Beauty queen sues Miss World contest after banning her for being a mother

A beauty queen is taking legal action against the "sexist and outdated" Miss World contest after she was banned from participating for being a mother and divorcee.

Veronika Didusenko demanded they change their "outdated" entry requirements and has now sued the UK-based organisation stating it is in breach of the Equalities Act 2010.

The 24-year-old was crowned Miss Ukraine in 2018, but was stripped of her title just four days later when it was revealed she was mother to Alex, now five, and was divorced.

The move sparked widespread controversy and outrage with many claiming it was "discriminatory" and "outdated".

Ms Didusenko told BBC Newsbeat: "I didn't expect to win and I didn't have any intention to win because I have a professional modelling career, I have a pretty busy life… When it happened I was shocked".

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She has accused organisers Miss World, which was created in 1951 by Eric Morley, leaving her "publicly humiliated".

She told the Daily Star: "It was really humiliating when I was disqualified. I was very upset.

"I had to hand back the title, the crown and prize money."

The Miss Ukraine winner is believed to win a crown worth €250,000 (£213,076) and a £10,000 monetary prize.

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Since the competition began, it has always banned mothers or married women with contestants from 118 nations having to agree to these conditions to sign up to participate.

Ms Didusenko, an international model, admits she did wrongly declare she fit this criteria, but claims Miss Ukraine chiefs asked her to take part because of her high profile.

She told the Daily Star: "I can't believe these rules still exist. They are archaic.

"I think they are breaching equalities laws."

Her human rights lawyer Ravi Naik of ITN solicitors said: "It is a clear case of discrimination".

Miss World Chief Executive Julie Morley has previously said the rules are in place to protect children's welfare.

The Miss World Organisation has approached for comment.

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