Moms of Former Miss USA Winners Claim Daughters Were ‘Abused’ and ‘Bullied’

Good Morning America / YouTube
Good Morning America / YouTube

The moms of former Miss Teen USA and Miss USA have spoken out about the alleged toxic work environment which prompted their daughters to resign from the pageant organization earlier this month.

During an interview on Good Morning America Tuesday, Barbara Srivastava and Jackeline Voigt called for changes within the Miss USA pageant organization.

“We could not continue this charade,” Srivastava said. Her daughter UmaSofia, resigned from the organization last week, after being crowned Miss Teen USA in September last year. In an announcement on Instagram, UmaSofia wrote that her “personal values no longer fully align with the direction of the organization.”

UmaSofia’s resignation came just days after Miss USA Noelia Voigt gave back her own crown to the organization.

How the Miss USA Pageant Ended Up Such a Hot Mess

“I want to make [it] clear, it’s not about what they can get, the prizes, no it’s about how they were ill-treated, abused, bullied and cornered,” Srivastava alleged. “The job of their dreams turned out to be a nightmare.”

She said her daughter had missed out on opportunities as a result of her restrictive contract, which also contains a non-disclosure agreement.

When Jackeline Voigt was asked if she believed her daughter, former Miss USA Noelia Voigt, had been silenced, she said, “She is, and she would be the rest of her life if this NDA is not been lifted.”

In a letter Noelia wrote to the Miss USA management, she criticized their failure to protect her from harassment. “I was made to feel unsafe at events without an effective handler, and this culminated in being sexually harassed,” she wrote.

In the interview on Tuesday, Noelia’s mom described an instance when her daughter was sexually harassed while making an appearance at a Christmas parade.

“I saw Noelia so stressed out, and I said, ‘What happened?,’ And she said, ‘Mom, get in the car, get in the car.’ When I got in the car, I said, ‘What happened?’ Because I know [a man] said something but I couldn’t get it,” Voigt said.

“[The man] told Noelia, ‘Are you into old [men] with money?’ And made Noelia very, very uncomfortable,” she concluded. Voigt said that her daughter had received no sympathy or apology from Miss USA organizers over the encounter.

“This is not what she worked so hard for. And the Miss Universe Organization need to come out and speak to us, or apologize, or clean this mess,” Voigt added.

Both mothers called for the resignation of Miss USA’s president, Laylah Rose, and said that women should stop participating in the organization’s beauty pageants.

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