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Miss America CEO Sam Haskell Resigns Amid Email Scandal

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Josh Randle

The Huffington Post reported Thursday that the Miss America Organization's CEO, Sam Haskell, exchanged emails with a writer for the televised pageant and others that included harsh and sometimes vulgar comments about past winners.

The Miss America Organization was founded in 1921 and nowadays annually hosts pageants open to women aged from 17 to 24 who live in the USA to participate.

The top leadership of the Miss America Organization is out after a series of emails showed them making rude and obscene comments about former winners, including one pageant victor from Alabama.

Ali reports that Josh Randle, president and COO of the organization, has also announced his resignation, and board chair Lynn Weidner, who was also involved in the insulting emails has also resigned.

Lynn Weidner tells The Associated Press she's confident the full truth eventually will emerge.

Her request might be a precursor to legal action against the organization or its former officers regarding her post-Miss America work as a pageant interview coach.

Gretchen Carlson - a pageant victor in 1989, a former board member of the Miss America Organization, and a former Fox journalist who sued Roger Ailes for sexual harassment and exposed a culture of terror at Fox News - was also regularly criticized and described as a "snake" and "INFUCKINGSANE".

As his departure was announced, Randle apologized on Saturday to 2013 pageant victor Mallory Hagan, whose weight he and others ridiculed in the emails.

Miss America 1998 Kate Shindle and 1989 Miss America Gretchen Carlson released a joint statement on Saturday, calling for the rest of the Board of Directors to step down. "It does not reflect my values or the values I worked to promote at the Miss America Organization".

Also on Saturday, one of the main recipients of fundraising from the Miss America Organization said it was reviewing its association with Miss America.

The top leadership of the Miss America Organization has resigned, sweeping out officials implicated in the email scandal.

Miss America's Board of Directors announced Haskell's suspension and a pending investigation into his emails on December 23.

In another exchange from August 2014, Haskell forwarded an email that said Hagan's hairdresser had been commenting on Hagan's sex life, as well as her recent weight gain to Miss America telecast lead writer Lewis Friedman and noted, "Not a single day passes that I am not told some frightful story about Mallory". "For that, I deeply apologize", Haskell said.

While Haskell's resignation is effective immediately, Weidner will stay on for the next 90 days as the company transitions.

Haskell said in a statement Friday that he would abide by the suspension, but denounced the Huffington Post article that revealed the internal emails as "unkind and untrue".