This beauty pageant is getting ugly.
Multiple sexual misconduct allegations are quickly amounting against former Miss USA Vice President Max Sebrechts, husband to the national director of Miss USA and Miss Teen USA, Crystle Stewart, as the pageant is being investigated for claims of “rigging.”
Sebrechts allegedly sent sexually explicit messages to multiple contestants, as seen in screenshots obtained by The Post, declaring he was looking for a “no strings attached” relationship along with a graphic video said to be from him pleasuring himself.
The Miss USA organization declined to comment to The Post about Sebrechts, but did, once again, deny claims of “rigging.” The rep also said that “Stewart and Sebrechts are separated” currently.
Miss Universe, the platform for which Miss USA competes internationally, told The Post the organization was “made aware of the allegations against Max Sebrechts regarding his behavior towards 2021 Miss USA contestants” in December.
“Upon learning this, Miss Universe Organization conducted a review, which resulted in Max being completely removed from any affiliation with the Miss USA organization in January 2022,” the rep added. “Five months after he had been removed, in June 2022, Miss Universe Organization was made aware that Max had an extramarital relationship in 2018, in which graphic text messages and images were exchanged, two years before his wife, Crystle Stewart, was awarded the Miss USA license.”
At least four women received sexual advances from Sebrechts in 2021, one contestant alleged to The Post, while an anonymous whistleblower claimed “over eight” women had been “hit on” since 2008 when Stewart was crowned Miss USA joined the organization with husband Sebrechts.
“I was terribly attracted to your looks of course. Those tights you were wearing looked awfully sexy on your tight body,” reads one alleged email sent to a contestant from Sebrechts, “I’ve always wanted to at least tell you that I felt deeply attracted to you despite of my personal situation. Maybe we could try sth [sic] but def with no strings attached … And of course this is all between us, ok?”
“I’m at the office right now,” he reportedly continued. “I’ll send you a pic tonight, unless I run to the restroom, the thought of imagining you in those tights without underwear has quite the effect on me.”
According to screenshots in the anonymous email reviewed by The Post, numerous women allegedly received inappropriate messages and advances from Sebrechts, before he and Stewart “separated.”
Contestants reportedly filed complaints to Paula Shugart, the president of the Miss Universe organization, and informed her of Sebrechts’ alleged behavior – and claim they were reportedly met with inaction.
Miss Universe declined to comment on allegations regarding Shugart.
Mackenzie Kern, who held the Miss Wyoming state title in 2021, told The Post that the women “went to Paula,” but “they were ignored.”
“A lot of it was just disregarded,” said Kern — who claimed she did not personally receive messages from Sebrechts but contestants who did confided in her. “We were reaching out to people, we were reaching out for directors, and it was all brushed under the rug.”
Attempting to get the organization’s attention, an anonymous email blast seen by The Post was sent out in June from the pseudonym Mary Cunningham, which included screenshots of flirty messages, sexually explicit emails and even a graphic video said to be of Sebrechts.
The email alleges that contestants were told, supposedly by Shugart, “not to repeat their experiences” and “advised to delete the sexually explicit texts by this married man” after coming to her for help in December 2021.
A pageant insider claimed to The Post that Shugart is “self-serving” and has no concern about the young women competing. “It’s no surprise that this was swept under the carpet,” they said.
The anonymous email, which was sent in June 2022, came six months after Shugart was supposedly notified of Sebrechts’ inappropriate advances.
The anonymous whistleblower who sent the email said the company reportedly knew of the “sexual predator” and alleged it attempted to “cover up to protect him and his wife and colleagues.”
“It shouldn’t have come to light through a whistleblower. This was a missed opportunity,” Keith Lewis, a former Miss USA state director for California and New York, told The Post. “If you’re an organization that supports women, then why not walk the walk as well?”
The messages — said to be from 2016, 2018 and 2021 — reveal Sebrechts’ inappropriate communications with contestants, which were “unwarranted and unwanted,” according to the whistleblower. They claimed the messages put the young women “in positions of fear,” scared that they wouldn’t advance in the competition if they didn’t react positively to Sebrechts’ alleged advances.
“The age ranges of the people that he has attempted to communicate with are everywhere,” Kern, 22, said of Sebrechts’ behavior, citing concerns about his involvement in the Miss Teen competitions. “It just made me sick.”
Messages sent through social media show Sebrechts reportedly telling contestants he missed their “good vibes,” and sending them photos he snapped of them in bikinis. In another instance, he called a contestant “missie” numerous times and invited her “upstairs” to take in the “view” so he could “at least get a hug” before she left.
“I was under the impression that you looked at me as if you were going to eat me up like Godiva chocolate ice cream,” an alleged email to another contestant reads, “and I was terribly attracted to your looks of course. Those tights you were wearing looked awfully sexy on your tight body.”
