MUM'S RELIEF AS PAULA FLEES MISS WORLD RIOTS; Our Girl Shocked by Deaths

The Mirror (London, England), November 25, 2002 | Go to article overview

MUM'S RELIEF AS PAULA FLEES MISS WORLD RIOTS; Our Girl Shocked by Deaths


Byline: JAMES TAIT

THE mum of Scottish Miss World contestant Paula Murphy today spoke of her relief at the decision to fly the competitors out of riot-torn Nigeria.

Paula and the other contestants arrived in London yesterday after savage riots sparked by the competition left 200 people dead and 500 injured.

Violence flared when a Nigerian newspaper said the Prophet Mohammed would have married one of the Miss World contestants.

Josephine Murphy said her daughter had initially decided that she did not want to be associated with the Miss World crown following the deaths, but changed her mind when the event was moved to London.

Mrs Murphy, 47, speaking at her home in Stirling, said she was "relieved" when 24-year-old Paula phoned her.

She said her daughter had described the situation as "ridiculous" during a 15-minute phone call from her guarded hotel room.

Mrs Murphy said: "When she heard of more deaths she said 'I'm not doing this anymore'."

Paula told her mum: "If I got the title it would mean nothing because it would always be linked to killings and I couldn't handle that. …

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