Miss Teen USA UmaSofia Srivastava relinquishes crown days after Miss USA resigns

Miss Teen USA announced she’s stepping down Wednesday, two days after Miss USA said she is resigning and relinquishing her crown.

UmaSofia Srivastava, 17, posted on Instagram: “After careful consideration, I’ve decided to resign as I find that my personal values no longer fully align with the direction of the organization.”

Srivastava added: “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. 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.”

The resignation comes the same week Noelia Voigt relinquished her crown as Miss USA, citing her mental health.

UmaSofia Srivastava on Feb. 10, 2024 in New York City. Chance Yeh / Getty Images for Supermodels Unlimited

Last week, the social media director for the Miss USA organization also announced she was resigning. Claudia Michelle said on Instagram she had observed Voigt’s mental health “decline” and observed “disrespect” to Srivastava and her family.

“I feel the way current management speaks about their titleholders is unprofessional and inappropriate; I disavow workplace toxicity and bullying of any kind,” Michelle wrote.

Laylah Rose, CEO and president of the Miss USA organization, said in a statement to NBC News on Wednesday that “the well-being of all individuals associated with Miss USA is my top priority.”

“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,” she said, without elaborating on what allegations she was referencing.

Srivastava said she will continue to advocate for education and acceptance.

She cited the response she has received, from both children and adults, about a children’s book she wrote, “The White Jaguar,” as having forged her legacy.

“This work has always been my TRUE purpose,” Srivastava wrote.

According to a summary of the book, it’s a story about a jaguar that is separated from her parents during a fire. The jaguar, which realizes it looks different from other jaguars, has to find its way home during a journey of self-love, the summary says.

Srivastava also said she’s looking forward to finishing her junior year in high school and applying to colleges.

“Most importantly, thank you to those who support me for who I am and have always been, not for who I’ve momentarily become,” she said.

Voigt announced on Monday she was resigning as Miss USA to prioritize her mental health. Voigt, 24, who captured the crown in September, posted on Instagram that she was stepping down.

“Deep down I know that this is just the beginning of a new chapter for me, and my hope is that I continue to inspire others to remain steadfast, prioritize your mental health, advocate for yourself and others by using your voice, and never be afraid of what the future holds, even if it feels uncertain,” Voigt said.

The Miss USA organization said in a statement on Monday that it respects Voigt’s decision and has accepted her resignation.

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

The pageant said it is reviewing plans for “the transition of responsibilities to a successor” and will make an announcement soon.

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