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Miss USA, Miss Teen USA quit after being ‘bullied’ by organization’s CEO: sources

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Miss USA, Miss Teen USA quit after being ‘bullied’ by organization’s CEO: sources


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The beauty pageant scene is getting ugly.�

At the beginning of the week, Miss USA Noelia Voigt issued a shock announcement that she was resigning from the crown seven months into her reign, citing mental health challenges.�

Voigt, 24, is the first title holder in the pageant’s 72-year history to voluntarily step down.

On Wednesday, 17-year-old Miss Teen USA UmaSofia Srivastava — formerly Miss New Jersey Teen USA — also quit, saying in a statement that her personal values “no longer fully align with the direction of the organization.”�

Insiders tell The Post Voigt and Srivastava have been wearing thorny crowns for months — forced by iron-clad contracts to silently smile despite “harmful workplace conditions.”
Getty Images for Supermodels Unlimited
Earlier this week, concerned fans on Instagram flagged that the first letter in each sentence of Voigt’s resignation spelled out a message: “I AM SILENCED.” Sources say this was on purpose.  Instagram/@noeliavoigt

Insiders tell The Post Voigt and Srivastava have been wearing thorny crowns for months — forced by iron-clad contracts to silently smile despite “harmful workplace conditions.”

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

“There is an urgent need for intervention at the leadership level.”�

It all comes on the heels of Miss USA social media manager Claudia Michelle stepping down from her position on May 3. In an Instagram post, Michelle wrote, “I feel the way current management speaks about their titleholders is unprofessional and inappropriate; I disavow workplace toxicity and bullying of any kind.”

A source told The Post that Srivastava’s parents recently refused to let Miss USA Organization president Laylah Rose speak to their daughter.  Getty Images for Supermodels Unlimited

She added: “I believe Noelia and Uma’s mental health and happiness has taken a toll and I cannot remain silent about that.”

An insider who knows all three women told the Post that they decided to quit together and strategically timed their resignations.�

“The decision was not easy. Noelia and UmaSofia are extremely dedicated people who worked incredibly hard for the pageant. The decisions were not taken lightly. They all decided to do this together,” the insider said. “They are afraid of speaking out more at this time because of the organization. They don’t want this to have any lasting harmful effect on their futures.”

UmaSofia Srivastava said in her resignation statement that her personal values “no longer fully align with the direction of the organization.” Instagram

The alleged harassment and bullying has gotten so bad, the close source told The Post that Srivastava’s parents recentlyrefused to let Miss USA Organization president Laylah Rose speak to their daughter.�

“All correspondence had to go through her parents. Her parents meet weekly with the Miss Universe Organization to try and get things to change with Miss USA but nothing ever gets done. No changes, no nothing,” the close source said.

Earlier this week, concerned fans on Instagram flagged that the first letter in each sentence of Voigt’s resignation spelled out a message: “I AM SILENCED.” Sources say this was on purpose.�

“Noelia wakes up every day on pins and needles because of harassing emails [from pageant organizers],” a source close to the situation told The Post. Instagram
An insider who knows the women told The Post that they decided to quit together — along with the pageants’ social media manager, Claudia Michelle — and strategically timed their resignations. Srivastava, the former Miss New Jersey Teen USA, is seen here. Instagram

“Noelia wakes up every day on pins and needles because of harassing emails [from pageant organizers]: ‘Don’t do this,’ ‘Don’t do that,’ ‘Take that post down,’ Unlike that post.’ ‘You can’t speak to anybody, remember your NDA you can’t go here unless we confirm,’” a a source close to the situation told The Post. “It’s micromanaged to the 10th degree and harassing.”

Michelle told The Post that “Noelia’s contract — as in her salary — was used against her. They would threaten her by saying ‘If you don’t do XYZ … ‘ In this case, following social media guidelines from the Miss Universe Organization that, as a social media director, I still had yet to see.”

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 value the importance of making decisions that feel best for you and your mental health.”

