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Miss Universe stripped of title, replaced by runner-up
Miss Universe Fired, to Be Replaced by Runner-Up
Mon Sep 23, 5:28 PM ET
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Miss Universe ( news - web sites) pageant officials have "fired" the reigning Miss Universe, Russia's Oxana Fedorova, and will replace her with Miss Panama, the runner-up, a spokeswoman for the pageant said on Monday.
Fedorova, who was crowned in May, has returned to Russia and will be replaced by runner-up Justine Pasek of Panama, the spokeswoman said. It was the first time in the pageant's 52-year history that a Miss Universe has been stripped of her title.
The spokeswoman declined to elaborate on the reasons for the change but a source close to the matter said that Fedorova had failed to carry out the responsibilities of Miss Universe.
"Basically she was fired for not fulfilling her duties," the source said. "It's just like if you have a job to do. If you don't do your job you can get fired."
Organizers of the pageant, which is co-owned by New York real estate mogul Donald Trump and was held this year on May 29 in Puerto Rico, scheduled a press conference for Tuesday in New York to announce the switch.
According to a statement announcing the press conference Pasek, who was the "crowd favorite" during the pageant, will serve out the remaining nine months as Miss Universe.
The New York Post newspaper reported in its online editions that Fedorova was expected to travel extensively and make personal appearances as part of her reign.
The Post said she refused to take part in a number of those assignments, including the 2002 Miss Teen USA Competition.
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