In a resignation announcement brimming with indignation, Miss Pennsylvania USA 2012 said she feels compelled to turn in her crown.
“Effective immediately I have voluntarily, completely, and utterly removed myself from the Miss Universe Organization,” beauty queen Sheena Monnin posted on Facebook. “In good conscience I can no longer be affiliated in any way with an organization I consider to be fraudulent, lacking in morals, inconsistent, and in many ways trashy.”
Announcing her resignation, Sheena Monnin, 27, claims one of her fellow contestants saw a list of the competition’s Top 5 girls – before the show had even begun. Monnin says, the unidentified contestant went on to name all 5 women correctly before they were announced.
But, the Miss Universe Organization has denied her allegations, saying that in a resignation email, Monnin said she was quitting because she was against new rules allowing transgender contestants to take part.
Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin won her title in December 2011. She did not place in the Top 16 contestants on Sunday’s broadcast of Miss USA 2012, leading some to label her remarks as the mutterings of a “bad loser.”
But 12 hours after her first Facebook post, Monnin insisted her claims were correct and gave further insight into what sparked her decision.
“I witnessed another contestant who said she saw the list of the Top 5 BEFORE THE SHOW EVER STARTED proceed to call out in order who the Top 5 were before they were announced on stage,” she said.
The contestant told Monnin she had seen a folder lying open with a page reading, “FINAL SHOW Telecast, June 3, 2012” on the morning of the show – along with the “Top 5” filled in.
After the 51 contestants were whittled down to 16, the woman told Monnin and another contestant what she had seen.
Monnin continued, “I said ‘who do you think they will be?’ She said that she didn’t ‘think’ she ‘knew’ because she saw the list that morning. She relayed whose names were on the list.”
The field was then narrowed further as the contestants went through the swimsuit, evening gown and interview rounds, with the Final 5 eventually being named.
She went on, “After it was indeed the Top 5, I knew the show must be rigged. I decided to distance myself from an organization who did not allow fair play and whose morals did not match my own.”
After Miss Georgia, Miss Rhode Island, Miss Nevada, Miss Ohio and Miss Maryland completed the Q&A round, Olivia Culpo from Rhode Island was crowned the winner.
In a statement, Miss Universe Organization, which is co-owned by NBC and Donald Trump, confirmed Sheena Monnin had resigned, but gave very different reasons.
“In an email to state pageant organizers, she cited the Miss Universe Organizations’ policy regarding transgendered contestants, implemented two months ago, as the reason for her resignation,” pageant officials said. “Today she has changed her story by publicly making false accusations claiming that the pageant was fixed, however the contestant she privately sourced as her reference has vehemently refuted her most recent claim.”
The Miss Universe Organization released an email message they said they received from Monnin on Monday that read, “I refuse to be part of a pageant system that has so far and so completely removed itself from its foundational principles as to allow and support natural born males to compete in it. This goes against every moral fiber of my being.”
After Monnin posted her claims on Facebook, fans and friends commended her resignation, congratulating her for ‘taking the high road’ and thanking her for telling the truth. But she was also labeled a bad loser by others, including Miss USA 2010 winner Rima Fakih.
“To Miss Pennsylvania 2012,” Fakih wrote on Twitter. “So you didn’t win or place in Miss USA last night but don’t you dare disrespect my organization! Maybe that’s y u lost.”
Olivia Culpo, 20, from Rhode Island, was crowned Miss USA 2012 on Sunday night after voicing her support for transgender beauty queens.