Marie Esther Bangura, a model who was expected to represent Sierra Leone at this year’s Miss Universe pageant, has finally arrived in Thailand where the event’s finale is expected to take place on December 17, after some media outlets speculated about her possible disappearance.
"Hello, Miss Universe Sierra Leone fans and supporters, thank you for your support and concern. Miss Universe Sierra Leone is doing just fine, and finally in Thailand NOT AS A CONTESTANT, but as a supporter of the most prestigious pageant in the world," a statement posted on the Miss Universe Sierra Leone Instagram page said. The post featured a photo of Bangura holding a Sierra Leone national flag.
Earlier, El Nacional reported that by December 5, Bangura was apparently the only Miss Universe contestant who hadn't arrived in Thailand, where the beauty pageant’s finale is expected to take place later this month.
According to the newspaper, the model opted to travel by sea rather than by air, and several media portals had “denounced” her alleged disappearance.