In tumultuous times, you find out who your real friends are.
When Big Brother winner and former Miss Michigan 2021 Taylor Hale came forward with allegations of sexual harassment against former Miss USA vice president Max Sebrechts on Oct. 28, she knew she would face inevitable backlash.
"Of course, there are going to be naysayers and doubters," Taylor told E! News exclusively, "that's always the case with things like this."
However, when it came the encouragement of her Big Brother co-star Joseph Abdin—whose buzzy showmance with Taylor was the talk of season 24—there was never any doubt.
"Taylor stepping up and doing that herself, she'll always have my admiration for doing so," Joseph told E!. "I'm so proud of her and she always knows I have her back and I'm supporting her along the whole way."
Joseph revealed that he has Taylor to thank for his first-ever foray into pageants and how much they mean to those involved.
"She introduced me to the pageant world," he revealed. "When I went to Miss USA, it was such a beautiful and unique experience. I feel like I'm a part of it myself. I want nothing more but to protect that world and the women a part of it."
Taylor, who alleged that Sebrechts made unwanted advances toward her the morning after she competed in the 2021 Miss USA pageant, knew there were risks in coming forward, but was determined to use her voice for good.
"It's scary to have this idea that speaking up could be bringing attention to people who don't want to see pageantry succeed or want to look at this as a reason to bring pageantry down," she said. "All I'm trying to do is protect the women who compete in these organizations because that's what matters to me, not the people who are trying to harm them."
E! News reached out to Sebrechts for comment and did not hear back. He has not been affiliated with the Miss USA organization since January.
Taylor also acknowledged that her increased fame after winning season 24 of Big Brother made this the right moment to speak out.
"It was important to me to not just let rumors or ideas or whispers about me be out there at this point," she explained. "I feel like I have enough support to really throw some wind behind this. It's not just a me problem. It's something I can do to really give a platform to all the people who are impacted by it."