(RTTNews) – The wave of controversy continues to rise between the Miss Universe Organization and former Miss Pennsylvania USA Sheena Monnin, 26, following Sunday night’s live telecast of the Miss USA pageant. Monnin did not make the highly coveted final Top 16 on June 3rd, and has since released a statement via her Facebook account claiming the pageant was rigged.
She resigned her current state title as Miss Pennsylvania USA to support her accusation.
“It’s a case of sour grapes to the nth degree,” Paula Shugart, President of the Miss Universe Organization, told RTTNews on Tuesday. “I think it’s because she didn’t make the Top 16, and it doesn’t surprise me. If you could have seen her behavior here, you’d understand.”
The Miss Universe also said in an email that Monnin had resigned over issues surrounding allowing transgender contestants to compete in the global pageant organization. To support MUO’s claim, they provided a copy of an email to RTTNews sent by Monnin to Randy Sanders, the Director of the Miss Pennsylvania USA pageant on June 4, 2012 at 7:30 am:
“I am officially and irrevocably resigning the title of Miss Pennsylvania USA 2012. 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 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. I hereby return the title of Miss Pennsylvania USA 2012.”
The resignation email sent by Monnin stands entirely in contrast to what her Facebook post claims, which is – the pageant is rigged. In her Facebook post on June 5, Monnin states:
“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. 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.”
When asked about the mysterious contestant claimed to see a sheet with a pre-selected Top 5, Shugart said the private contestant would be happy to go public if needed. “It’s ludicrous, she changed her story. Anyone can check with our judges or our accountants Ernst & Young [for results],” Shugart said to RTTNews.
Former Miss USA titleholders such as Rima Fikh and Shauntay Hinton have voiced their disappointment in Monnin via their own twitter accounts. While some are saying the former titleholders should be more poised about their backlash, Shugart stated, “I respect that they said something.”
The Miss Universe Organization, including real estate tycoon Donald Trump, have “a say” as to who goes into the Top 16, but not the final outcome. “It’s something we take very seriously,” Shugart told RTTNews.
Overall, the attention surrounding Monnin’s decision to resign may have overshadowed the winner’s attention as Olivia Culpo, 20, left the stage on Sunday night touting the nation’s most highly coveted crown for women ages 18-26.
To the notion of attention and Monnin’s recent resignation, the Miss Universe Organization has released the following statement:
“The Miss Universe Organization can confirm the resignation of the Pennsylvania titleholder after she did not place in the Top 16 at the Miss USA pageant. 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. 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 form Olivia Culpo of Rhode Island on her well-deserved Miss USA win.”
Stay posted as the story develops.