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Statement From Field Director of Miss WA Pageant

7/9/2008 12:33 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Elyse Umemoto is an outstanding young woman and has been a brilliant representative for the Miss Washington Scholarship Organization. We continue to be very proud of her. She is known for her raucous sense of humor and clowning around. It is unfortunate that her behavior in unguarded moments has attracted attention.
The Miss Washington Scholarship Organization is embarrassed by the pictures you have seen. We do not condone the behaviors depicted in these photos. However, there will be no discipline for Elyse based on the behavior evidenced in the photos. None of them depict illegal behavior or cross a line that cannot be uncrossed. Elyse feels very bad about how this attention affects her reputation and that of our organization. We will treat this as a growth opportunity, both for Elyse and for our other contestants, one of whom will soon be Elyse's successor. The lesson will be that if you choose to appear to challenge the boundaries of good taste you better be sure that the environment is safe. Photographs, like words, can be taken out of context, and once a photograph is recorded it is available forever and there is no way to control its distribution. Nobody goes through life without occasionally letting their guard down and acting foolishly. Title holders will be reminded that they are public figures and role models whose lives will be scrutinized, especially by those who take pleasure in exposing imperfections, however slight. Elyse will not be the last young person whose clowning behaviors will give the wrong impression to people who do not know her. We can only work toward ensuring that the attention these pictures have generated will be a cautionary tale for all of the title holders in our organization.

We consider mentoring the young women in our program to be one of our primary responsibilities. It is a difficult lesson for some young people to learn that their fun-loving behavior before friends can be used against them. When trust is violated the pain is deep. We do not yet know which of her friends, or former friends, may have betrayed her by posting these photographs. All we know for certain is that they were posted by someone who is bent on damaging the image of an amazing young woman.

To paraphrase Shakespeare, this seems to be much ado about nothing. Many young people clown around and act silly in private in ways that they would never consider in public arenas. We would hope that they could always trust their friends, but the realities of human nature teach us that trust is hard to come by.

I can understand the interest of the media in pursuing these photographs to see if there is a story of substance associated with them. It would be our hope that the media would understand that there is no deeper story, unless it is one of betrayal and the anguish that it brings. The MWSO and Elyse will hold our heads high and weather whatever comes, even though this incident should not register a blip on the Richter scale. We will trust the legitimate media to be skilled enough at their jobs to realize that there is no story here and move on to real news that matters to the public welfare.

Thank You,
"Leadership Through Scholarship"

Michael R. "Mike" Miller
MWSO Executive Field Director


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Why is this so surprising to anyone? It's a pageant, not a grad school interview. I liked Miss Iowa better, anyway. Why didn't she win Miss USA? Oh, RIGHT, she's DISABLED!!! Not good enough for the Miss USA Organization. GREAT STANDARDS!!!

2265 days ago

Miss Manners    

Too flippin' right! I completely agree with the Washington field director. Finally, an organization who doesn't over-react to private playfulness that's been exposed by a vile, back-stabbing "friend."

2300 days ago


Thre sure is alot of justification for this behavior on behalf of Miss Guttersnipe. Shame on her for being "caught behaving badly" is what I'm hearing.

2300 days ago


She was just acting silly, big deal. That is not the issue, the issue is organizations like pageants paint women like they are "little miss perfect" and that is ridiculous, I think pageants should no longer exist and are a throw back to the 50's anyway, but I would rather see a girl acting real and clowing around than acting like they do in front of the cameras on stage. This isn't about a young girl screwing around, this is about a pageant culture that is not a true depiction of what people are really like and they're trying to promote a perfectionism that doesn't exist and yet people are surprised when these girls aren't perfect...really??

2300 days ago


Isn't reputation something the organization SHOULD be concerned with? Whether public or private, her inappropriate behavior has been exposed. I want a Miss Washington that is the same in public and private, otherwise, this just shows me what a fake persona is being displayed to the world and the director is supporting that. Shame on him for trying to spin it as no big deal. Give the crown to someone that will truly represent.

2300 days ago


...thou doth protest too much, Mike Miller. Miss Washington needs to be taught a lesson in manners becoming a person with this amount of exposure and responsibility to an entire organization. Letting her off is irresponsible on your part and tries to place the blame on the media ,when it belongs with Miss Washington. Don't be surprised if the day comes when you regret your actions, Mike.

2300 days ago


Wow, what a great letter. I'm copying that letter and keeping in on file when my kids screw up like this in 2015.

2300 days ago


No. I do NOT agree with the overrationalization and excuses contained in this letter. It only serves to demean the young women who set themselves apart and demonstrate through example that they are a cut above the rest. This young woman is certainly not a cut above. She is obscene and vulgar and obviously proud to be trashy. Obviously if you are really trashy you can hold the Miss WA (or Miss Nevada) crown.

Everyone knows that there are a lot of whores in Nevada (its legal there). Apparently acting like gutter trash in Washington can earn you a college scholarship, respect from your elders and a crown of beauty.

2300 days ago


Do you think maybe she offered Mike a "Lewinsky" in exchange for the nice letter?

2300 days ago

working guy    

What a lowlife peice of dogs##t. I'm talking about the person that sold these pictures. Had to be one of her close friends.

2300 days ago

Big dog    

Well, I guess this one's a non-starter. Pagents in general have been getting a bad wrap from femanists and the "moral" crowd for years. There have been some consessions to the public after miss usa and teen usa winners have shown rampant alcohol abuse and alagations of cocaine in the pagent business continue to float around year after year. While THESE pictures show only show "a little" illegal activity, these does seem to be some grounds for contesting their "moral" character.

I'm unsure how "Mike" is so uneducated that he doesn't realize this girl is only 19 and the drinking age in the US is 21. That would indicate "illegal" activity to even a child's reasoning. The fact that pagents continue to prop up their winners as some sort of idea standard or role model for younger women only points to how incredibly damaged this system is.

Underage drinking? ILLEGAL, and definitely NOT appropriate for a role model... never mind the Moral issues at play.
Lesbian photos? Not illegal. The role-model and moral issue really is a family by family issue, but way beyond this discussion.
The creepy late-30's perv hanging off our fabulose Miss Teen WA after a few drinks? disturbing... again a family by family issue...

Would I like to see Miss UmeGoGo stripped? Sure... and it looks like it'll only take a 6-pack to get it done. ;)

2300 days ago


This is really low - class behavior. Miss America is supposed to be someone who is above all the trashy behavior. The F U Sign
is tacky, even among friends. The picture exposes this girl not yet a woman as the tacky low class street urchin that she is. Maybe it was nasty of someone to post the photos, but is it right to portray a tacky girl as a classy girl to the public, when nice girls are left behind ?? Helllooooo ! What about integrity ? Mike is a SPINNER and a phoney. Kick that girl to the proverbial curb, and get a lady in there.

2300 days ago


Obviously, the new Miss Washington will be crowned in Sept, 2008, and he doesn't want to replace this chick, and cause more of a scandal, so late in the game. He is covering, and is really disappointed in the "Raucus" Miss Washington. The rules specify that they must conduct themselves as ladies, especially when wearing the crown, get a clue.

2300 days ago


Some role model for Washington State..... skanky, immature young woman showing a complete lack of respect for the crown that takes her many places and gets her many scholarships and benefits. It is her JOB to act with respect and maturity... Washington State - shame on you for letting this go by.

2300 days ago

happy warrior    

Once again a teenager uses the old "on accident" excuse. When are we going to teach our youth responsibility for their actions? The letter from the "official" tells that young person that their is no consequence for bad choices.

2300 days ago
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