Miss Universe pageant files action against ex-contestant over rigging claim
ASSOCIATED PRESS June 8, 2012 2:10PM
In this photo provided by the Miss Universe Organization, Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin competes during the 2012 Miss USA Presentation Show on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 in Las Vegas. Monnin resigned her crown claiming the contest is rigged, but according to organizers the beauty queen was upset over the decision to allow transgender contestants to enter. A posting on Monnins Facebook page claims another contestant learned the names of the top 5 finishers on Sunday morning, hours before the show was broadcast. (AP Photo/Miss Universe Organization, Darren Decker)
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Miss Universe Organization says it has filed an arbitration action against a former contestant who alleges the pageant was rigged.
Pageant officials also released a statement from Miss Florida USA denying the claims made by Sheena Monnin as the reason she resigned as Miss Pennsylvania USA.
Earlier Friday, Monnin told NBC’s “Today” show she was standing by her claim that a fellow contestant told her she saw the list of finalists hours before the pageant.
Miss Universe officials say Monnin actually resigned because organizers decided to admit transgender contestants.
Monnin said there are “myriad” reasons she stepped down but the list of finalists was her primary motivation.
A lawyer for pageant organizers say the action was filed with a private dispute entity named in the contestant contract.