"Take it! Take it!": Viveka Babajee, Miss Mauritius and '94 MMFF scam participant commits suicide
Viveka Babajee, 37, a former Miss Mauritius and Indian supermodel, was found dead in her Mumbai apartment late Friday night, reports Thaindian News. She was found hanging by a ceiling fan, according to One India.
Police suspect suicide and are still investigating the matter. One India reports family sources saying she was depressed after breaking up with her boyfriend, but no suicide note has been found. Thaindian News says Babajee was "declared a supermodel in 1994 and was one of the most-sought after faces nationally and internationally in the fashion world."
Babajee became famous in the Philippines after she was implicated in the 1994 Metro Manila Filmfest cheating scandal where she was caught on camera saying "Take it! Take it!" to fellow presenter Rocky Gutierrez, younger brother of Ruffa Gutierrez, as she handed him the envelope containing the name of the Best Actress winner. Babajee read aloud "Ruffa Gutierrez!" as the winner, supposedly to the shock of fellow presenter Gretchen Barretto, who had seen the name of the real winner.
"Ruffa Gutierrez and Gabby Concepcion were wrongfully given acting awards. The real winners were Edu Manzano and Aiko Melendez," recalls Pep.ph. "Investigation revealed that the award presenters–Babajee and Rocky Gutierrez–conspired to switch envelopes containing the real winners' names with the other envelopes that were allegedly prepared by Lolit Solis, then Gabby's manager. The fake envelopes contained Gabby's and Ruffa's names. Later, Gabby himself named talent manager Lolit as the mastermind of the scam."
Babajee, Barretto, the Gutierrezes, and Concepcion were all then handled by Solis, who eventually confessed to engineering the whole scam. Solis expressed her condolences to Babajee's family upon learning about the tragedy, reports Pep.ph. Gutierrez and Babajee were both contestants in the 1993 Miss World pageant in South Africa.