Oxana Fedorova, Miss Russia, gave up her title as Miss Universe of 2002.
Although Fedorova insists she resigned as the pageant winner, the Miss Universe Organization claims the 24-year-old Russian was fired. This is the first woman to suffer such a consequence in the pageant’s 52 year history.
“I found that the duties really interfered with my education,” said Fedorova in an interview to Russian television. “That’s the only reason that I decided to give up the crown.”
Fedorova appeared shocked regarding reports that she was fired. She insists that the decision to hand over her crown was completely hers and not the pageant’s influence.
Fedorova explained, “The duties of Miss Universe are wonderful and noble, of course, but the most important thing in my life is my education and my career here in Russia.”
CNN reports the ousted pageant winner, who is also a police lieutenant, is almost finished writing her dissertation at the Academy of Internal Affairs on detective techniques and will be defending her dissertation in October.
Fedorova continues to consider herself winner of the pageant, but the organization insists otherwise. In fact, they have already removed her name as winner of the competition from the official Miss Universe web site.
The universe is not without an ambassador, however. The first runner up, 22-year-old Justine Pasek of Panama, now wears the crown and title of 2002 Miss Universe.