Miss Japan, Karolina Shiino has been forced to relinquish her crown because it was discovered that she had an affair with a married man.
The Ukraine-born winner of the beauty pageant was crowned on January 22, but her title has now been overshadowed by controversy. She moved to Japan when she was five years old.
Shiino’s victory which made her the first woman of European descent to receive the title, sparked criticism, with many saying that she was “not Japanese enough” to represent Japanese beauty.
But a local magazine, Shukan Bunshun, reported that the 26-year-old model was having an affair with a married man. Miss Japan pageant organisers initially defended Shiino after she told her modeling agency that she had ended the relationship when she discovered the man was married.
But on Monday, the organisers disclosed that the pageant winner confessed to knowing about the man’s marriage and family but continued to see him. According to them, she tendered an apology for being misleading and her title resignation has been accepted.
In a statement released via her Instagram page, Shiino apologised to her fans, adding that she had acted out of fear and panic in response to the reports.
“I am truly sorry for the huge trouble I have caused and for betraying those who supported me,” the model wrote.
The organisers said the Miss Japan title will now remain vacant for the rest of the year.