Miss T&T Universe reinstated


(Trinidad Guardian) One day after being stripped of her title, Yvonne Clarke was reinstated to represent T&T at the November 26 Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas.

Yvonne Clarke

A statement issued yesterday by the Miss Universe T&T Committee confirmed it had “settled all issues concerning 28-year-old Ms Yvonne Clarke,” following which a decision was taken to reinstate her.

The statement, which did not say why the decision to disqualify Clarke was reversed, added, “We truly wish Miss Clarke all the best in her journey and we do hope and pray that she is able to bring home the crown. We also wish to thank the public at large and the media for their support in this matter.”

The action came a day after attorney Rondell Donawa issued a pre-action protocol letter demanding a copy of the contract Clarke was said to have breached, leading to her removal.

Clarke was relieved of her crown following comments on a TV interview in which she indicated she sought help from soca artiste Fay-Ann Lyons-Alvarez in getting prepared for the international competition. Franchise holder Jenny Douglas subsequently accused Clarke of breaching her contract, in particular a clause which says a delegate could not ill-speak or “make the franchise look bad.”

Efforts to contact Douglas as well as Clarke were unsuccessful up to late yesterday. But the T&T Guardian was told Clarke was trying to get rest yesterday, as she was said to have been very tired from the whirlwind 72-hour experience which began with her TV interview, suspension and reinstatement.

However, Lyons-Alvarez, who had pulled together a team, including international personalities, to assist with Clarke’s photography, hair and make-up, airline ticket, hotel and ground transportation while in the US, questioned the veracity of the franchise’s announcement yesterday.

In a telephone interview, Lyons-Alvarez said she spoke to Clarke earlier yesterday and was told of the reinstatement.

“She was happy and then I saw the release from Jenny, so I imagine she (Clarke) would be very happy,” Lyons-Alvarez said.

She reiterated that her role was not to get involved in the franchise’s business but to assist Clarke in her preparation, adding it was only recently she came to know Clarke.

“I was the management coordinator. So what I did was to get people to do all the work for Yvonne for free. But now everything has to be rushed to get done which is sad,” Lyons-Alvarez said.

She said she and husband Ian “Bunji Garlin” Alvarez arranged sponsorship from some of their friends, including Dwayne Bravo.

Lyons-Alvarez, who had demanded an apology from Douglas, also said she was yet to receive one.

“I have not been able to reach that woman. She has not apologised and nobody from the franchise has reached out and again the cheese stands alone. That’s why I went to the news in the first place. If I could have done it by myself, out of pocket, I would not have gone to the news,” Lyons-Alvarez said.

Noting the controversy surrounding the decisions made by the local franchise, she said she hoped the reinstatement was indeed genuine as it would be a shame if Clarke now goes to the competition only to find out it was not true. However, Lyons-Alvarez said she wished Clarke the very best, noting with all the controversy she was confident Clarke would do well.


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