June 6th, 2012
09:36 AM ET

Did Miss Pennsylvania quit because pageant rigged, or she opposed transgender entries?

Miss Pennsylvania says she has given up her state crown because the Miss USA pageant was fixed, but organizers say an e-mail she sent this week shows she quit because of her disapproval over allowing transgender participants.

"I will relay to you the reasoning behind my resignation. 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," Sheena Monnin wrote on her Facbeook page Tuesday.

"Apparently the morning of June 3rd 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."

Monnin said she waited to see how things would play out.

"After it was indeed the Top 5 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," she wrote on Facebook.

But the Miss Universe Organization said that while Monnin did resign following Sunday night's pageant, her description of the events and why she quit is false.

"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 e-mail to state pageant organizers (below), she cited the Miss Universe Organization’s policy regarding transgendered contestants, implemented two months ago, as the reason for her resignation," the organization said in a statement. "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 from Olivia Culpo of Rhode Island on her well-deserved Miss USA win."

According to the e-mail released by the Miss Universe organization, Monnin sent her resignation after 4 p.m. ET Monday before writing on her Facbeook page, saying the organization had strayed by allowing transgender participants in the pageant.

"I am officially and irrevocably resigning the title of Miss Pennsylvania USA 2012," the e-mail released by Miss Universe said. "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."

Monnin hasn't commented on the release of the e-mail.

The topic of whether transgender participants should be allowed in pageants entered the spotlight after a controversy in the Canadian version of the pageant. Jenna Talackova, 23, forced Donald Trump and his Miss Universe Canada pageant to end its ban on transgender contestants. Talackova fell short of the national title at the pageant.

And in Sunday's Miss USA pageant, the topic surfaced in the question-and-answer part of the show when Rob Kardashian read aloud a question sent in by a viewer via Twitter for Culpo, Miss Rhode Island and the eventual pageant winner.

"Would you feel it would be fair that a transgender woman wins the Miss USA title over a natural-born woman?" the question asked.

Culpo quickly embraced the Miss Universe decision to allow transgender women but also acknowledged why some people may not feel comfortable with it.

"I do think that that would be fair, but I can understand that people would be a little apprehensive to take that road because there is a tradition of natural-born women, but today where there are so many surgeries and so many people out there who have a need to change for a happier life, I do accept that because I believe it's a free country," Culpo said.

soundoff (312 Responses)
  1. Matt

    She's pretty.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. CJ Topspin

    Wait...what? Transgender participants in an all female pageant? Why?

    June 6, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jnail7

    Ok, here is a challenge to all of you.

    What does the current research into transgender point to?

    It's real easy to sit back and make a claim based on uninformed opinion. "The world is flat, I can tell by just looking". Some things in life are a lot more complicated than just casual guessing can determine. In the context of the current research all these claims of "born a man, always a man" is as intellectually lazy as "if she weighs as much as a duck, she's a witch".

    And if you do not agree with the conclusions of modern researchers, you are more than welcome to get educated, join their ranks and perform your own studies to be reviewed and re-tested. And who knows, you may actually do something productive like find a way to conclusively "cure" or at least provide a method for early diagnosis.

    I guess it is just easier to disagree with evidence that you happen to disagree with and make unsubstantiated claims.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mary

    Trump is mean.. yuck..
    So what if she quit cause of the transgender issue.. What miniscule point this contest had in the first place is lost now..
    NO real woman should compete again.. Walk away.. Dump it.. Let it be about what dude looks the best after his plastic surgery.. Cause if this thing could have sunk in lower..it did with this new transgender issue.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. BA

    Its about real women, not fake ones!!!

    June 6, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. KFtotheW

    Trump had a great idea when he was keeping the ban on transgenders! Why don't the crossdressers form their own pageant! This contest isn't fair to the real females! There are qualifications for anything; jobs, contests, and etc. Being a 100% female is a qualification that still needs to be in place. Congratulations to Miss Pennsylvania! You go girl! Real guts . More than Miss Rhode Island, who, hesitantly answered she believed transgenders were fine. Pathetic. Speak your mind people! & it's ridiculous that if women have different views they are looked down on. It's unfair when you have a gay judge that asks a contestant what she belives and when she answers it and disagrees, they automatically kick her off. It's not fair, or right.

    June 6, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Nix

    As someone who was involved in pageants for a very long time, I can safely say that most pageants are rigged.

    June 6, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • cleareye1

      I remember a Miss World contest in the 60s that was rigged, in spite of Bob Hope's involvement. Imagien how phony the contest must be with Donald Trump involved.

      June 6, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. B Forrest

    Next they'll be telling me that Pro Wrestling is fixed too.

    June 6, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. fernace

    If Miss Pennsylvania has indeed found cheating going on in the Miss America Pageant & is willing to speak out about it, then I commend & support her! She'll need all the support she can get, because there will certainly be court action & she'll be vilified! However, if she quit to oppose transgender contestants, then that's her personal choice; she's free to have her own views & act accordingly! My personal view is that we have entered a new day & every other person has had some procedure! Don't say no, let's start w/teethwhitening; see what I'm saying! What if a fat, plain girl(yet smart & talanted) got tired of being that way, lost weight, had a tummytuck, shaved a little off her nose, got some boobs & was suddenly beautiful enough to enter a pageant? Wouldn't we consider that a success story? Why not a transgender woman, who has undergone the greatest transformation of all, to be who she knows & feels she is! We should all be free to be who we are, judged or not!!

    June 6, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Men' Room

      Why not just make the pagent ...... " Surgery Free " ... No Plastic and no Tummy tucs .... etc.... Then that should curb these transgenders......

      June 6, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lee Fong Lumberyard (R-Ohio) "Garages starting from $18,$$$"

    You mean to say, that all this time, the women, men have been drooling over, that some of the contenders have a aa p pp ppppeeeenis?

    June 6, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bibleverse1

    People who dont agree with the rules of the beauty contest should not watch or use products from those that sponsor contest. Speak only with dollars and actions.

    June 6, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Brad

    I will never watch the Miss USA pageant again. I do not want to watch drag queens walk around the stage. It shouldn't be forced on the viewers. What ever happened to the old saying: If it isn't broke, don't fix it.

    June 6, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Brad

    No one wants to see dudes strutting around in bikinis. I don't care how you try to twist it, it's disgusting. I will not watch the any such "pageant".

    June 6, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. HIDE BEHIND

    Unlike beauty in women or s/he ugly men are usually lonely individuals; As for women I have oft noted that no matter how ugly they be, there are always men who will want them.
    So take heart you lonely and ugly men, for with enough surgery, plastic and sculpting scapels, you no longer need to be lonely.

    June 6, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Lee Fong Lumberyard (R-Ohio) "Garden Weasel $10.99"

    I'm gonna get my ding dong fixed, so I can make tons of monie.

    June 6, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
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