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Miss USA, Miss Teen USA quit after pageant ‘bullying’: source

The beauty pageant scene is getting ugly.

Earlier in the week, Miss USA Noelia Vogt made the shocking announcement that she would step down from the crown after seven months, citing mental health issues.

Vogt, 24, is the first titleholder to voluntarily step down in the contest’s 72-year history.

On Wednesday, 17-year-old Miss Teen USA Umasofia Srivastava, a former Miss New Jersey Teen USA, also resigned. stated in the statement Her personal values ​​are “no longer fully aligned with the direction of the organization.”

For months, Mr. Vogt and Mr. Srivastava have been wearing crowns of thorns, forced to keep a quiet smile on their ironclad contracts despite a “toxic work environment,” insiders said.
Getty Images for Supermodels Unlimited
Earlier this week, concerned fans on Instagram warned that the first letters of each sentence in Vogt’s resignation spelled out the message: “I am silent.” Sources say this was intentional. Instagram/@noeliavoigt

For months, Mr. Vogt and Mr. Srivastava have been wearing crowns of thorns, forced to keep a quiet smile on their ironclad contracts despite a “toxic work environment,” insiders said.

“This toxic atmosphere is a serious concern,” a person close to the situation told the Post.

“Intervention at the leadership level is urgently needed.”

It all comes on the heels of Miss USA social media manager Claudia Michel stepping down from her position on May 3rd. Michelle wrote in an Instagram post: “I feel that the way current management speaks about titleholders is unprofessional and inappropriate. I reject toxic behavior and bullying of any kind in the workplace. Masu.”

Srivastava’s parents recently told the Post that Layla Rose, the president of the Miss USA organization, refused to speak to their daughter. Getty Images for Supermodels Unlimited

He added: “I think Noelia and Uma’s mental health and well-being has taken a huge toll and we cannot remain silent about it.”

Sources who know all three women told the Post that they decided to quit together and strategically timed their resignations.

“The decision was not easy. Noelia and Uma Sophia are extremely dedicated people who have worked incredibly hard for the contest. This decision was not made lightly. They “We all decided to do this together,” the source said. “They’re afraid to speak out any more at this point because of the organization. They don’t want this to have a lasting negative impact on their future.”

In her resignation statement, Umasofya Srivastava said her personal values ​​were “no longer fully aligned with the direction of the organization.” Instagram

The alleged harassment and bullying got so bad that Srivastava’s parents recently told the Post, a person close to her told The Post. Layla Rose, president of the Miss USA organization, declined to speak to her daughter.

“All communication had to go through her parents. Her parents meet weekly with the Miss Universe Organization and are trying to change the situation with Miss USA, but nothing is happening. Nothing has changed, nothing has changed,” said a source close to him.

Earlier this week, concerned fans on Instagram warned that the first letters of each sentence in Vogt’s resignation spelled out the message: “I am silent.” Sources say this was intentional.

“Noelia wakes up every day because of hate mail.” [from pageant organizers]” a source close to the situation told the Post. Instagram
A person familiar with the pair told The Post that the pair, along with Claudia Michel, the pageant’s social media manager, strategically timed their resignations and decided to quit together. Ms. Srivastava, former Miss New Jersey Teen USA, is here. Instagram

“Noelia wakes up every day because of hate mail.” [from pageant organizers]: “Don’t do this,” “Don’t do that,” “Delete that post,” and that post. “You can’t tell anyone. Remember the non-disclosure agreement. You can’t go here unless we check,” a source close to the situation told the Post. “They are micromanaged and harassed to the 10th degree.”

Michelle told the Post: “Noelia’s contract, as well as her salary, was used against her. They threatened her by saying, ‘If you don’t do XYZ…’ In this case, we followed the Miss Universe Organization’s social media guidelines, which I, as the social media director, had not yet seen.

Voigt, a Venezuelan-American who was crowned Miss USA in September 2023 after competing in the pageant for several years, wrote in her resignation post: “I strongly believe in the importance of making decisions that you feel are best for yourself and your mental health.”

Sources claimed to the Post that Miss USA president and CEO Leila Rose was secretly posting as if she were Vogt (above). Instagram/@missusa
In August 2023, Rose, a fashion designer with the Leila Rose Couture line, took over the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA licenses. miss usa

The source claimed to the Post that Leila Rose, the president and CEO of Miss USA, played the puppeteer and secretly posted under the names Vogt and Srivastra.

