Ex-Miss Pennsylvania stands by rigging allegation

Ex-Miss Pennsylvania stands by rigging allegation

June 8th, 2012 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

In this photo provided by the Miss Universe Organization, Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin competes during the 2012 Miss USA Presentation Show on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 in Las Vegas. Monnin resigned her crown claiming the contest is rigged, but according to organizers the beauty queen was upset over the decision to allow transgender contestants to enter. A posting on Monnin's Facebook page claims another contestant learned the names of the top 5 finishers on Sunday morning, hours before the show was broadcast.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

PHILADELPHIA - The former Miss USA contestant who stepped down this week is standing by her claim the contest was rigged.

Sheena Monnin told NBC's "Today" show Friday she firmly believes the top 5 finishers were determined before the show was broadcast Sunday night.

The former Miss Pennsylvania claims a fellow contestant told her she saw the list of finalists hours before the pageant.

Pageant officials deny Monnin's allegation, saying the contestant who Monnin claims saw the list denies her account.

Miss Universe officials say Monnin actually resigned her crown because organizers decided to admit transgender contestants. Monnin said there are "myriad" reasons she stepped down but the list of finalists was her primary motivation.

Pageant producer Donald Trump says he's considering suing Monnin.