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Miss Washington Elyse Umemoto's Pageant Scandal


Miss America second runner up Elyse Umemoto, 23, is known for her raucous sense of humor and clowning around, according to the Washington state pageant association, which she represented in the national contest earlier this year. But new photos, some with lesbian overtones, have surfaced that show another side of her personality -- raucous party girl. The pageant group says it's embarrassed, but it's standing by its girl. Good for them!

Umemoto, 23, a Native American and member of the Yakama Tribe, is the first Miss Washington of Native American decent. at the 2008 Miss America pageant in January in Las Vegas she was named second runner up, and she credited her upbringing on the Yakama Reservation.

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"I have so much history and there is such a legacy from my native heritage...and I attribute so much of who I am, and the fact that I think social causes are so important to my family and my upbringing on the reservation,” she said in a local newspaper interview.

Part of the heritage includes a fun, outgoing personality and definite party streak according to the unearth candid photos of Umemoto that TMZ.com posted on its Web site today. They show her cavorting with friends, downing shots of liquor, rolling around in a bed with a bottle of beer and posing in her bra.

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Other photos show her making hand signs that represents oral sex between two women. It’s unknown whether Umemoto is a lesbian. The Miss America title carries with it a strict morals clause, and other pageant winners have been stripped of their titles for suggestive photos. But they usually involved nude shots. No photos have surfaced, so far, showing Umemoto topless or nude.

Umemoto who attends Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma says she wants to go to law school after she graduates. She is an advocate of women’s empowerment.

After the photos appeared, The Miss Washington Scholarship Organization, issued a statement praising Umemoto, but also their embarrassment as well as their support. The group, quoting Shakespeare, said the incident was basically “much ado about nothing.”

But cautioned Umemoto and others to be careful about losing control of private moments lest they become public.

“I can understand the interest of the media in pursuing these photographs to see if there is a story of substance associated with them,” wrote Michael R. "Mike" Miller, the group’s Executive Field Director. “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,” he added.

“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, he wrote. To read a copy of the full statement go here.

Source - theimproper


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