The Miss USA pageant is facing some major problems as another contestant has come forward claiming that she heard Miss Florida Karina Brez say the list of finalists prior to the Top 15 in the pageant being revealed.
“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 contestant, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The contestant spoke with FOXNews.com exclusively. “She couldn’t remember the fifth because she was so upset. Several of the girls then started hearing through the grapevine about a list; a lot of people were upset.”
The Miss USA pageant is owned by Donald Trump and it has been accused of rigging by Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin. Monnin said that Brez claimed to have seen a list of the top five before the pageant aired on Sunday.
“Apparently the morning of June 3rd [Brez] 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 wrote on her Facebook page. “After the Top 16 were called and we were standing backstage she hesitantly said to me and another contestant that she knew who the Top 5 were. I said ‘who do you think they will be?’ She said that she didn’t ‘think’ she ‘knew’ because she saw the list that morning. She relayed whose names were on the list. Then we agreed to wait and see if that was indeed the Top 5 called that night. After it was indeed the Top 5 I knew the show must be rigged.”
“I feel an injustice has been done, not only to the other people who were not in the top five, but to the thousands of pageant girls across the country who competed, believing this is an honest system,” Monnin said on “Today” on Friday.
It was also rumored that Monnin texted an official from the pageant during the show saying that she felt it was rigged. The text read as follows:
“Colorado? South Carolina? I’m done. This is ridiculous. It’s obviously rigged so the girl they want can shine; they kept several beautiful girls out for that reason.”
Donald Trump, Brez and the Miss Universe Pageant all deny the allegations that the pageant is fixed.
“Backstage during the pageant, I did see a piece of paper with names on it and like most people in such frenetic circumstances, joked that they must be the names of the final contestants,” Brez said in a statement. “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.”
Monnin thinks Brez changed her tune because she is fearful of repercussions. “A lot of the girls now are very upset about how Pennsylvania is being treated and aggressively attacked by an organization that claims to empower women,” she said. “But if they had to testify in court, I’m sure the girls would do it.”
Trump said that Monnin was suffering from ‘loser’s remorse’ and that “if you look at her compared to the people who were in the top 15, you would understand why she’s not in the top 15. It’s a very, very sad situation.”
According to the Miss Universe Organization, Monnin resigned because transgender contestants are permitted to compete. The organization also said that it has filed legal action against Monnin.
“The Miss Universe Organization intends on pursuing all of its legal rights and remedies, including monetary damages, against Ms. Monnin for her ongoing defamatory statements,” a rep said. The results are monitored and verified in real time by Ernst & Young, which released a statement through a representative:
“Our role in the Miss USA pageant is to independently tabulate the judges’ votes and verify the results during the live broadcast. The results of the tabulations remain under our control until we present them to the hosts during the live broadcast. 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.”