When the contestant asked about Stewart, Sebrechts said he allegedly said he loves his wife “more than anything” but was interested in pursuing an intimate relationship with “no strings attached.”
“I’ve always wanted to at least tell you that I felt deeply attracted to you despite of my personal situation,” he reportedly said in the message thread. “Maybe we could try sth [sic] but def with no strings attached… tell me what you’re thinking about when you think of me. And of course this is all between us, ok?”
He concluded the alleged messages by saying he was “jumping in the shower,” complete with a shirtless photograph.
The recipient of those messages, who claimed they met at the Miss Texas USA 2016 competition, told Daily Mail that she and Sebrechts allegedly traded explicit photos, but regrets the interaction and feels that she was exploited.
She claimed she received messages from Sebrechts following her unsuccessful attempt at placing in the competition and noticing him “staring” at her the “whole week.”
“Around that time, I was very young and impressionable,” she said. “I think he knew the power he had in that position, especially considering that a lot of girls look up to Crystle and he used that.”
Another contestant also recalled her own experience with Sebrechts to Daily Mail, claiming the 42-year-old delivered a costume to her hotel room and kissed her on the “corner of the mouth” twice before leaving.
“I remember freezing in that moment. I knew that it was something that should not be happening,” the anonymous contestant said, noting how “comfortable” Sebrechts was behaving inappropriately and citing concerns for other women. “The only thing that was going on in my head was, are you stupid? You are not only the co-owner of this organization you are married to Crystle Stewart. Crystle is an icon in the pageant world. She was my personal icon.”
At the national competition, Kern told The Post she “vividly” remembers Sebrechts watching the contestants walking practices in the ballroom without Stewart present, which she claimed was unusual. “It’s usually girls’ only energy,” she added.
“Being a woman in today’s society, you have a natural instinct of feeling uncomfortable around certain men,” Kern said of Sebrechts. “He would look at you, he would stare at you and watch you, and it was just weird.”
Sebrechts “shouldn’t have been anywhere, where anyone was uncomfortable,” Lewis, who was involved in pageants for nearly a decade, said. He claimed the organization’s “failure” was not addressing the issue head-on.
“We listen to the stories of the women we’re around, we listen to the experiences they have, we shepherd them through difficult times, we’re well versed in the difficulties of life in general, and the difficulties of being a beautiful woman at different times, and being exploited or taken advantage of, or being made uncomfortable,” Lewis continued. “I don’t think you can just hide behind this and say, ‘Well, we didn’t know what to do,’ or ‘We didn’t know how to act.’”
Kern claimed a “weak attempt” to remedy the situation was Sebrechts’ exit from the brand. A letter sent internally to the 2021 titleholders, viewed by The Post, stated Sebrechts had resigned and that he would no longer be serving as the vice president of Miss USA, instead “focusing his efforts on other business ventures.”
“This should not have happened on [Shugart’s] watch,” said Lewis, who left the organization in 2013. “Women don’t allow things like this to happen to other women.”
Miss USA came under a microscope in early October after the 2022 competition when contestants claimed the competition was “rigged” in favor of Miss Texas R’Bonney Gabriel. State titleholders flocked to social media to share their criticism of the contest, saying the Miss USA brand showed “favoritism” towards Gabriel, despite the organization’s denial.
Miss Universe told The Post an internal investigation would be conducted, which Miss USA would be compliant in.
“The current allegations that the 2022 Miss USA pageant was in favor of one contestant over another are misleading and simply not factual,” Stewart, 41, told The Post in an emailed statement. “I am fully cooperating with the open investigation being conducted by a third party at the request of the Miss Universe Organization. I am eager for all of the claims to be disproven and the facts will speak for themselves; ultimately, putting all contestant’s minds at ease once and for all that this was indeed a fair pageant. As a former title-holder, I know first-hand how much hard work, mental preparation and dedication goes into the process of being on the main stage. The last thing I would ever want to do is discredit or deny the contestants an equal opportunity to a fair competition. I would never jeopardize my dream of running an organization that empowers these young women.”
Miss Montana Heather O’Keefe, one of the whistleblowers for who claimed the contest was “rigged,” revealed via TikTok that the Miss USA brand was “suspended” in the meantime, which the Daily Mail reported Thursday.
Kern told The Post that Stewart was someone she looked up to as a role model, and while she understands she wants to “protect her brand and her image,” she’s “disappointed” that her “moral compass” was “off.”
Lewis said allegations must be taken “seriously,” especially since pageants are meant to “empower women and their voices.”
“We have to make sure that we are always putting them in positions where they’re going to prosper,” he said, “and certainly never in positions that could endanger them.”
Today Breeze.in is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by . The content will be deleted within 24 hours.