Former Miss USA, Miss Teen USA Were ‘Abused, Bullied, and Cornered,’ Mothers Say

The mothers of former Miss USA 2023 Noelia Voigt and Miss Teen USA 2023 UmaSofia Srivastava slammed the prominent pageants and claimed that their daughters — who resigned earlier this month — were “ill-treated, abused, bullied and cornered,” in a new interview with Good Morning America.

Voigt and Srivastava abruptly stepped down within a few days of each other. Voigt was the first to resign, citing her mental health in a public statement shared on Instagram. But in her internal resignation letter (leaked to The New York Times), she slammed Miss USA Organization for enabling a “toxic work environment… that, at best, is poor management and, at worst, is bullying and harassment.” 

In her letter, Voigt said she was “made to feel unsafe at events without an effective handler,” and this led to an alleged incident of sexual harassment at a Christmas parade in Sarasota, Florida, during which her driver made inappropriate comments to her. When Voigt raised the issue with Miss USA president Laylah Rose, she claimed that Rose told her, “We cannot prevent people from saying things to you at public appearances.”

Voigt’s mother, Jackeline, shared a few more details about the alleged incident, claiming the driver told her daughter, “Are you into old men with money?” Jackeline said the comment “made Noelia very, very uncomfortable.” Of Rose’s alleged response, Jackeline criticized the president for not even offering a response like, “I’m sorry that you went through that.”

Jackeline also addressed the speculation that Voigt’s public Instagram post contained a hidden message, with the first letter of every sentence spelling out, “I am silenced.” Jackeline declined to confirm outright if that was intentional, but when asked if her daughter was silenced, she replied: “She is, and she will be the rest of her life if this NDA [non-disclosure agreement] is not being lifted. The girls need to speak.”

Barbara Srivastava, speaking on UmaSofia’s decision to step down as Miss Teen USA in solidarity with Voigt, said, “The job of their dreams turned out to be a nightmare. We could not continue this charade. The girls decided to step down, give [up] their dream of a lifetime, a crown, a national title.”


She added: “When she saw that they were attacking Noelia’s mental health, [UmaSofia] said, ‘I cannot stand for this. I need to stand up with Noelia.”

The Miss USA Organization did not immediately return Rolling Stone’s request for comment but did share a statement with GMA: “We are committed to fostering a healthy, communicative and supportive environment for all contestants, state titleholders, national titleholders and staff.”