Miss America Chairwoman Gretchen Carlson has struck back against the reigning Miss America, saying Cara Mund's allegations that Carlson and others have bullied and silenced her have led to the loss of $75,000 in scholarship money for this year's contestants. In a Twitter post Sunday night, the former Fox News host wrote that she was "surprised and saddened beyond words" by Mund's letter on Friday complaining of how she has been treated during her nearly one-year reign as Miss America. In her letter, Mund wrote that she has been bullied, manipulated, and silenced by the pageant's current top leadership, headed by Carlson and CEO Regina Hopper. Both have denied bullying Mund and say they support her; Carlson says she has reached out to Mund, but that Mund only wants to communicate with her via email.
"Actions have consequences," Carlson wrote, addressing herself directly to Mund. "Friday, as an organization, we learned that $75,000 in scholarships which would have been the first scholarship increase in years is no longer on the table as a direct result of the explosive allegations in your letter." Carlson continued, "The impact won't stop there. We are already seeing a negative ripple effect across the entire organization, and I am so concerned that it will dilute the experience for the next woman selected to wear the crown." Carlson didn't specify how the scholarship money was lost, reports the AP: by sponsors backing out, donors canceling promises to contribute, or some other cause. Read much more on Mund's accusations here.