Organizers of the Miss USA pageant, Miss Brand Corp., have been suspended by the Miss Universe Organization following allegations that the competition was rigged and the winner was predetermined.
On October 3, Miss Texas R’Bonney Gabriel was crowned Miss USA.
She was accused of being “preselected” by contestants soon after she won the title.
In response to the allegations, the Miss Universe Organization suspended the pageant organizers and launched an investigation.
In a statement to the media the Miss Universe Organization announced that “Miss Brand would be suspended immediately.”
“The Miss Universe Organization will take over the Miss USA program until a comprehensive, third-party investigation is conducted. Holland & Knight will lead the investigation, and the findings will be utilized as the basis for any appropriate action. “
“We are appreciative of the cooperation from Miss USA Director Crystle Stewart as we work through the process. Our commitment to contestants and fans is our priority, and we will keep them top of mind as we move forward.”
A former Miss USA, Stewart is now the director of Miss Brand and president of the Miss USA Organization. While she was president, she was involved in other scandals. According to reports, she is separated from Max Sebrechts, who has been accused of sexual misconduct.
There is no information on whether Stewart has been suspended from her position as president of Miss USA or Miss Brand.
The current allegations that the 2022 Miss USA pageant was in favor of one contestant over another are misleading and simply not factual,” Stewart said in a statement to Fox News Digital.
“In accordance with the request of the Miss Universe Organization, I am fully cooperating with the open investigation being conducted by a third party. I am eager for all of the claims to be disproven, so the facts can speak for themselves; ultimately, putting all contestants’ minds at ease once and for all.”
“As a former titleholder, I know firsthand how much hard work, mental preparation and dedication goes into the process of being on the main stage. The last thing I would ever want to do is discredit or deny the contestants an equal opportunity to a fair competition. I would never jeopardize my dream of running an organization that empowers these young women.”
An email was sent out to contestants before the Miss Universe Organization announced the news to the public. Contestant Mikala McGhee provided a copy of the email to Fox News.
An email from the organization stated, “Our commitment to you and our fans is our top priority, and that will be our top priority as we move forward.”
According to McGhee, who is Miss Missouri 2022, Gabriel was the “preselected” winner to draw in the Filipina community.
“We’ve been seeing a steady drop-off in registration for pageants, and not just for the Miss USA system,” McGhee told the Daily Mail. “Miss USA is trying to revamp and re-glamorize pageantry here in the United States.”