In August 2023, Rose, a fashion designer with the Layla Rose Couture line, took over the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA licenses under the Miss Universe Organization, which itself will be re-launched in 2022. It was acquired by JKN Global Group, run by Trans-Thai business mogul Ang Jakapong.

“Noelia and Uma Sophia have been banned from posting on the Miss USA Instagram page,” a source told the Post.

One source claimed that Rose posted on Instagram as if she were Srivastava (above). Instagram

“When Leila posts as Noelia, people will think Noelia is posting to speak as her. She just posted to Uma Sophia yesterday saying, ‘I support Miss.’ Umasofia did not make it public,” the source said. “She’s trying to be the voice for the girls and the girls aren’t even allowed to speak for themselves. It’s just ridiculous.”

Rose told the Post in a statement: “Our overarching goal at Miss USA is to celebrate and empower women. Our contestants make a real difference in this country and around the world.

“My personal goal as head of this organization is to inspire women to always create new dreams, to give them the courage to explore everything, and to stay true to themselves in the process.” I hold myself to high standards and take these allegations seriously. Rest assured that the health of everyone associated with Miss USA is my top priority.”

“Please be assured that the well-being of everyone associated with Miss USA is my top priority,” Rose told the Post. Instagram

Officials said Voigt’s troubles began when pageant organizers promised her an apartment in Manhattan or Los Angeles — Miss USA and Miss Universe have lived together in the past — but that was not the case. It didn’t happen for five months. They eventually arranged for her to live in Florida.

In October 2023, the pageant’s owner, JKN Global Group, filed for bankruptcy.

The official also told the Post that Vogt’s claims that Rose was harassed at the group’s Christmas parade, which she participated in last year, were also dismissed.

The Miss Universe organization, which includes Miss USA and Miss Teen USA, was acquired in 2022 by the JKN Global Group of Thai trans Thai business mogul Ang Jakapong (above). In October 2023, JKN Global Group filed for bankruptcy. AFP (via Getty Images)

“She was in a car with a man who was harassing her. It became very uncomfortable for her. She told her handler, but the handler was very negative.” “Now that he’s in a public role, he’s going to have to get used to it,” a source claimed to the Post.

Sources say the final straw came during Vogt’s final official appearance as Miss USA on May 5 at the Kentucky Derby.

She had been approved to attend, but was allegedly told she could not attend because her handler had been fired. Voigt went anyway.

In 2022, former Miss USA Chesley Christ died after jumping from a high-rise apartment in Manhattan. wire image

Dani Walker, former Miss Montana and pageant coach, said: talked about the problem in a YouTube video posted Wednesday.

“In light of what happened to Chesley Christ, why didn’t they prioritize the titleholder’s mental health?” she said, referring to the former Miss USA who jumped to her death from a Manhattan high-rise apartment in 2022. .

“To me, there is no valid excuse as to why Noelia has to step down because of her mental health,” Walker said, adding that Rose hired her to host a New York Fashion Week charity gala in 2022. he added.

Officials said the final straw came on May 5, during Vogt’s last official appearance as Miss USA at the Kentucky Derby. She had been approved to attend, but she says she was later told she could not attend because her handler had been fired. Voigt went anyway. Reuters
Sources say Voigt’s troubles began when pageant organizers promised her an apartment in Manhattan — where in the past Miss USA, Miss Universe and Miss Teen USA have all lived together. — but that didn’t happen for five months. Getty Images

“Noelia has been participating in the contest for seven years. Imagine achieving a once-in-a-lifetime dream and then walking away from it in such a public way. You only have two more left.” There’s nothing but the moon,” Walker said in the video. “Imagine what she was going through.”

Before Rose took over, Miss USA faced accusations of match-fixing, with some contestants suggesting the pageant may have been staged to favor winner R. Bonnie Gabriel. Ta.

“Most of the Miss USA contestants feel very strongly that there was goodwill towards Miss Texas USA, and we have the receipts to prove it,” said Heather Lee O’Keefe, Miss Montana. insisted. tick tock The video will be released in October 2022.

Both the Miss Universe Organization and Gabriel denied the allegations of collusion.

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