By Kate Schneider
TOURISM Queensland is investigating claims that a front-runner in their "best job in the world" campaign is involved in a porn scandal.
The tourism body launched the investigation amid revelations in The Sun that the competition's second most-rated contestant, Russian Julia Yalovitsyna, allegedly worked as as model for an illegal online porn studio and coached women for sexually explicit films.
Her husband has also been accused of spreading pornography and a case is being brought against him by Moscow police.
Mrs Yalovitsyna’s computer was seized by police as part of the investigation and contained some of the materials included in the criminal case.
The island “dream job” candidate has been linked to a chain of erotic studios under police investigation in her home city of Petrazavodsk, Russian news website Pravda reported.
A spokesperson from Tourism Queensland said it was taking the matter seriously.
"Tourism Queensland is aware of the claims against Best Job in the World Top 50 applicant Julia from Russia which have been made in overseas media," the spokesperson said.
"We are taking the claims made in the media seriously and are currently investigating the matter. Tourism Queensland will decide on a course of action once we have accurate information."
Mrs Yalovitsyna has rejected the claims and said she was never an online porn model.
“I am shocked! This is not true! I have nothing to do with that!” Mrs Yalovitsyna, 29, told Pravda.
“There were photographs, but do they change anything? I am not 18 after all. Those images have never appeared on the internet and I have never worked as an online model,” she said.
However she acknowledged that her husband, Aleksei Yalovitsyna, was involved in the criminal case.
“Yes, at the moment my husband is accused of spreading pornography. But we plan to win this case. The investigation has no proof. It is absolutely concocted and my personal life is nobody’s business but of my husband’s and my own,” she told The Sun.
A qualified marine biologist, Mrs Yalovitsyna’s video entry shows her in a tiny black bikini pretending to sail, and then we are shown behind the scenes where she’s being splashed with water by a man, in front of a fan and behind a picture of a boat.
Tourism Queensland’s “best job in the world” promotional campaign competition attracted more than 34,000 applicants.
Mrs Yalovitsyna is currently in second place, thanks to votes from the public, behind a woman from Taiwan and a Canadian man in third place.
The winner will be caretaker of the Great Barrier Reef for six months.