Miss America leadership resigns in email shaming scandal

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – The top leadership of the Miss America Organization has resigned, sweeping out officials implicated in an email scandal that targeted past pageant winners for abuse based on their appearance, intellect and sex lives.

CEO Sam Haskell resigned from the Atlantic City, New Jersey-based organization on Saturday, a day after he was suspended by the board. Also on Saturday, President Josh Randle and Chairman Lynn Weidner resigned.

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – SEPTEMBER 10: Executive Chairman Sam Haskell, III speaks during the 2018 Miss America Competition Press Conference at Boardwalk Hall Arena on September 10, 2017 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images for Dick Clark Productions)

The organization announced the resignations a day after dozens of former Miss Americas signed a petition calling on the group’s leadership to step down.

The emails were leaked to the Huffington Post, which first reported on them Thursday. Haskell said he made “a mistake of words.”

Haskell’s resignation is effective immediately, while Randle and Weidner will remain for a few weeks to help with a leadership transition.

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