Miss Teen USA UmaSofia Srivastava resigns days after Miss USA Noelia Voigt steps down

Miss Teen USA 2023 is resigning just days after Miss USA Noelia Voigt.

UmaSofia Srivastava, who took home the 2023 title in September, shared a lengthy statement Wednesday announcing her departure because her “personal values no longer fully align with the direction of the organization.”

“After months of grappling with the decision, I have made the choice to resign from the title of Miss Teen USA 2023. I am grateful for all the support from my family, my state directors, my sister queens, and the fans who have cheered me on since I won my state title,” Srivastava wrote. “I will always look back on my time as Miss NJ Teen USA fondly, and the experience of representing my state as a first generation, Mexican-Indian American at the national level was fulfilling in itself.”

In a statement shared with USA TODAY on Wednesday, Miss USA CEO and President Laylah Rose said, “Our all-encompassing goal at Miss USA is to celebrate and empower women. Our participants make a real difference in this country and around the globe.”

Rose’s statement continued, “All along, my personal goal as the head of this organization has been to inspire women to always create new dreams, have the courage to explore it all, and continue to preserve integrity along the way. I hold myself to these same high standards and I take these allegations seriously. Please be assured that the well-being of all individuals associated with Miss USA is my top priority.”

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In her resignation statement, Srivastava vowed to continue her philanthropy with The Lotus Pedal Foundation and the Bridge of Books Foundation as she completes her junior year of high school.

“While this was certainly not how I saw my reign coming to a close, I am excited to continue my advocacy for education and acceptance, start applying to colleges, and share some exciting new projects on That’s Fan Behavior with those of you who plan to stick around,” she captioned the post, referring to her blog.

Srivastava added: “At the end of the day, I am so lucky to have had the privilege of this experience, but if this is just a chapter, I know that the story of my life will truly be incredible.”

“I LOVE YOU! So proud of you my angel,” former Miss USA Voigt commented.

Miss USA Noelia Voigtmakes ‘tough decision’ to step down. Read her full statement.

Miss USA Noelia Voigt resigned for her ‘mental health,’ leading to fan theories

On Monday, Voigt, who was awarded Miss USA in September 2023, announced her resignation in a statement on Instagram. The former title holder wrote, “In life, I strongly value the importance of making decisions that feel best for you and your mental health.”

Her decision to relinquish her Miss USA crown has sparked a flurry of online speculation after fans noticed a strange detail about her statement.

In the comments of her post and elsewhere on social media, users pieced the first letter in each sentence of her statement to reveal the phrase “I AM SILENCED” — though this discounts the last three sentences, the first letters of which spell “HIP.” It was not immediately clear whether the message was intentional.

Miss USA shifts:Did Noelia Voigt’s resignation statement contain a hidden message?

Miss USA previously said in a statement to USA TODAY, “We respect and support former Miss USA Noelia Voigt’s decision to step down from her duties. The well-being of our titleholders is a top priority, and we understand her need to prioritize herself at this time.”

The statement added, “The organization is currently reviewing plans for the transition of responsibilities to a successor and an announcement regarding the crowning of the new Miss USA will be coming soon.”

Prior to Voigt’s announcement, Miss USA social media director Claudia Michelle shared on Instagram Friday that she has resigned from her role. In a statement posted to social media, she wrote, “I have had the privilege of getting to work with Noelia closely and have unfortunately seen a decline in her mental health since we (first) met. I feel like her ability to share her story and her platform have been diminished.”

“I feel the way current management speaks about their titleholders is unprofessional and inappropriate,” she went on to write. “I disavow workplace toxicity and bullying of any kind.”

In an Instagram story, Michelle shared Voigt’s statement and highlighted the “I AM SILENCED” letters.

Miss USA Organization denies accusations of toxic environment

In response to Michelle’s post, the Miss USA Organization said in a statement to USA TODAY, “We are troubled to hear the false accusations made by a former Miss USA employee. Miss USA is committed to fostering a safe, inclusive, and supportive environment, and we take these allegations seriously. Indeed, we have and will continue to prioritize the well-being of all individuals involved with Miss USA.”

In the caption of her original Instagram post, Voigt acknowledged that her resignation “may come as a large shock to many,” but added, “Never compromise your physical and mental well-being.”

Contributing: Brendan Morrow and Erin Jensen, USA TODAY

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