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. jim

    There was a time, not long ago, when Jews or blacks were considered unfit for the contest. If they ban cosmetic surgery, such as nose jobs and boob jobs, I could see the point. All the bigots have to get over it – it's a new world.

    June 8, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  2. d

    sheena is just monnin

    June 8, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  3. UNOwen

    I have had just about all I can take of Donald Trump. This loser needs to just give it up. He's not rich, he's broke and bankrupt. His daddy financed him and that is the only reason he had whatever money he's flashed around for the public eye. He's a loud mouth fool in need of a new toupee. Sheena has way more class than him and I'm betting the only reason he owns the pageant now is so he can, shall we say, get his jollies in the privacy of his gilded bathroom.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  4. chilipepper

    I think America needs more stand up people like her. I'm a huge fan of Miss Pennsylvania now. Transgenders should have a pageant of their own. Leave Miss America for natural born women. It's will be a slippery slope if transgenders are let in. How many it the long run? This will be takeing spots away with real women.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  5. jesse

    I want to go to Starbucks to get Pepsi to drink, I want to go to the dentist to get hip surgery, I want to go to Pizza hut to eat seafood, why can't everything be the way I want it now?!? What is wrong with you people, I am always right, I am always the best, and you should all agree with me and do what I want every day, do you understand? Because that's what I want!

    June 8, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  6. person

    Hmm. Her moral integrity thing, unwrapped, has scientific ignorance and bigotry lurking inside.

    June 8, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony Skull

      Wonder why no white woman can enter the Miss Black America contest, but black women can enter Miss America contest? Then it should be OK to have a Miss White America contest, right? So if there is a Miss Transgender contest can a natural born women the changes into a male should be eligible to enter the contest? or is this biased? Sounds like a whiny bunch of empty headed knuckleheads.

      July 8, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Carol

    Perhaps they should have not started allowing other types of alterations to "natural born" looks.
    These women have breast enhancements, lipsuction, etc.
    Get over it. Move on.

    June 8, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Philbert

    These are sick people. The result of reproductive defects. They are infecting our minds and values with this scourge. Help us protect our children and the future of their society.

    June 10, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ryan

    why not the trans what evers just have theyre own pagent im tired of hearing about it

    June 10, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Elizabeth

    How dare she? She is just a poor sport who didn't win and now it's sad that she's taking the spotlight from the girl who did win. Shame on her for being bitter and jealous. I'm sorry your University of Phoenix Master's degree doesn't make you a genius in Psychology. You are however, crazy. Shame on her for being such a whiny crybaby for not making the top anything. Perhaps, the judges just saw her true colors before she even showed them to the world.

    June 12, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  11. RunfortheHills

    So, they fabricate a resignation letter on top of rigging the contest.

    Nice going.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
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