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Fil-Am beauty queen Savannah Gankiewicz reveals experiencing bullying after Miss USA crowning

By AYIE LICSI Published May 27, 2024 3:55 pm

Savannah Gankiewicz bared that she has been the subject of backlash after she was crowned Miss USA 2023 following previous titleholder Noelia Voigt's resignation.

In a video shared to X (formerly Twitter) by user @PageantsNEWS, the Filipino-American beauty queen was seen getting emotional as she talked about her experience since getting the title.

"I've dealt with a lot of bullying and harassment, and it really does, it breaks my heart," she said. "Sorry, I didn't want to cry, but I just feel like it's hard because I wish people saw where my heart is coming from."

"And it's helping Lahaina and helping Maui residents and having a platform, but also showing young women that you can get bullied and you can hurt but you stand back up and you keep going and you keep using your voice."

The former Mutya ng Pilipinas queen was crowned Miss USA 2023 earlier in May after Noelia Voigt relinquished her title as she had to do what was best for her mental health.

Reports later came out saying Noelia gave up her crown because of an alleged "toxic work environment."

In a letter obtained by NBC News, Noelia detailed an alleged sexual harassment incident she experienced in Florida at a Christmas event.  When she reportedly made Miss USA CEO and president Laylah Rose aware of the situation, it was reportedly shrugged.

Her mother, together with the mom of resigned Miss Teen USA 2023 UmaSofia Srivastava, also alleged that the two former titleholders suffered ill-treatment, abuse, and bullying with the Miss USA Organization.

The Miss Teen USA 2023 crown remains vacated as first runner-up Stephanie Skinner declined the title.

In accepting the title, Savannah said it was not a decision "made lightly" and furthered that she stood with Noelia.

"I stand with Noelia and admire her strength to step down and to prioritize her mental health. Noelia, it was the honor of a lifetime to share the stage with you during your crowning moment and I wish you all the best in your next chapter," she wrote on Instagram as she was announced as the new Miss USA.