Big Brother’s Taylor Hale Accuses Former Miss USA Vice President of Sexual Harassment

Taylor Hale, winner of Big Brother season 24, has accused former Miss USA executive Max Sebrechts of making unwanted advances, marking the second recent scandal involving the organization.

By Ashley Joy Parker Oct 30, 2022 11:18 PMTags
Watch: Miss USA 2022 Winner Addresses "RIGGED" Pageant Claims

The Miss USA Organization has been hit with another scandal—this time involving a sexual harassment allegation.

Beauty queen turned Big Brother season 24 champion Taylor Hale, has alleged that Miss USA Organization's former vice president Max Sebrechts made unwanted advances toward her the morning after she competed in the 2021 Miss USA pageant.

"He DMs me on Instagram and says, you did a good job, so proud of you," Hale recalled of the November 2021 on the Oct. 28 episode of the Reality Steve podcast. "He invites me to the presidential suite. I decline."

The former Miss Michigan USA said the two later ran into each other in a hotel lobby while she was carrying a "big and heavy" stage costume. Hale said Sebrechts, 42, offered to help carry the garment to her room, which she accepted, knowing there were boundaries set by the organization.

"There was a protocol in place where if you were being escorted to your room, the person who was escorting you would stop at the elevator bank and watch you go down the hallway to your room," she explained. "He did not stop at the elevator bank, he continued to go into the room."

She continued," He placed the costume in the room in the entry corridor and then he walked all the way in and proceeded to sit down, have a conversation with me."

Meet the 51 Miss USA 2022 Contestants

While Hale, 27, said she didn't find Sebrechts' actions at this point to be particularly "threatening," she said she was "definitely uncomfortable, like he should not have been lingering."

"And then when he stood up he gave me some very sexually intimate types of hugs, like they were very intimate, pretty sexual," she alleged. "He's whispering in my ear telling me you know, I'm so beautiful, so gorgeous. He kisses the corner of my mouth trying to play it off like it's my cheek and I just, I'm just frozen. I'm not doing anything but he's clearly waiting for me to make the next move. He does this twice and then finally I get him to leave the room."

E! News has reached out to Sebrechts' rep but have not received a comment.


Hale, the first Black woman to win a non-celebrity edition of Big Brother, initially went public with her allegations earlier this month in comments made to the Daily Mail.

Her accusations come hot-on-heels of another controversy involving the Miss USA Organization. After Miss Texas USA R'Bonney Gabriel took home the crown on Oct. 3, several contestants took to social media claiming the 2022 competition was "rigged." Gabriel later denied the allegations exclusively to Erin Lim Rhodes on the Oct. 6 episode of E! News' The Rundown.

Following the rigging accusations, Crystle Stewart, the president of the Miss USA Organization and Miss USA 2008, was suspended pending an independent investigation. She has also denied the claims.

"The current allegations that the 2022 Miss USA pageant was in favor of one contestant over another are misleading and simply not factual," she said in a recent statement obtained by E! News. "I am fully cooperating with the open investigation being conducted by a third party at the request of the Miss Universe Organization. I am eager for all of the claims to be disproven and the facts will speak for themselves; ultimately, putting all contestant's minds at ease once and for all that this was indeed a fair pageant."

Sonja Flemming/CBS

(Sebrechts and Stewart and have been married since 2014 but are currently separated, a source close to the pageant tells E! News. The insider also said Sebrechts was not affiliated with the Miss USA Organization at the time of the 2022 pageant.)

While Hale is aware of the current rigging allegations, she said her only concern is Sebrechts and his alleged behavior.

"What's more important to me is that he is dealt with, she said on the Reality Steve podcast. "What's more important to me is that those allegations are taken seriously." 

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