Russian beauty queen Oksana Voevodina has claimed in an interview with the British Daily Mail news website that she had to pawn her wedding ring to pay for her medical bills after former husband Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan left her when she was pregnant.
Oksana, who also goes by the name Rihana Oksana Petra, said she ended up selling the Jacob Arabo ring worth £203,000 (S$342,583) for three times less than its value because she desperately needed the money towards the end of her difficult pregnancy.
The former Miss Moscow said she had pawned the ring just before the birth of her son, Ismail Leon, as she had borrowed money in order to pay for her Swiss hospital costs for two months. The baby was born on May 21.
“I won’t say the price I sold it for, but it was three times less than its cost,” she told The Daily Mail. “I used this money to cover my medical bills in Switzerland as I was at risk of losing the baby,” she said.
The 27-year-old’s marriage to the former Malaysian king and subsequent divorce have attracted much public attention this year.
The couple were said to have married on June 7 last year when Sultan Muhammad V was the Malaysian King, but it was only months later that video clips of their wedding reception made the rounds internationally.
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News of the end of their whirlwind marriage broke in July, with the Sultan’s lawyer in Singapore confirming to The Straits Times that the divorce was carried out in Singapore on June 22 in accordance with syariah laws.
The Sultan’s lawyer had also said that “there was no objective evidence as yet as to the biological father of the child”.
Oksana previously told the website she has not seen her ex-husband since he left Russia in December and found out about the divorce from the Internet.
She said her son belongs to her ex-husband and has offered to take a DNA test to prove that he is really their child.
She is currently living in a rented apartment in Moscow while supporting her son on her own. “I’m raising my son on my own and I’m taking care of our financial well-being by myself too,” she told the website on Sept 27.
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While she drives an expensive car, she told The Daily Mail the car was a wedding gift from the sultan.
Palace sources had previously told the website she had asked for an £8 million home in London, £1.2m Moscow apartment and a £24,000-a-month allowance to cover the costs of supporting their son.
The Daily Mail had also cited the Sultan’s aides as saying a key reason the marriage ended was the Sultan’s unhappiness that photos of their lavish wedding reception, which was meant to be a private affair, had been leaked online.
Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, however, reported that a wedding guest later wrote a letter apologising for posting the wedding celebrations online.
Image: Rihana Oksana Petra’s Instagram
Text: The Straits Times / October 2019