Former Miss World Stephanie Del Valle Diaz: 'I will not be participating in the Miss World 2021 final'


Miss World 2016 Stephanie Del Valle Diaz has made an announcement on Monday, February 28 that she will not be participating in the Miss World 2021 final, which is scheduled to be held this March 17 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The Puerto Rican model, singer, actress, and philanthropist took to social media to post a statement for her "dear Puerto Rico and fans around the world."

"It is unethical and against my moral principles to continue working with an organization that has acted in a defamatory, frivolous, and unfair manner; solely for the purpose of harm. Something I still can't understand. That is why, with great sadness, I make a decision that I never thought I would reach. I share with you that I will not participate in the events related to the organization of the MW 2021 contest," she wrote in her statement.

Her decision came after Puerto Rico With a Purpose L3C, a company contracted to help organize Miss World 2021 on the Caribbean island, sued her foundation Reignite Puerto Rico due to "embezzlement or illegal appropriation of federal funds allocated by the government" amounting to $1.2 million.

The "frivolous and malicious" lawsuit was recently dismissed by the court in San Juan because the amount had already been returned in full to the Government of Puerto Rico.

According to Puerto Rico's largest circulation El Nuevo Día, the former Miss World countersued for defamation and moral damages. She requested a payment of $31 million and another $50,000 for fees.

Read Stephanie's full statement below:

To my dear people of Puerto Rico and fans around the world: At 19 years old, young and inexperienced, I traveled with a suitcase full of enthusiasm and hope for Washington, DC to represent Puerto Rico in the Miss World 2016 competition. I did not travel alone, I carried PR in my heart. I prepared myself, and the rest is history. After 41 years, the Miss World crown returned to PR. It was a year full of enriching experiences, achieved dreams and lots of learning. Through my duties as queen I discovered my true passion: to do work for the good of humanity. In 2018 and 2019 I had the privilege of becoming the first Beauty with a Purpose Ambassador, with the endorsement of MWO that has counted on my loyalty and integrity since I was crowned.

Bringing the MW contest to our Island on its 70th anniversary was an idea that was born in my heart as a Puerto Rican. The intention of creating a worldwide positive impact for PR is and will always be my greatest wish. The events that have occurred in recent weeks are far from the reasons for which the Reignite Puerto Rico, Inc. corporation was created as a vehicle to achieve this objective. What was once my biggest dream has turned into a great and unfair nightmare.

It is contrary to my ethics and moral principles to continue working with an organization that has acted in a defamatory, frivolous and unfair manner; solely for the purpose of causing harm. Something I still can't understand. That is why, with great sadness, I decided that I will not be participating in the Miss World 2021 Final.

To all the candidates of MW 2021: thank you for becoming ambassadors of my country with love and enthusiasm. To the new sovereign, congratulations and remember to continue the legacy of Beauty with a Purpose as we cannot wait to see how you will impact the world.

To my dear PR, family, sponsors and followers, thanks for your support and solidarity. I'm sure PR will shine in the final. It fills me with satisfaction to know that this beautiful celebration will be achieved thanks to my initiative as a Puerto Rican, my team and the work of many, after 45 long years.

Let us never forget everything we have experienced together.

With love, Stephanie

Photos: Stephanie Del Valle Diaz / Instagram

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