Miss America CEO Sam Haskell made some very inappropriate comments about several former Miss Americas via email. As a result, he is under investigation and has been suspended while the investigation is conducted.

Haskell’s justification

The CEO became defensive about his emails. "Much of what was reported is dishonest, deceptive, and despicable," he stated -- according to USA Today. He said that former employees of the Miss America Organization stole the private email content three years ago. Haskell expressed that the story about his emails is hurtful to he and his family, and the organization.

Excuses, excuses

Haskell blames his state of mind for using bad judgement by producing improper email comments about former Miss Americas Mallory Hagan and Katherine Shindle.

He stated that he was under stress due to a year of attacks by two former Miss Americas. “I don't ever want to offer an excuse, I do want to offer context." He said that his family and his character were under attack daily. Haskell claimed that his circumstances impaired his judgment when he responded to the inappropriate emails sent to him about Hagan and Shindle. “For that, I deeply apologize.” Haskell expressed that he has total respect for all of the women involved in the pageant and that it is heartbreaking to him that others think otherwise.

The Miss America Organization stated that they were privy to the inappropriate language found in private emails for several months. They downplayed Haskell’s tasteless email comments about the pageant winners, saying that when he sent some of the messages, Haskell was under distress as a result of intense attacks on his family from angered stakeholders.

Haskell’s main target

One of the pageant winners who was a topic of criticism in Haskell’s emails was 2013 Miss America Mallory Hagan. Haskell described Hagan as fat and gross. Hagan stated that she feels validated after Haskell’s distasteful emails were published.

Haskell was also bashing Hagan in emails back in August 2014. He said to Miss America telecast lead Lewis Friedman that he hears a horrible story about Mallory daily. Friedman mockingly responded by saying that Hagan is planning a new career as a blimp in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and that she will continue to descend into a pathetic existence. The two men also made comments that they were the only ones that had not slept with Mallory.

More targeted crown winners

There are other former Miss America winners that were insulted in Haskell’s inappropriate emails. Some of those targeted women have responded to his insulting comments.

Haskell and a top Miss America Organization employee allegedly joked in an email expressing a wish that Miss America 1998 Katherine Shindle were dead.

Those comments called for the immediate resignation of Haskell and the rest of the Board Of Directors. Shindle stated that she did not know how to react to the email comment.

There were also emails targeting Gretchen Carlson who is Miss America 1989 and also a one-time Miss America Organization board member. She refused to chime in on verbal attacks against other former Miss Americas who were critical of the Miss America Organization. As a result, she won a harassment suit against Fox News chief Roger Ailes. She said that she was shocked and deeply saddened by the disgusting statements made about women. Carlson stated that no woman should be spoken about in that way.

The aftermath

The Miss America Organization said that the board of directors reacted immediately to the matter. Dick Clark Productions -- the producer of the live telecast -- has severed ties with the organization due to the email scandal that has surfaced. Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian and the three targeted women gathered in the city which is the long-time home of the pageant. Guardian commented that everyone involved should resign.