IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Miss Washington 'deeply hurt' by racy photos

Miss Washington Elyse Umemoto apologizes for stolen photos posted on Shown flipping off the camera, playing beer pong, and posing in her bra, Umemoto said she is "deeply hurt by such an act of betrayal."
/ Source: KING5

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Miss Washington Elyse Umemoto said photos of her in some embarrassing poses were stolen and police have been called in to investigate. published the photos, titled "Miss Washington — One Bad Apple!" which showed Umemoto flipping off the camera while wearing a crown, playing beer pong, posing in her bra and making suggestive hand signs.

Umemoto said the photos were taken before she became Miss Washington, with her camera in private settings with people she trusted.

"Clearly someone has violated that trust, and I am deeply hurt by such an act of betrayal," she said.

She said the photos were taken when she wasn't expecting to be on duty.

"The photographs do not represent my true essence in any way and they depict me clowning around," she said.

Umemoto apologized for acting in a way that allowed the incident to occur.

"This is me genuinely apologizing. This is me genuinely admitting that I'm only human," she said.

Michael Miller, the executive field director for the Miss Washington contest, said the organization was embarrassed, but the photos won't cause Umemoto to lose her crown.

He called her an "outstanding young woman" who has been a "brilliant representative for the Miss Washington Scholarship Organization."

Miller said the photos were taken between 18 months and two years ago, when Umemoto was Miss Seattle.

"It would not be appropriate to discipline her for acts that predated her selection as Miss Washington," Miller said.

"We are convinced that Elyse has learned a brutal but effective lesson and that additional sanction we might impose would be overreacting," he said.

Miller said that lesson is that when you become a role model and a public figure, you're on all the time.

"And if you take the risk of allowing yourself to be at ease, and act in a way that you would never act in a public forum, in this day and age, with technology, it is always a chance it could show up somewhere," he said.

Umemoto was second runner-up in this year's Miss America pageant. A new Miss Washington will be crowned at this weekend's pageant in Tacoma.