Miss Pennsylvania USA claims fraud, Donald Trump threatens lawsuit
A day after Miss Rhode Island, Olivia Culpo, was crowned Miss USA on June 3, one contestant claimed the fix was in.
Sheena Monnin, who participated in the contest as Miss Pennsylvania USA, posted on Facebook on June 4 that she was resigning from the Miss Universe Organization, which she claimed was "fraudulent."
"I have decided to resign my position as Miss Pennsylvania USA 2012. Effective immediately I have voluntarily, completely, and utterly removed myself from the Miss Universe Organization," Monnin wrote. "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. I do not support this system in any way."
"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," she added.
On June 5, Monnin explained in another Facebook post why she resigned and went into more detail about her claims from her initial post.
"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 wrote, never mentioning the witness by name.
"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," she continued. "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."
Donald Trump officially commented on the controversy on June 6 in an interview with "Good Morning America" and said he was looking to bring a lawsuit against Monnin.
"She made a very false charge and she knows it was a false charge," Trump said. "I think that, frankly, she should apologize but we will be bringing a lawsuit against her."
He later added, "It's absolutely ridiculous. She lost and if you look at her compared to the people who were in the top 15, you would understand why she's not in the top 15. It's a very, very sad situation."
Trump later went on to talk about the creditability of Ernst & Young, the accounting firm which tabulates the votes for the competition.
"It's not like we care who the final contestants are," Trump added. "The judges are all celebrities and they make their pick and that's the end of it."
The celebrity judges for the recent Miss USA competition included Rob Kardashian, Joe Jonas and celebrity Chef Cat Cora.
However, it seems like Trump might have a change of heart about suing Monnin, if she apologizes.
"Donald Trump believes in giving everyone a second chance, including Ms. Sheena Monnin," Michael D. Cohen, executive VP and special counsel to Trump, told E! News on June 6.
The statement goes on to say that if Monnin apologizes to Trump in writing within 24 hours, then Trump and the Miss USA Organization will not proceed with a lawsuit against Monnin seeking "massive damages for her defamatory and offensive remarks."
Monnin's Facebook page currently features an outpouring of support from fans that back up her decision to leave the organization.
The E! News report also states that the Miss Universe Organization claims that Monnin informed them through an email that she was upset the organization recently decided to allow transgender contestants to compete.
In April, the organization faced a controversy when Jenna Talackova, a transgender woman from Canada who was born male, wanted a chance to compete in the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant.
As of this writing, there is no word on whether Monnin has apologized to Trump or if Trump and the Miss Universe Organization will proceed with a lawsuit.