Miss Teen Delaware resigns crown
Published: Monday, March 4, 2013
Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 21:04
Eighteen-year-old Jenna Webb, of Bethany Beach, Del., said her close friend Melissa King, the former Miss Delaware Teen USA, participated in pageants in order to make a better future for herself after a “rough” childhood of hopping among foster homes from age 12 to 18.
“I figured she just wanted something positive out of all the bad stuff in her life,” Webb said.
King lost her crown and her future as Miss Delaware Teen USA, however, after being identified as the woman in an amateur porn video that surfaced last week on girlsdoporn.com, a website which claims it is “the only website on the internet where REAL amateur girls make first time adult videos.”
Miss Teen USA pageant spokesperson Cindy Provost confirmed that King had resigned her title and 17-year-old Hailey Lawler, a senior at Padua Academy in Wilmington, would be the new Miss Teen Delaware.
“The only comment we have is that she has resigned,” Provost said.
King’s attorney, J. Gregory Hannigan of Hagerstown, Md., could not be reached for comment.
King has also been identified as the subject of two arrest warrants in Ocean City, Md., according to Ocean City police spokesperson and officer, Mike Levy. The warrants were issued last year after King failed to appear in court on two different citations.
“She has a warrant out for her arrest on two charges, one for theft, one for underage possession of alcohol,” Levy said.
Although King has denied being the woman in the X-rated film to the News Journal, some of her Indian River high school classmates said that the appearance and voice of the woman in the video confirm her as King.
Sophomore Dillon Thune said although he did not know King well, he often passed her in the hallways of Indian River, and he found the video of King extremely shocking.
“Without a shadow of a doubt, it’s her,” Thune said. “Anybody that knows her can see with the interview in the beginning of the video, it’s her.”
The video, which runs just over five minutes, opens with a woman who resembles King sitting on a bed in what appears to be a hotel room, wearing a purple dress and getting interviewed by someone off-screen. She said she just turned 18 “about three months ago—March” and decided to make the sex tape because it “sounded like fun” and she needed the money. The woman also said she has been involved with beauty pageants.
According to the Miss Delaware Teen USA website last week, King is 18 now and her birthday is in March, but her biography has since been removed from the site.
Webb said she thinks King might have done the tape for money because she wanted to buy a car, but she does not really understand King’s motivation.
“She’s famous now and not for a good thing,” Webb said. “I honestly think she’s not the smartest for doing that, but I still feel bad.”
Webb said she met King at Lord Baltimore Elementary School in Ocean View, Del., and the two remained close throughout high school. Webb described King as “a great person” who always got good grades and was a skilled gymnast with hopes of attending the University of Arkansas on scholarship. King instead attended the Community College of Philadelphia.
Miss Delaware Teen USA 2012 Angela Viscount passed her crown to King in November, and said she thinks King is a beautiful girl who will overcome her mistake. She said Lawler, King’s replacement, comes from a great family and school and will do a good job representing her state.
Lawler is captain of her high school soccer team and plans on attending Saint Joseph’s University next fall to pursue elementary education, according to the Miss Delaware Teen USA website.
“Hailey Lawler is my very, very good friend,” Viscount said. “She’s beautiful from the inside out. I’m really excited for her.”
Viscount said the directors at Miss Teen handled the video scandal well. She also said she doesn’t think it should detract from the organization, which provides teens with opportunities to be role models for younger girls, improves public speaking skills and encourages women to learn about fashion.
The purpose of Miss Delaware Teen USA is to provide an opportunity for young women to better themselves and encourages contestants to “gain self-awareness, self-confidence and individual pride,” according to the organization’s website.
Dara Busch, executive vice president of Rubenstein Public Relations, said that the Miss Universe Organization, Donald Trump’s parent company of Miss Teen USA, would not make any comment on King’s resignation.
“I think we’re just moving forward,” Busch said.
Three days before the scandal broke last Wednesday, King tweeted that she was about to celebrate her 19th birthday and so much had changed for the better in her life in the past year.
On Wednesday, however, King tweeted, “God wouldn’t give you something that you couldn’t handle…”