Miss USA Co-Host Jeannie Mai Drops Out

Rob Latour/Invision/AP
Jeannie Mai

'The Real' co-host, who had previously said she couldn't abandon the pageant contestants, announced on Instagram that the ongoing controversy and involvement of Donald Trump have forced her to step down.

Miss USA co-host Jeannie Mai is the latest pageant participant to drop out of this year's event in the wake of controversial comments made by pageant co-owner and 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump.

On Monday night, Mai announced on Instagram that she was withdrawing as co-host of this year's pageant. Last week, she defended her decision to stay on after co-hosts Thomas Roberts, Cheryl Burke, Roselyn Sanchez and Cristian de la Fuente dropped out by saying she couldn't abandon the pageant contestants. But Monday she said Trump's ongoing involvement with the pageant and the continuing controversy surrounding this year's event have forced her to step down.

"At the time I made my decision to remain part of the Miss USA pageant, I was under the impression that Mr. Trump would no longer be involved in the production of the show in any capacity what so ever," Mai wrote. "In addition, given Mr. Trump's ongoing antics, including his most recent episode today with the current Miss Universe, it is clear that Mr. Trump’s actions have and will continue to distract focus away from the real stars of the show -- the women involved in the pageant."

Trump recently engaged in a social media dispute with reigning Miss Universe Paulina Vega. Mai said she would support the 2015 Miss USA winner and donate to her platform and charity.

Mai, who also co-hosts daytime talk show The Real, has co-hosted Miss Universe events for the past five years, she noted, adding "I feel terrible that the women competing this year have fallen victim to current events."

She also reiterated her objection to Trump's remarks: "I condemn the recent words of Mr. Trump, and find them immensely offensive."

Mai's exit seems to leave the Miss USA Pageant, set to air live on Reelz Channel on Sunday, without a host. Reelz and the Miss Universe Organization have not yet responded to The Hollywood Reporter's request for comment.

Read Mai's full Instagram post below.

 

To my friends & fans: Last week I announced my heart-felt decision to support the women of Miss USA by remaining on board as a co-host. My focus was strictly on the women involved, who share the same ethics of hard work, commitment and passion for their careers and causes that I do. I have co-hosted for the last five years various Miss Universe events, and I’m grateful for the many women I’ve met and friends I’ve made along the way. I feel terrible that the women competing this year have fallen victim to current events. Let me be clear, I condemn the recent words of Mr. Trump, and find them immensely offensive. At the time I made my decision to remain part of the Miss USA pageant, I was under the impression that Mr. Trump would no longer be involved in the production of the show in any capacity what so ever. In addition, given Mr. Trump's ongoing antics, including his most recent episode today with the current Miss Universe, it is clear that Mr. Trump’s actions have and will continue to distract focus away from the real stars of the show - the women involved in the pageant. Therefore, I am respectfully withdrawing from my responsibilities and commitment as co-host of Miss USA. From the beginning, I announced publicly that I was donating my compensation to a worthy charity. Although I will no longer be participating as a co-host, I still want to support the women competing in the pageant. I feel the best way to show that is to lend my support to this year's winner of Miss USA and to make the donation I promised to her platform and charity. Ladies, you worked so hard to get here. I am proud of who you are and wish you the best of luck Sunday evening.

A photo posted by @thejeanniemai on

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