A judge in Australia’s Miss Lebanon beauty contest says he “certainly didn’t rate” pageant winner Mary Mehajer, the sister of Salim Mehajer, sparking allegations the competition was fixed.
Fair Trading NSW has confirmed to ninemsn it has received and is assessing a complaint about the contest. Some reports suggest that Ms Mehajer, 18, entered the Miss Lebanon Australia pageant only three weeks before the Doltone House, Pyrmont event was held – after the cut-off date for registration.
The event is sponsored by Mr Mehajer’s business and his sister Aiisha (not to be confused with estranged wife, Aysha) sat on the organising committee, The Daily Telegraph reports.
But the pageant director, Joe Khoury, who The Daily Telegraph claims threatened staff and contestants with legal action if they spoke publicly about the contest, insists nothing is untoward.
“It doesn’t matter who investigates,” he said, also telling the Daily Mail the contest rules were “exactly the same” as any other beauty pageant.
Dr David Carr, one of the five judges in the event, told the Tele that while Mary (Mariam) Mehajer didn’t make his shortlist, that didn’t necessarily mean the event was rigged.
“I certainly didn’t rate her and I felt there were far better contestants but then my count is only one fifth of the count so who knows?” he said.
Brother Salim had nothing but praise for his baby sister’s achievement.
“As the old saying goes ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder,'” he said.
“It is unfortunate the first idea that strikes people’s minds are such negative connotations as I can only see positives for the success my younger sister has achieved.”
Mary will now contest the international Miss Lebanon title in Beirut next year.
Mary Mehajer crowned winner of Miss Lebanon Australia beauty contest