Melissa King is shown in a photo from the Miss Delaware Teen USA website.
Hailey Lawler of the Newark area was the runner-up in the Miss Delaware Teen USA pageant and may move up to the top spot. Lawler is shown in 2012 playing soccer for Padua Academy. / WILLIAM BRETZGER/NEWS JOURNAL FILE
Melissa King, Miss Delaware Teen USA, resigned her crown today after facing questions about an online sex video that claims to star her.
“I would like to confirm to you that the Miss Delaware Teen USA pageant has received a resignation letter from Miss King’s attorney,” pageant spokeswoman Dara Busch wrote in an e-mail this morning.
A porn website posted a sex video Monday featuring a woman who looks and sounds like King and claiming it is the teen pageant winner. King, contacted Monday, said she was aware of it, but denied it was her.
“Absolutely not,” she said. “It is not.”
"Absolutely" is added in an attempt to strengthen the denial. "it is not" does not identify with strength, nor even uses the pronoun, "me."
Of the porn site’s claim, she said, “There are comments saying this, however, it’s not comments that are true.”
It is the comments that are not true, rather than the identity. This is weakening and distancing.
King, who was crowned Miss Delaware Teen USA last year, declined to provide her attorney’s name Monday. Pageant officials, however, identified her attorney as J. Gregory Hannigan, out of Hagerstown, Md. He did not immediately return messages.
An email sent Monday night seeking comment from the website distributing the video was not answered.
Busch, who is executive vice president and managing director with Rubenstein Public Relations, said the runner-up will take King’s position.
According to the Miss Delaware Teen USA website, Hailey Lawler of the Newark area is the runner-up. She could not be reached for comment.
Miss Delaware Teen USA is run by the New York-based Miss Universe Organization. This is not the first time issues have arisen with the organization involving a Delaware contestant. In 2005, Sheena Benton was allowed to remain Miss Delaware USA and compete in the nationally televised pageant after it was learned she had pleaded guilty for drunken driving in 2004.
And this is certainly not the first time there has been a sex scandal involving a pageant contestant. In 1984, Vanessa Williams gave up her Miss America title after nude photos of her surfaced. Miss America is not associated with the Miss Universe Organization.
The video alleging King in it, a recording running just over five minutes, starts with an interview on what appears to be a hotel bed.