Miss Pennsylvania $5 million Miss Universe Judgment is not what it seems
The law firm which represented former Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin clarified the alleged $5 million "judgement" and its recent withdrawal as her counsel and defended her counterclaims against the organization.
With respect to the firm’s decision, Ms. Monnin’s former attorney, Richard Klineburger of the law firm Klineburger & Nussey said, “My firm formally withdrew as Ms. Monnin’s counsel owing to a potential conflict of interest that would arise in the event I am called as a witness to testify on her behalf,” adding that “I firmly support Ms. Monnin's position, but due to tactics taken by counsel for the Miss Universe Organization and Donald Trump, I was forced to make a decision that best served the needs of my client.”
Last year Ms. Monnin had claimed that in her opinion the Miss USA pageant was rigged because she and other contestants discovered the names of the top 5 contestants prior to the conclusion of the pageant’s various rounds of judging. The Miss Universe Organization responded by raising legal claims against Ms. Monnin but demanded she submit to resolving them privately in arbitration. When Ms. Monnin and her attorneys refused and instead sought to resolve the matter in a neutral court of law, the Miss Universe Organization nevertheless hired a private arbitration company to rule on its claims, without the presence or participation of Ms. Monnin or her attorneys and knowing they did not consent to the proceedings. This private company found in favor of the organization and awarded it a $5 Million Dollar judgment.
Klineburger explained that the “purported judgment” against Ms. Monnin was not issued by an independent judge or neutral court, but by a private company that was solicited and funded in full by the Miss USA Pageant. “I find the actions taken by the Ms. USA pageant to be no better than that of a bully in a playground,”
In defense of her accusations, Ms. Monnin recently announced publicly that the Miss USA Pageant contract contains a clause asserting that the Miss USA officials can select the pageant’s winner, as well as its four runners-up. In fact, buried in her contract it specifically states that it’s possible winners may not be selected by judges at all, but at any time by “[the Miss Universe Organization]
“The inclusion of this language, alone, is a red flag,” said Klineburger. “If the competition’