An anonymous contestant has come forward backing former Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin’s claim that the pageant is rigged
The Miss USA pageant is rigged, according to a second contestant who told Fox News under the condition of anonymity that she backs up the claim of former Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin that the Top 5 was set before the Top 15 was declared.
The second contestant, like Monnin, has said that another contestant, Miss Florida Karina Brez, actually saw the list of the winning contestants.
“I saw Florida backstage, and she was very, very flustered and upset. I thought it might be because she didn’t make the top 15 cut, but at that point, she was able to reveal to me at least four of the five names who went on to be the top girls,” the anonymous contestant told Fox News. “She couldn’t remember the fifth because she was so upset. Several of the girls then stated hearing through the grapevine about a list; a lot of people were upset.”
Monnin gave up her title as Miss Pennsylvania the day after the Miss USA pageant aired live on NBC, June 4. Monnin explained her reasoning for resigning on Facebook: “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. Apparently the morning of June 3 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.”
Donald Trump, the owner of the Miss Universe Organization, has insisted that Monnin is nothing more than a sore loser who fabricated the story. Trump has filed an “oral defamation” lawsuit against Monnin, stating, “We’re going to be suing her now. She made a very false charge, and she knows it’s a false charge.”
Miss Florida Karina Brez has sided in Trump’s corner, refuting Monnin’s claims. In a statement, Brez admitted to seeing a list “and like most people in such frenetic circumstances, joked that they must be names of the final contestants.” Brez continued, “It was a throwaway comment, in the stress of the pageant, and was never meant as fact . . . The list I saw didn’t even have the eventual winner on it.”
A representative for the Miss Universe pageant refutes the claim that the Miss USA pageant is rigged, stating that other contestants have backed Brez’s statement. The rep told Fox News, “We have spoken to several other contestants who confirm Miss Florida USA’s position on what she said.”
The rep also told Fox News that the judging for the pageant is monitored by an outside organization as the pageant is aired live. “In accordance with the rules of the competition, Ernst & Young’s tabulation of the judges’ votes, which determined the final five contestants did not occur until after the evening gown competition had been completed.”