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Former Miss America: ‘We All Band Together to Save Our Program’

“I think this is an opportunity to see how women can… rise up”

Former Miss America Mallory Hagan is sharing some more backstory on what led to several top execs stepping down from the organization after leaked emails that disparaged her and other pageant contestants were made public.

Hagan thanked Brent Adams, a former pageant employee and key whistleblower in the case, during a Tuesday interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “He stood up for me. He stood up for all these women,” she said, adding: “I hope that this is a turning point for Miss America for that reason alone. That we’re learning that we can stand up for others. He stood up for us and now we all band together to save our program.”

Hagan also emphasized, “I think this is an opportunity to see how women can come together, support each other, rise up, take over the things that they want to see happen and move forward,” she said. “I’m really hoping what people see is these women are empowered and work together.”

After three other top Miss America Organization leaders resigned, a fourth, board member Tammy Haddad, has also left the organization, according to multiple reports.

Haddad joined Miss America Organization CEO Sam Haskell, president and COO Josh Randle and Board chair Lynn Weidner — who have resigned following significant backlash over leaked emails in which Haskell insulted several Miss America contestants.

On Thursday, The Huffington Post published a story that  included several emails written by Haskell, in which he disparaged the character and insulted the appearance of several Miss America contestants. Among them was 2013 winner Mallory Hagan, who was mocked by Haskell over her weight and purported sex life. Haskell also called former participants “c–ts” in another email.

Hagan also addressed the reactions by Haskell and Randle, saying, “I did see that Josh Randle said he apologizes for his behavior and, for that, I guess I’m grateful. But in the other statements that I saw, I’m not seeing really an apology there.”

She added, however, “that’s not really the point here.”

Watch her interview on ABC’s “GMA” here.