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Miss America winner responds to CEO’s slut-shaming emails, says she doesn’t want to see the pageant end

By Nicole Bitette • Updated Dec 22, 2017 at 11:47 PM

Miss America’s 2013 winner Mallory Hagan felt validated after the degrading emails by CEO Sam Haskell came to light.

Hagan, 28, spoke openly in a live video posted to her Twitter about reading what Haskell wrote about her including calling her “huge” and discussing her sex life — and she also appeared on “Today” saying she felt “validated” that what she had told people was evidently true.

“When I first read the emails in the article, I wasn’t shocked, but I was validated,” she said on “Today” Friday. “I mean for the longest time I tried to explain to people around me that this is happening or that these things are being said … see, I told you.”

The 2013 winner from New York said she felt Haskell had stunted her career as a pageant coach by spreading negativity about her.

“The story that broke today is one that is extremely difficult to relive … 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 happened this feels pretty validating,” she said.

“If you’re new to the Miss America organization … I want you to know that the women who participate in Miss America, the volunteers who help run this organization and the sponsors who are a part of this program value strong, smart, independent young women and aspire to see them succeed,” she continued.

Hagan still advocated for the competition despite the criticism she faced.

“In no way would I ever want to see this program or organization ever go away… I hope this will bring light to the type of behavior that’s been in 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.”

Fellow former Miss America Kate Shindle, who said she learned Haskell wanted her dead via the emails, said she feels the competition still has a purpose in 2017, but first, the entire board must resign.

“In order to achieve that purpose, the entire Board of Directors must immediately resign, including and especially Sam Haskell,” she wrote. “Only then can the women of Miss America reclaim its rich history and catalyze what is a clearly necessary evolution.”

In emails, Haskell wrote “not a single day passes that I am not told some horrible story about Mallory.”

Haskell, who Hagan told “Today” she had befriended along with his wife, seemed to have it out for her in the correspondence to telecast writer Lewis Friedman.

Friedman had wrote an email to Haskell saying, “As she continue to destroy her own credibility, her voice will attract less and less notice while she continues her descent to an unhappy pathetic footnote…Ps. Are we four the only ones not to have f — — d Mallory?”

Haskell, whose salary is recorded at $500,000 per year, responded, “It appears we are the only ones!”

“He needs to have a blood test because we lost count of the number of men she slept with at 25,” Haskell said he told the mother of a man Hagan supposedly slept with.

Hagan addressed Haskell’s slut-shaming emails by saying, “Having someone bully you, belittle you, demean you, degrade you in any way is not OK, no matter what.”

Of the 16 board members of the Miss America Organization, nine of them are women, including Chairman Lynn H. Weidner and Vice Chairman Tammy Haddad.

After the emails came to light, Dick Clark Productions which had long produced the pageant said it cut ties with the event following the “appalling” emails.

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