Miss Georgia turns out to be Mrs

The glamour of winning a beauty contest can quickly wear-off as the latest pageant-winner from Georgia has found out. Miss Georgia wasn't quite the single-lady she claimed to be – a background check uncovered that she had in fact been married.

Winning a beauty contest is a dream of many young girls. And this summer it became reality for  18-year-old Nino Likuchova.

Nino endured a grueling schedule of makeovers, sunbathing and beachside-frolics on her way to the top. Finally, the law student was crowned Miss Georgia 2007 in a glittering ceremony in the coastal resort of Batumi. Nino won herself fame, a new car and the right to represent Georgia in this year's Miss World competition.

“I am so happy, I can't control my emotions, I never expected to win. I want to thank everybody who made the decision,” Nino said at the ceremony.

Nino Likuchova
Nino Likuchova

However, just days later Nino's dream became more like a nightmare when newspapers revealed that the new Miss Georgia was, in fact, somebody's missus.

“Unfortunately, Nino Likuchova, Miss Georgia 2007, had a secret. According to her, she was lied to, and was a victim of violence. She was kidnapped as a 16-year-old school girl and forced into a church wedding without her parents consent,” Ia Kitsmarishvili, Organiser of Miss Georgia commented.

This has been a big scandal in Georgia, and is bad publicity for a competition that prefers to be associated with bikinis and world peace. But it gets worse. First, runner up 20-year-old Nino Lekveishvili was slated to take the crown, but it turned out that she too had been married.

This farcical turn of events caught the organisers totally off guard. They have been called incompetent for failing to check the contestant's histories. Even during the competition some of the jury members seemed to have their minds elsewhere.

“I'd prefer to judge the Miss Poland competition, to be perfectly honest. Miss Ukraine would be my favourite,” jury member Geno Malazonia confessed.

The debacle looks set to continue. There is still no word as to whether Ms Likuchova will remain Miss Georgia, but there are plenty of other young hopefuls willing to take her place.