Former Miss America Carlson named new chairperson after scandal

Gretchen Carlson poses at the 2017 Forbes Women’s Summit at Spring Studios in New York. (File photo/AFP)
Updated 02 January 2018
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Former Miss America Carlson named new chairperson after scandal

WASHINGTON: Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson has been named the new chairperson of the Miss America beauty pageant, becoming the first former winner to lead the organization following a scandal over lewd and sexist emails.
Her appointment came just over a week after the resignation of the pageant’s under-fire CEO Sam Haskell, who had written some of the emails that contained misogynistic language.
“Honored to move this iconic program forward with so many amazing volunteers,” the 51-year-old Carlson, who won the competition in 1989, wrote on Twitter.
Carlson’s appointment was effective immediately, the organization said, adding that three other former winners would join the board of directors.
“Most previously serving directors have resigned,” the statement said.
Dozens of former beauty queens had demanded that Haskell step down after The Huffington Post published leaked internal emails that included a vulgarity to refer to past winners and the shaming of one over her weight..., with Haskell calling her “a piece of trash.”
The news site initially quoted the Miss America Organization as saying it was notified about the emails months earlier and fired a telecast writer — the “most egregious author of inappropriate comments.”
But in a matter of days, Haskell, Miss America President Josh Randle and board chair Lynn Weidner all resigned.
The scandal prompted the show’s producers, Dick Clark Productions, to sever ties with the organization.
Carlson — who is best known for her decade-long tenure as an anchor at Fox News — made headlines in 2016 when she filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the network’s then boss Roger Ailes, precipitating his departure.
The suit was settled for a reported $20 million.
Commenting on the scandal, Carlson said: “Everyone has been stunned by the events of the last several days, and this has not been easy for anyone who loves this program.
“In the end, we all want a strong, relevant Miss America and we appreciate the existing board taking the steps necessary to quickly begin stabilizing the organization for the future.”


Pregnant Meghan takes break from Australia royal tour

Updated 21 October 2018
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Pregnant Meghan takes break from Australia royal tour

  • The trip officially ends in New Zealand on October 31

SYDNEY: Meghan, the pregnant wife of Britain’s Prince Harry, is scaling back her engagements during the royal couple’s 16-day Pacific tour, Kensington Palace said Sunday, ahead of their visit to Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.
The royal couple have had a gruelling schedule since arriving in Australia on Monday, visiting Sydney, Melbourne and the regional town of Dubbo, as well as opening the Olympic-style Invictus Games for disabled and wounded soldiers.
“After a busy program, The Duke and Duchess have decided to cut back The Duchess’s schedule slightly for the next couple of days, ahead of the final week and a half of the tour,” Kensington Palace said in a statement.
The opening ceremony for the Games at Sydney’s Opera House on Saturday night was delayed after an intense thunderstorm, and the Duchess of Sussex did not attend a cycling medal presentation with Harry on Sunday.
At the event, held in The Domain gardens, the prince was asked by someone in a crowd of onlookers where his wife was.
“She’s resting at home,” the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported him as saying. “Being pregnant takes its toll.”
Meghan rejoined her husband for lunch with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, before watching a Games sailing event from a boat on Sydney Harbor.
They are due to attend a private reception for the Invictus Games Foundation at Government House late Sunday before heading off to Fraser Island in Queensland state.
But Meghan is not expected to take part in official engagements at the World Heritage-listed site on Monday, with Kensington Palace adding that “The Duke will continue with the engagements on Fraser Island as planned.”
The pair are due to visit Fiji and Tonga after Fraser Island.
The news came as Harry received an unusual request from some members of the Australian cycling team at Sunday’s presentation — if he could sign an Invictus pair of budgie smugglers.
“Budgie smugglers” is the colloquial term Australians use for Speedo-style swimwear.
The Duke of Sussex declined the offer.
“He told us he’d love to sign them but he wasn’t allowed to,” athlete Damien Irish told the ABC Sunday.
The trip officially ends in New Zealand on October 31.