- (Photo: Reuters)
Pageant organizers have realized that this year's Miss Dominican Republic is really a Mrs. as she is married, and are forcing her to return the crown.
Officials are saying that Carlina Duran, who has been married since 2009, violated contest rules by hiding her marriage. Pageant rules indicate that contestants cannot be married or divorcees, according to organizers.
Duran released a statement Wednesday divulging that she had never lived with her husband, to whom she was married very briefly.
"In my daily life, I remained like a single woman, without thinking of myself neither materially not spiritually," said the statement, read by the beauty queen's lawyer, Radhames Cornielle.
The statement also noted that the couple had begun annulment proceedings, but did not indicate if the annulment was finalized.
Further defending herself, Duran's statement included that her decision to hide her marriage from pageant organizers was the "fruit of my inexperience."
The 25-year-old model will be replaced by last week's Miss Dominican Republic runner-up, Dulcita Lieggi, who will represent the Caribbean nation in the Miss Universe pageant.
Duran, who owns a spa in Santo Domingo, is from La Vega- a town about 95 miles north of the nation's capital, Santo Domingo.
The dethroning of the 25-year-old has Domincans torn over the pageant organizer's decision.
"If there is an established rule, and it comes out that she is married, she is wilting the rule," said Rafael Concepcion, reported CNN.
Also, on Facebook, Duran's fans are sounding off about the model's relinquished crown.
"She already won it," said Dar Baez, who said that taking the crown was unfair.
The Miss Universe pageant will take place June 3 in Las Vegas, where beauty queens from dozens of countries will compete. Leila Lopes is will complete her reign after winning last year's competition.