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

The close source claimed to The Post that Miss USA president and CEO Laylah Rose was playing puppet master and secretly posting under Voigt and Srivastra’s names.

In August 2023, Rose, a fashion designer with the line Laylah Rose Couture, took over the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA licenses under the Miss Universe Organization, which itself was bought by trans Thai business mogul Anne Jakkaphong’s JKN Global Group in 2022.

“Noelia and UmaSofia were removed from being able to post on the Miss USA Instagram page,” the close source told The Post.

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

“Layla would post as Noelia and people would think Noelia was posting because she would speak as her. She just put up a post with UmaSofia yesterday, saying ‘I support my Miss.’ UmaSofia didn’t put that up,” the close source said. “She’s trying to be the voice of the girls and the girls aren’t even allowed to speak for themselves. It’s quite ridiculous.”�

In a statement, Rose told The Post: “Our all-encompassing goal at Miss USA is to celebrate and empower women. Our participants make a real difference in this country and around the globe.

“All along, my personal goal as the head of this organization has been to inspire women to always create new dreams, have the courage to explore it all, and continue to preserve integrity along the way. I hold myself to these same high standards and I take these allegations seriously. Please be assured that the well-being of all individuals associated with Miss USA is my top priority.”

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

Sources say Voigt’s troubles began when she was promised a Manhattan or Los Angeles apartment by pageant organizers — in the past, Miss USA and Miss Universe lived together — but it didn’t materialize for five months. They eventually arranged for her to live in Florida.

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

The close source also told The Post that Rose also dismissed Voigt’s allegations of being harassed at a Christmas parade she attended last year for the organization.

The Miss Universe Organization, including Miss USA and Miss Teen USA were bought by trans Thai business mogul Anne Jakkaphong’s (above) JKN Global Group in 2022. In October 2023, JKN Global Group, filed for bankruptcy. AFP via Getty Images

“She was in the car with a man who was harassing her. It became very uncomfortable for her. She told the handler, who was very dismissive. Laylah said, ‘Well you’re going to have to get used to that because you’re in a public role now,’” the close source claimed to The Post.

The last straw, sources said, came during Voigt’s last official appearance as Miss USA at the Kentucky Derby on May 5.

She had allegedly been approved to attend but was then told she couldn’t go because her handler had been let go. Voigt went anyway.

Former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst jumped to her death from a Manhattan apartment tower in 2022. WireImage

Dani Walker, a former Miss Montana and pageant coach, spoke about the matter in a YouTube video posted Wednesday.

“How have we not prioritized mental health among title holders in light of what happened to Cheslie Kryst?” she said, referring to former Miss USA who jumped to her death from a Manhattan apartment tower in 2022.

“For me there is no valid excuse as to why Noelia should be resigning because of her mental health,” said said Walker, who added that Rose hired her In 2022 to host a NYC fashion week charity gala.

The last straw, sources said, came during Voigt’s last official appearance as Miss USA at the Kentucky Derby on May 5. She had allegedly been approved to attend but was then told she couldn’t go because her handler had been let go. Voigt went anyway. REUTERS
Sources say Voigt’s troubles began when she was promised a Manhattan apartment by pageant organizers — in the past, Miss USA, Miss Universe and Miss Teen USA all lived together — but it didn’t materialize for five months. Getty Images

“Noelia participated in pageants for seven years. Imagine achieving this once in a lifetime dream only to walk away from it, in such a public way. You only have two months left,” Walker said in the video. “Imagine what she was experiencing.”

Before Rose took over, Miss USA was hit with accusations of rigging as some contestant suggested the pageant may have been staged in favor of winner R’Bonney Gabriel.

“Most of the Miss USA contestants feel very strongly that there was favoritism towards Miss Texas USA and we have the receipts to prove it,” Miss Montana Heather Lee O’Keefe claimed in a TikTok�video in October 2022.

Both the Miss Universe Organization and Gabriel denied any claims of rigging.




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