Beauty pageant contestant quits after claiming contest is rigged, but pageant organizer says she bailed because of transgender contestants
The Miss USA pageant's grand legacy has been tainted by the whiff of scandal. Yet again.
A controversy has gathered around this year's pageant, with one contestant resigning after claiming that the contest was fixed and pageant head Donald Trump vowing to take her to court over the claims.
Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin (pictured) announced this week that she was turning in her tiara in protest. According to a post on Monnin's Facebook page, a fellow contestant learned the names of the top five finalists on Sunday morning, well before the live airing of the pageant Sunday night.
According to Monnin, the other contestant said she saw the names on a planning sheet for the telecast — and Monnin decided to step down after the results of the contest bore out the other contestant's claim.
Monnin asserted that the organization behind that pageant is "fraudulent, lacking in morals, inconsistent and in many ways trashy."
Shockingly, Monnin's claims did not sit well with Trump, who went on "Today" Wednesday morning to deny Monnin's claims — and declare that he's going to sue the swimsuit off of her.
Calling the former beauty queen's claims "so ridiculous," Trump said that an investigation was conducted, and that the contestant who supposedly saw the list "totally denies" Monnin's account.
Perhaps worst of all, Trump opined that Monnin "didn't have a chance of being in the top 15 [contestants], not even close."
Trump added that he's bringing down the full force of his legal team on Monnin.
"We're going to bring a lawsuit against this girl," Trump vowed. "[S]he said some very strong things. She uses the word 'fraud,' that's pretty strong, so we're going to be suing her on that basis."
Refuting Monnin's claims of why she tendered her resignation, the Miss Universe Organization provided an email from Monnin dated Monday, suggesting that she had quit in protest of the organization's decision to allow transgendered people to compete.
"I am officially and irrevocably resigning the title of Miss Pennsylvania USA 2012," the email reads "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."
The Miss Universe Organization told TheWrap in a statement, "Today [Monnin] 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."
Olivia Culpo, Miss Rhode Island, was crowned the winner of this year's Miss USA contest on Sunday night.
Watch Trump threaten to lower the legal boom on Monnin in the video.