Local beauty queen resigns title amidst rumored scandal

Melissa King of Bethany Beach — who had been crowned Miss Delaware Teen USA 2013 in November — resigned her crown this week, after a sexually-explicit video that allegedly included her surfaced on the Internet, according to Gawker.com and various online media outlets.

Cynthia Provost, state co-director of the Miss Delaware USA and Miss Delaware Teen USA organizations, confirmed Wednesday that King had resigned her post. Asked the reason for King’s resignation, she said, “We have no comment.”

Neither King nor her attorney responded to a request for comment by the Coastal Point’s press deadline on Wednesday.

In a phone interview with The News Journal on Monday, however, King said she was aware of the video, but denied appearing in it.

“Absolutely not,” she told the newspaper. “It is not.”

Of the porn site’s claim, she told them: “There are comments saying this; however, it’s not comments that are true.”

Asked if the woman in the video is just someone who closely resembles her, King told The News Journal, “Um, I’d rather not be talking right now, but yeah.”

On Sunday, King had posted on her Facebook and Twitter pages that “a year ago almost, I turned 18. I’m about to turn 19 and so much has changed for the better in my life.”

In early February, in an interview with the Coastal Point, King — a 2012 graduate of Indian River High School — had explained that she would represent Delaware in the Miss Teen USA contest in July, with a platform of “Finding the Balance,” which she explained was about maintaining overall health and well-being, including mental, emotional and physical health, while also focusing on healthful eating and exercise and fitness.

She had also planned to sponsor a competitive athletics grant for underprivileged and foster youth, she said.

Since Tuesday’s announcements and various local and national media outlets picking up the story of her resignation, King’s public Facebook account has been de-activated.

In February, King said she had plans to attend the University of Arkansas in the fall, to major in communications, and that she had an interest in fashion, as well as journalism and broadcasting.

Along with her co-state director Deborah Miller, Provost sent a press release this week stating that they welcomed Hailey Lawler, 17, from Newark, as the new Miss Delaware Teen USA 2013. Lawler is a senior at Padua Academy in Wilmington and was runner-up to King at the pageant.

On Twitter.com, Debi Wilson, executive director of the Miss Delaware Scholarship organization, posted a comment differentiating between the organizations.

“On behalf of the Miss Delaware Scholarship Organization, I would like to clarify speculation concerning a recent item of news concerning the resignation of Miss Delaware Teen USA 2013 Melissa King,” she wrote. “We are in no way affiliated with the Miss USA Organization, the Miss Delaware USA Organization or the Miss Delaware Teen USA Organization.”

She went on to say, “Our organization’s representatives are wonderful ambassadors for the state of Delaware and serve the state as remarkable role models for our community and the young women of Delaware.”

She said she hoped the message helped to “clarify and distinguish the two organizations,” and asked that none of their titleholders be contacted “through phone, social media or otherwise.”