After emails leaked in which Miss America CEo allegedly fat and slut-shamed Mallory Hagan, she fired back with a powerful response. Watch here.
Miss America CEO, Sam Haskell, is under fire for allegedly sending disgusting emails about 2013 Miss America winner, Mallory Hagan. Sam’s alleged emails went public via The Huffington Post on Dec. 21, and in them, he allegedly makes horrible comments about Mallory’s weight and sex life. “OMG she is huge…and gross,” he allegedly wrote in one message. In another string of messages, he allegedly slut-shamed Mallory, telling head Miss America writer, Lewis Friedman, “We lost count of the number of men she slept with at 25.” In other emails, he allegedly devised a plan to have Mallory “ostracized” and have her social media “shut down.” Sam also allegedly tried to jeopardize Mallory’s post-Miss America career by suggesting her new agent not put effort into their business relationship. Lewis, along with board members, Tammy Haddad and Lynn Weidner, have also been accused of sending horrible emails about Mallory and other contestants, like Gretchen Carlson.
UPDATE: After the jaw-dropping allegations were brought to light, Sam, Josh Randle, COO and president of the organization, and Lynn, board chair, have all reportedly resigned. “This afternoon, the Board of Directors of the Miss America Organization accepted the resignation of Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sam Haskell, effective immediately,” the statement on Dec. 23 read. “The Board of Directors also accepted the resignation of Chairman Lynn Weidner. At the Board’s request, Ms. Weidner has agreed to remain on the Board for up to ninety days to facilitate a smooth transition for the MAO to new leadership.” Sam also released a separate statement apologizing for a “mistake of words.”
After the shocking emails surfaced, Mallory took to Twitter with a live video, in which she got noticeably emotional, but also admitted how relieved she was that this was finally coming to light. “The story that broke today is one that is extremely difficult for to relive,” she admitted. “I’ve felt very strongly about these things over the last couple of years, and just didn’t have any way to prove that they were happening. So now that I have proof that they are happening, or they happened, rather, it feels pretty validating.” She made a point to distinguish the Miss America Organization from Sam and other leaders who have allegedly acted inappropriate. “My hope is that this story will bring light to the type of behavior that’s been in the leadership of the Miss America organization and really help us put in place some people who care and who embody the mission of Miss America.”
It was toward the end of her video, when Mallory addressed others that may have went through similar experiences, that she started to cry. “I really hope that it’s inspiring to, not only the young women who participate, but young women everywhere, that having someone bully you, belittle you, demean you,degrade you in any way is not okay,” she said, breaking down. “I hope this is an inspiration to be fierce and to stand p for yourself because it does matter and you have the power and your voice matters.”
In a statement released to the Huffington Post, the Miss America Board of Directors confirmed that they have formed an investigative committee to look into this situation. Lewis Friedman has already been terminated from his position. He responded in a statement, “Before commenting to correct your information and provide context, I’ll speak to my attorney as this matter is the subject of pending litigation.”
A spokesperson for The Miss America Organization released the following statement to HollywoodLife.com: “The Miss America Organization (“MAO”) is committed to upholding the highest standards of character and integrity in all facets of its national framework. Several months ago, MAO’s Board of Directors was notified about the concern of inappropriate language in private email communications regarding various stakeholders. Upon learning of these emails, the Board of Directors acted immediately, forming an investigative committee and retraining independent legal counsel to conduct a full investigation of the matter. The investigator conducted a series of in-depth interviews as well as extensive research that led to several recommendations. Although strictly intended for private communication, these illegally procured emails contain inappropriate language that is unbecoming at best and is not, in any way, indicative of the character and integrity of MAO or its representatives. Please note that MAO does not condone the use of inappropriate language. The independent investigation also determined that, at the time in question, three to four years ago, Mr. Haskell was under reasonable distress resulting from intense attacks on his family from disgruntled stakeholders. As a result of the investigation, the Board directed the organization terminate the relationship with the most egregious author of inappropriate comments, a member of the television production staff [Friedman]. In addition, the Board has started the process of instituting additional policies and procedures. The Miss America Organization takes very seriously its reputation and the character and actions of its representatives and apologizes for any concerns or ill feelings this situation has caused. Moreover, the Board of Directors has and is taking affirmative action and has implemented specific policies and protocols to directly address this matter and to prevent any issues moving forward.”
Sam released this Dec. 22 after his suspension from the Miss America Organization: “In response to the vicious story on me in the Huffington Post regarding Miss America and a series of conveniently edited emails, it is important for you to know that the events are not as described. Much of what was reported is dishonest, deceptive, and despicable. The material is based on private emails that were stolen three years ago by ex employees. The story is so unkind and untrue, and hurts me, my family, and the stewardship of this non-profit. Those who know my heart know that this is not indicative of my character, nor is it indicative of my business acumen. I was under stress from a full year of attacks by two Miss Americas, and while I don’t ever want to offer an excuse, I do want to offer context. This was not the CEO of an Organization laughing at inappropriate jokes and speaking about a former Miss America in email conversations. This was a father whose family was being attacked, and a man whose character was being assassinated daily, which impaired my judgment when responding to the inappropriate emails sent to me about them. For that, I deeply apologize. For years, I have dedicated my life to this organization – dedicated to empowering young women. This discussion is an unfortunate distraction from the good work that thousands of volunteers around this country have done to provide more scholarships to young women than any other scholarship organization in the nation. I have the utmost respect for the women of this program and contestants at every level. It breaks my heart for anyone to think otherwise. My mistake is a mistake of words. Therefore, to allow the MAO Board of Directors and me time to properly evaluate the situation, I will be abiding by their decision to suspend me in my capacity as Executive Chairman and CEO of the Miss America Organization while an investigation takes place.”
HollywoodLifers, are you shocked by the alleged emails that Sam sent?