Miss Universe Organization, which runs Miss USA pageant, has responded to Sheena Monnin's accusation that the top 5 contestants of the beauty contest were fixed before the finale show on June 3. The foundation denied the claim, insisting that the former Miss Pennsylvania spread false story.
In a post on her Facebook, Monnin resigned her position as Miss Pennsylvania USA 2012, accusing the organizers of fraud. "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," so she said.
"I witnessed another contestant who said she saw the list of the Top 5 BEFORE THE SHOW EVER STARTED," Monnin began her story. "She saw a folder lying open to a page that said 'FINAL SHOW Telecast, June 3, 2012' and she saw the places for Top 5 already filled in."
On the final night, "after the Top 16 were called and we were standing backstage she hesitantly said to me and another contestant that she knew who the Top 5 were. 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 continued.
"She relayed whose names were on the list. Then we agreed to wait and see if that was indeed the Top 5 called that night. After it was indeed the Top 5 I knew the show must be rigged; I decided at that moment to distance myself from an organization who did not allow fair play and whose morals did not match my own. That is all I know about this."
"In my heart I believe in honesty, fair play, a fair opportunity, and high moral integrity, none of which in my opinion are part of this pageant system any longer. After 10 years of competing in a pageant system I once believed in, I now completely and irrevocably separate myself in every way and on every level from the Miss Universe Organization."
"If this contestant would like to step forward as an eye witness and as being the one who saw the sheet with the Top 5 already selected before the judges ever saw the Top 16, then perhaps action can be taken. As for me, I believe her words and I will not encourage anyone to compete in a system that in my opinion and from what I witnessed is dishonest."
In response, the organization issued a statement that claimed Monnin's original reason for the withdrawal was its policy which allowed transgender women to compete. "In an email to state pageant organizers, she cited the Miss Universe Organization's policy regarding transgendered contestants, implemented two months ago, as the reason for her resignation," so it's explained.
"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. We are disappointed that she would attempt to steal the spotlight from Olivia Culpo of Rhode Island on her well-deserved Miss USA win."
In the e-mail, Monnin reportedly said that she refused 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 ever moral fiber of my being. I believe in integrity, high moral character, and fair play, none of which are part of this system any longer."