After the reigning Miss America, Cara Mund, lashed out at the organization’s leadership alleging she has been bullied, manipulated and silenced, as we reported Friday, the head of the pageant issued a strong denial of Mund’s claims.
Gretchen Carlson, the former Fox News personality who now chairs the Miss America Organization, told People she was “incredibly sad and heartbroken” to read the open letter released Friday by Mund criticizing the organization.
People quotes Carlson, who won the Miss America pageant in 1989, saying: “I want to be clear that as a proponent of women my entire life, I have never bullied Cara Mund. We have supported Cara for her entire year and we will continue to support her. It’s just disappointing that she chose to air her grievance publicly and not privately.”
Mund’s letter singles out Carlson and Miss America CEO Regina Hopper, accusing them of “disrespect, passive-aggressive behavior, belittlement, and outright exclusion,” the report notes.
Commenting on being Miss America, Carlson told People: “It’s the toughest job you will ever have. Every Miss America could tell you if they wanted to about the ups and downs of their year. I could. But you realize as more time passes what an amazing opportunity you have been given to serve as a role model and an ambassador for our country and to make a difference.”