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In the span of two days, the reigning Miss USA and Miss Teen USA both relinquished their titles, citing their mental health and personal values respectively.

Noelia Voigt ceded her Miss USA crown on May 6, explaining her decision in a statement via Instagram.

“In life, I strongly value the importance of making decisions that feel best for you and your mental health,” she wrote. “As individuals, we grow through experiencing different things in life that lead us to learning more about ourselves.”

Her resignation letter, obtained by NBC News, detailed what she has experienced within the organization since earning her crown in 2023.

“There is a toxic work environment within the Miss USA organization that, at best, is poor management and, at worst, is bullying and harassment,” wrote Voigt, 24. “This started soon after winning the title of Miss USA 2023.”

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48 hours later, Just Miss Teen USA UmaSofia Srivastava stepped down on May 8, writing via Instagram, “After careful consideration, I’ve decided to resign as I find that my personal values no longer fully align with the direction of the organization.”

The fallout from Voigt and Srivastava’s decisions continued with Miss Colorado Arianna Lemus resigning in solidarity that Friday and social media manager Claudia Michelle also submitting her resignation.

Keep reading for more on why Miss Universe Organization is enduring this string of resignations and how it has responded.

Why Miss USA and Miss Teen USA Resigned

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In Voigt’s Instagram post, she urged fans to “never ​​compromise your physical and mental well-being.”

Fans quickly pointed out that the first letter of every sentence in her statement spelled out “I AM SILENCED.” Voigt claimed in her letter that organization CEO and President Laylah Rose created a toxic work environment by failing to take an allegation of sexual harassment seriously.

Voigt detailed the incident, alleging that in a Christmas event in Florida, she was left alone in a car with a man who “made several inappropriate statements to me about his desire to enter into a relationship with me.”

According to Voigt, Rose responded by saying “We cannot prevent people saying things to you at public appearances, it is, unfortunately, part of the role you’re in as a public figure.”

Voigt also accused Rose of badmouthing her by calling her difficult to work with and “mentally ill.” Rose allegedly said she hoped Voigt would be hit by a baseball when throwing out the first pitch at a game.

Voigt has since been diagnosed with anxiety, for which she is taking medication. She added that she also experienced a flare-up of a pre-existing condition and has experienced “heart palpitations, full body shakes, loss of appetite, unintentional weight loss, loss of sleep, loss of hair, and more.”

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“Every statement you have ever put out about MUO’s morals and integrity directly contradicts what is happening within the USA organization,” she said in her letter.

Though Srivastava’s resignation came just two days later, she wrote that she had grappled with the decision for months.

“I am grateful for all the support from my family, my state directors, my sister queens, and the fans who have cheered me on since I won my state title,” her statement read. “I will always look back on my time as Miss NJ Teen USA fondly, and the experience of representing my state as a first generation, Mexican-Indian American at the national level was fulfilling in itself.”

Srivastava added that she will continue her work advocating for education and acceptance, citing the response to her children’s book The White Jaguar.

Mothers Speak Out

Voigt and Srivastava’s mothers appeared on Good Morning America on Tuesday, May 14, where they spoke out on behalf of their daughters, who are bound by a non-disclosure agreement.

“I want to make [it] clear, it’s not about what they can get, the prizes… it’s about how they were ill-treated, abused, bullied and cornered,” Barbara Srivastava said. “The job of their dreams turned out to be a nightmare.”

Noelia’s mother, Jackeline Voigt, expanded on the Christmas event incident her daughter wrote about, saying, “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. [The man] told Noelia, ‘Are you into old [men] with money?’ And made Noelia very, very uncomfortable.”

Jackeline added in the comments to her daughter’s Instagram statement, “I observed how your personality changed and how your light faded. It broke our hearts. We are so happy to see you being you again.”

Miss USA Organization Response

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Miss USA has not addressed the specific allegations, but said in a statement to ABC News, “We are committed to fostering a healthy, communicative and supportive environment for all contestants, state titleholders, national titleholders and staff.”

Rose released a statement to NBC in which she stressed, “the well-being of all individuals associated with Miss USA is my top priority.”

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“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,” she said.

The Miss USA Organization also shared a pair of nearly identical posts to its social media channels, thanking Noelia and UmaSofia and wishing them the best.

Laylah Rose and the Miss USA Organization were not immediately available for comment.

Celebrities Offer Their Support

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Noelia and UmaSofia have seen an outpouring of support from the celebrity world, including The Valley star Nia Sanchez, who was named Miss USA in 2014.

“Let’s support our queen @noeliavoigt,” Sanchez, 34, wrote via Instagram on Monday, May 6. “Being #MissUSA is one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I can only imagine what is going on with Noelia to get to the point that she needs to resign as Miss USA. Sending lots of love to our Latina queen and I wish her so much luck on her next endeavor.”

Big Brother 24 winner Taylor Hale jumped into Noelia’s Instagram comments, writing “Life is so much bigger than the crown. It’s only the beginning, love! Proud of you for prioritizing yourself.”

The pair also received a flood of comments from others in the pageant community, including actress and model Olivia Jordan, who was named Miss USA in 2015.

“Sending so much love your way. I will be grateful to hear your story, whenever you find a way to tell it,” she wrote to UmaSofia.

Miss Teen USA 2022 Faron Medhi added, “My sweet Uma, I am so proud of you and your strength. This is only the beginning for you lovebug!! Standing by you and with you always.”

Noelia and UmaSofia also commented on each other’s posts to offer their support.

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