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PART 2: SCANDALS & CONTROVERSIES AFTER THEIR PAGEANT YEARS

Miss America 1945 Bess Myerson, Miss America 1945

After Bess Myerson had become commissioner of cultural affairs for New York City in the 1980s, she was accused of getting a judge's daughter a job in her department in return for a soft touch for her boyfriend, a sewer contractor charged with tax fraud. Myerson was indicted but later acquitted, and resigned her positions.

Miss America 1981 Elizabeth Ward, Miss America 1981

While sex scandals floated around President Bill Clinton, rumors began circulating that he had raped Elizabeth Ward while serving as governor of Arkansas. In 1998, Ward publicly admitted a consensual sexual encounter with the then-governor in 1983. She later said, "I was backed into the corner by the press during the Starr investigation. It made it sound like my experience with Clinton was more like rape. I had no choice but to come forward and say it was consensual sex. It might be noted that a day after my interview went public, the judge in the Paula Jones civil suit dropped the charges against Clinton."

Miss USA 1991 Kelli McCarty, Miss USA 1991

Kelli McCarty became a soap opera star after her reign as Miss USA 1991. But after her character was killed off in a freak train explosion in 2006, McCarty apparently left daytime television to play an onscreen lady of the night. "I enjoy acting,and I really like sex ... so this was the perfect opportunity to combine two of my passions," McCarty said. McCarty now works for the company Vivid Entertainment and has just completed work on a 2009 pornographic film titled "Faithless".

Miss USA 1992 Shannon Marketic, Miss USA 1992

Shannon Marketic, Miss USA 1992, sued royals in the oil-rich nation of Brunei in 1997, saying she had been lured there the year before in a scheme to force her into prostitution. For jurisdictional reasons, the case never got to court, and there were different opinions about how much of her story was true. But the suit brought public attention to the fact that Brunei was an international magnet for models and beauty queens looking to make a lot of money fast.

Miss America 1995 Heather Whitestone, Miss America 1995

In 2002, she triggered a controversy among the deaf community when she decided to have a cochlear implant operation in order to hear to an extent in her right ear. She justified it by saying she wanted to be able to hear her son's cries for help. She said on her website that "While I have a cochlear implant in my right ear, I want you to know that I continue to depend on the hearing aid that I wear on my left ear."

Miss USA 1995 Shanna Moakler, Miss USA 1995

Shanna Lynn Moakler was the winner of the Miss New York USA pageant in 1995 and was first runner-up at the Miss USA 1995 Pageant won by Miss Texas Chelsi Smith. When Chelsi won Miss Universe 1995, Shanna assumed the title. In December 2001, Shanna Moakler became the first former Miss USA to become Playboy's Playmate of the Month.



Acknowledgments:
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
People Magazine
Los Angeles Times
The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture

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