Bristol

Bristol teenage beauty queen flees South Korean pageant

Amy Willerton
Image caption Amy Willerton said she is considering taking legal action against the pageant's organisers

A triple-crowned beauty queen from Bristol has claimed she had to leave a competition in South Korea because she feared for her safety.

Amy Willerton, 19, the title holder of Miss Bath, Miss Bristol and Ms Wales University competed in Miss Asia Pacific World earlier this month.

But she alleged competitors were sexually harassed and bribed and were not provided with food.

Organiser, Lawrence Choi has apologised to competitors over their complaints.

In an email he said the competition had been "totally destroyed".

'Completely corrupt'

Fifty competitors from around the world attended the event in the hope of winning $20,000 and some girls were also offered plastic surgery.

Ms Willerton said: "They put us in a hotel with no beds, they often didn't feed us.

"I started complaining straight away, but they would always reply with 'you won't win the contest if you complain'.

"Then it moved onto bribery, sexual harassment. Girls were offered places in the competition in exchange for sex, in exchange for money, it was completely corrupt."

She said after being sexually harassed she and several others informed police.

'I am terribly sorry'

"When the police arrived they called in one of the chairmen of the pageant who actually got his wallet out straight away and we were all pushed back by the organisers so we couldn't speak.

"Our translator would not translate for us, so we were completely helpless."

Ms Willerton said she managed to arrange flights home but had not been reimbursed for the cost of the original flights which she was promised when she agreed to take part.

She said she was considering taking legal action against the organisers of the event.

The BBC contacted Mr Choi about Ms Willerton's allegations but has not received a response.

In his email to competitors Mr Choi said the committees in charge of booking the hotels and transport "did not keep the agreement".

He said: "In conclusion, it's fully my mistake and fault, I had only vision but forget reality. I am terribly sorry what happened here in Korea."

Update 7 November 2011: The police in Daegu have told the BBC that, after a full investigation, they have found no evidence to indicate that their officers were involved in any bribery. They say the suggestion that one of the organisers took out his wallet related to him producing a business card for an identity check.