and no further payment was received until July 21, 2016 despite numerous requests by my Attorneys-at- Law who had, on my behalf, sent a formal demand after my requests fell on deaf ears and who had responded to the false allegations made for suspension of payment upon which they are now seeking to rely.
As at July 21, 2016 suit had already been filed to protect my interests as my experience with the local franchise had engendered tremendous distrust.Ultimately I believe that the only reason this step has been taken is because I stood up for myself and have refused to be bullied, intimidated and further mistreated.
This year has been an extremely difficult one but I am confident that when all the issues are ventilated in the proceedings I will be fully vindicated. I want to thank all the persons who have supported me throughout the year and to the current contestants and the future Miss Universe Jamaica I wish you the very best.