Tragedy struck the pageant community this week, as news broke that Miss Universe contestant Amber-Lee Friis had died.
Friis, 23, had competed for the Miss New Zealand title in 2018, and was a finalist in the competition.
Details of her death are still pending, but DailyMail.com reports she took her own life.
Miss World New Zealand posted on Facebook, “Our sincerest condolences to the friends and whānau of Amber-lee Friis, whom we have just learned from The Talent Tree has passed away. Continue shining brightly, Amber-lee, just as we remembered you.”
The CEO of Miss World New Zealand, Nigel Godfrey, also posted a tribute to Friis.
“She was a force to be reckoned with,” Nigel wrote. “She was feisty, definitely took no prisoners, but she was a beautiful soul and you 100% knew what you were getting. She was genuine, honest and she had an energy few others possess, her heart was most definitely in the right place. We liked and respected her and were very proud to call her a friend, long after the competition had finished.”
He continued, “Amber Lee turned her life, and indeed her experience with us around, and into an incredibly positive force for good. In the years since she has been loyal and supportive and we value that above anything. Tragically she passed away yesterday, the world is a lesser place without her in it. She had a great deal more to give and it is a dreadful tragedy that she won’t be here to realize her unlimited potential. RIP Amber Lee you have left us far, far too soon.”