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12 April 2024

Miss Universe: Miss Lebanon in hot water for selfie by Miss Israel

By Staff/AFP

A group selfie taken by Miss Israel, Doron Matalon, has caused trouble for Miss Miss Lebanon, Saly Greige, forcing her to publicly apologise.

Miss Greige claims Miss Israel took the photo without asking permission which was immediately posted on social media by Miss Matalon.

Saly Greige

Miss Lebanon claimed that Miss Israel muscled in uninvited during a group selfie.

After several calls for her to be stripped of her Miss Lebanon 2014 title, Miss Greige took to her Facebook page to declare that Israel's Doron Matalon had 'photobombed' her.

Saly Greige took to her Facebook page to clarify that Israel's Doron Matalon had pushed her way into a now widely-circulated photo showing the Middle Eastern beauties with Miss Japan and Miss Slovenia.

Saly Greige's statement

"Since the first day of my arrival to participate to Miss Universe, I was very cautious to avoid being in any photo or communication with Miss Israel (that tried several times to have a photo with me)," Greige wrote in English on her page.

"I was having a photo with Miss Japan, Miss Slovenia and myself, suddenly Miss Israel jumped in, took a selfie, and put it on her social media."

Miss Lebanon Saly Greige.

The photo, taken in Miami where the Miss Universe pageant is staged, appeared on Matalon's Instagram account on January 11.

It shows Miss Israel with a beaming Miss Slovenia and Miss Japan, and Miss Lebanon, who appears to be awkwardly gritting her teeth.

Miss Lebanon Saly Greige.

Matalon responded to the controversy herself on Sunday, saying it made her "sad".

"It doesn't surprise me, but it still makes me sad...," she wrote in English and Hebrew.

Miss Israel Doron Matalon.

Lebanese media picked up the story, running Greige's allegations that Matalon had "photobombed" the selfie, and local social media users both defended and attacked their beauty queen for the picture.

Israel occupied parts of Lebanon for 22 years until 2000, but the two countries do not share best of relations and their armies occasionally skirmish along the UN-designated withdrawal line.