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. ss

    OK, easy!! Eliminate contestants that have had any surgical augmentation or any "appearance" alterations as that is also unnatural. In fairness this will eliminate all unnatural contestants male and female equally .

    June 6, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tom

    This is a joke right?? These "pageants" are a complete and total waste of time and money and to be honest I'm really surprised that CNN would waste ink/bandwidth on this subject. If they want to fill the ranks with manufactured women or even female impersonators (about the same thing in my view) who cares??

    June 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nicole

      Totally agreed!

      June 6, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mary

    I totally agree!

    June 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Nicole

    There is so much hate in this world...I really do hope that the world ends soon...people hate on everyone for everything and anything these days...so what if someone is transgendered...so what if someone is gay...what difference does that make to anyone else? I can't wait til this world comes crashing down!

    June 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Prometheus

    I agree! How dare this woman resign from an all woman contest and let someone other than a woman compete! Who told her to maintain any semblance of normality? The Pageant should now be called the USA Bizarro Contest since "anything goes" and "if it feels good," your have the god given right to do it in the absence of any empirical evidence to support it. If someone doesn't agree with my position, then your a bigot and you have no tolerance.

    June 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nicole

      Sounds to me like your the bigot here, but I'm done talking with all the little itty bitty babies on this forum...I prefer to speak with adults who hold civilized conversations...good luck to all of you who are still stuck back in the 1950s! Hey and while you're back there, maybe you can bring back slavery and also end women's rights too while your at it...totally pathetic!

      June 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Chuckierafi

    Miss Maryland was ROBBED! She was GORGEOUS and suuuuper smart! Oklahoma and Alaska were also robbed! They were unique and totally should have made the top 5. What were they thinking when they put NEVADA in the top FIVE?! And Georgia was cute, but so not top 10.

    June 6, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. CL

    Well Sheena Monnin, don't worry! Gloria Allred will give you a call soon....

    June 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bull

      What will she want next ? All those with boob implants to be excluded . Oh wait,she would get tossed out then.

      June 6, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bill

    Superrrrr, thanks for asking

    June 6, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Leo


    June 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. PokingTheBear

    The funny thing is, I believe she is telling the truth more than the pageant. Sounds like they got caught and had to come up with some thorw-back.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      @pokeing tb, i agree with that. Trip pics the winners, then they hold the dog and pony show for the public to watch. No more a contest then American idol, which if you read the micro print at the end clearly state that voting results do not reflect the final result, that means the winners are selected, not voted on.

      June 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mickey1313

    All public contests and sports are rigged. None are better then the wwe

    June 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mr. Hand

    If you take a good look at today's youth, in the future these pageants will be filled with women, cross-dressers , and trannies that are full of piercings, tattoos, gold teeth, and have fat rings around their waists. And the sad thing is they think they look good.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Hope

    Congrats, Miss Pennsylvania (former)...

    Takes courage to stand up for what is right.

    What a Woman!

    June 6, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Hope

    She looks like Jackie Onassis in her early years.

    ALLLLLL Woman!

    June 6, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Meme

    It's kine of weird how this artilce is out about her saying the pageant is rigged or fixed. Days before the pageant, i was talking with my kids about the pageant & we were just looking up to see if Puerto Rico is in the USA pageant & i found an article that was talking about the Top 15 or 10 or something like that for the USA Pagenet 2012. We were trying to figure out if they had the year wrong or if she doesn't begin her reign until 2013 or what but we did see an artile that was for USA 2012 pageant talking about the winners of the pageant. That makes you wonder if the pageant is really fixed?? hhmmm

    June 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
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