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Miss America: This Is How Bad the Bullying Got

Cara Mund details her accusations as a former Miss Denver takes her side
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2018 2:05 PM CDT
This combination photo shows Miss America chairwoman Gretchen Carlson at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, Calif., on March 4, 2018, left, and reigning Miss America Cara Mund competing at...   (AP Photo)

(Newser)

"The treatment just kept getting worse and I kept thinking to myself, 'Is it my fault?'" That's Miss America Cara Mund talking about the alleged mistreatment she endured at the hands of two top officials at the pageant organization, per the Hollywood Reporter. Alleged bully number one at Miss America, CEO Regina Hopper: "We were walking down the hall and [Hopper] gave me some kind of compliment," says Mund. "And my response is typically like, 'Oh, that's so nice of you.' And she turned around and she said, 'Oh, I'm not nice.'" Later, responding to a Karl Lagerfield dress Mund wore, Hopper supposedly said, "Yuck. You should burn that. Don't ever wear that again."

Opening up about her alleged mistreatment at the organization—which she claims left her silenced, reduced, and marginalized—Mund says chairwoman Gretchen Carlson kept her from public appearances that Miss America normally attends, like the National Press Club luncheon in Washington, DC. "When we go in to get sponsors or attend big events, they should bring Miss America because I'm a product of the organization," she says. "I'm determined, I have an opinion, I am well-spoken and educated." Now Mund has an ally: Former Miss Denver Kayla Kline is breaking ties with her position in solidarity with Mund, the Denver Channel reports. "Miss America deserves a voice," writes Kline on Instagram, "and if you can't hear her, I'll stand and shout with her." (Carlson says Mund's complaints have cost the organization $75,000.)

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