13 biggest beauty pageant scandals

Even beauty pageant queens are subject to scandal.

From cheating rumors to nude-photo pasts, pageant winners are sometimes stripped of their titles.

Here are 13 times we found beauty pageant winners caught in a controversy:

1. Genesis Davila

Genesis Davila, Miss Florida USA 2017 who's crown was recently taken away, wipes her eye as she speaks during a news conference, Monday, Aug. 1, 2016, in Miami. The Miami Herald reports that attorneys for 24-year-old Davila filed the suit against the pageant Monday, asking a Miami-Dade circuit judge to issue an emergency injunction restoring her title. The suit also seeks $15 million for defamation. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)


Genesis Davila lost her crown after pageant organizers accused the former Miss Florida USA winner of cheating. Davila is fighting back, seeking $15 million from the pageant for defamation.

She was accused by the pageant's director, Grant Gravitt Jr., of violating the rules by getting her hair and makeup professionally done based on an Instagram post. However, Davila's lawyers argue that the photo was taken a week before the pageant and their client did not cheat.

2. Karlie Hay

In this July 30, 2016 photo, Miss Texas Karlie Hay is crowned and given flowers as the new Miss Teen USA 2016 during the pageant in Las Vegas. Racist language in old tweets from the freshly crowned Miss Teen USA is just the latest controversy for the Miss Universe Organization, which suffered a round of turmoil last year over then-owner Donald Trump's inflammatory comments against Mexicans. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Sun via AP)


Hay came under fire for controvesial tweets she made in 2013 and 2014 right after she was crowned Miss Teen USA 2016.

Screengrabs of Hay's old tweets showed her referring to her followers as the N-word, in a joking manner.

Hay later apologized for those comments stating, "Through hard work, education and thanks in large part to the sisterhood that I have come to know through pageants, I am proud to say that I am today a better person."

She got to keep her crown.

3. Vanessa Williams

Miss America 1984 Vanessa Williams performs during the Miss America Pageant at Boardwalk Hall, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, September 13, 2015.  Williams received a public apology from the pageant organization that famously ordered her to give up her crown amid a nude photo scandal in 1984. REUTERS/Mark Makela - RTSYCY


Vanessa Williams was the first ever African American Miss America, but the victory was short-lived when Penthouse magazine published racy photos of the beauty taken several years prior.

A humiliated Vanessa was forced to resign, but was able to triumph in the face of controversy with a highly successful career.

4. Ashley Harder

The former Miss New Jersey 2007 was forced to turn in her crown after becoming pregnant, as the Miss USA rules don't allow contestants who are pregnant or have children.

5. Katie Blair

Miss Teen USA 2006 Katie Blair waves on stage during the final night of the Miss Teen USA 2007 competition at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California August 24, 2007. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES) - RTR1T2I0


Katie Blair, Miss Teen USA 2006, came under fire after stories surfaced claiming she danced on tables and made out with Miss USA Tara Connor during a night of drinking and snorting cocaine.

Connor took most of the heat for the incident, but Blair faced the wrath of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), who announced they would no longer use her as their spokeswoman against underage drinking.

Yes, we can see why that might happen.

6. Crystle Stewart

Crystle Stewart of the U.S. falls during the evening gown competition of the Miss Universe 2008 annual pageant held this year in the central Vietnam resort city Nha Trang July 14, 2008.     REUTERS/Adrees Latif  (VIETNAM).  FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. - RTX7WMU


Following in the clumsy footsteps of Rachel Smith, crowned Miss USA the year before, Crystle Stewart fell flat on her tush during the evening gown competition in 2008.

Not exactly a scandal, but embarrassing nonetheless!

7. Katie Rees

After compromising photos of Rees were posted on MySpace, the 2007 Miss Nevada USA was forced to give back her crown.

She found herself in hot water once again in 2008 after an altercation with a cop led to an arrest.

8. Marjorie Wallace



Wallace, the first American to win Miss World, was stripped of her title after less than four months due to behavior that was deemed inappropriate for a beauty queen, such as purported dalliences with high-profile men such as Tom Jones and George Best.

9. Oxana Fedorova



When Fedorova gave up her Miss Universe crown, rumors swirled that she was pregnant. However, the beauty countered that the many responsibilities required of her interfered with her university studies.

10. Leona Gage



Leona was stripped of her crown one day after winning Miss USA in 1957 when her mother-in-law revealed that she was married with two children and that her real age was 18, not 21, which was written on her application.

11. Danielle Lloyd



Danielle was stripped of her Miss Great Britain 2006 title when it was revealed that she had posed for Playboy and had dated one of the judges during the time of the pageant.

12. Carrie Prejean

Donald Trump, the owner of the Miss Universe Organization, gives Miss California USA, Carrie Prejean, her sash during a news conference announcing that Prejean would retain her title in New York May 12, 2009. Prejean had been the recent subject of controversy regarding photographs from earlier in her modeling career and statements regarding marriage she made during the Miss USA pageant. BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE   REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS) - RTXFZGS


Prejean's scandalous ventures began when, in the Miss America 2009 competition, she was asked what her views were on same-sex marriage.

She answered stating that a marriage "should be between a man and a woman," for which she received a lot of hate from the public.

Prejean, after the pageant, fell into more controversy when she posted nude pictures of her online, and publicly claimed that the Miss USA pageant was rigged.

13. Jenna Talackova

Canadian model Jenna Talackova attends a news conference in Los Angeles, California April 3, 2012. Talackova, a transgender beauty queen who was dropped from the Miss Universe Canada competition by pageant representatives, has been given the green light to go by the Donald Trump-led Miss Universe Organization. The 23-year-old will, however, need to prove that she meets the "legal gender recognition requirements of Canada", according to local media.  REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni  (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT) - RTR30AU9


Talackova was one of the hopefuls for winning the Miss Universe pageant in 2012, until the pageant organizers found out she was transgender, according to the National Post.

The Miss Universe rules required all contestants to be born female, and as a result she was disqualified.

A grassroots petition signed by thousands of fans convinced the pageant to change the rules and let the Miss Canada compete.

Talackova eventually made it to the Top 12.