Filtered By: Lifestyle

Miss Earth organizer speaks up about alleged sexual harassment incidents

Pageant organizer and president of Carousell Productions Lorraine Schuck confirmed that they immediately banned the alleged harasser that contestants were complaining about from events after the Manila Yacht Club incident on October 14.

"Lahat naman 'yon na-address n'ong October 14 pa. I found out about it tapos siyempre kung sino man 'yong nag-sexual harass na sinasabi nila, bin-nan naman namin," Lorraine told GMA News Online in a phone interview on Thursday morning.

News of alleged sexual harassment during the recently concluded Miss Earth pageant spread on Wednesday evening after Miss Canada Jaime VandenBerg claimed she experienced almost two weeks of sexual harassment during the pageant.



I left to compete at an international pageant in the Philippines about a month ago. I was so excited because I had been to the Philippines before and loved the country and the people; however, the experience with the pageant was not what I had expected. I left Miss Earth because I did not feel safe under their care. The second day of the pageant I felt uncomfortable because a sponsor from the first night was given my phone number, without my consent, and was calling me asking for my hotel and room number. I gave my phone to a team manager so that she could resolve the issue, but it did not work. He showed up to almost all of my events telling me he could take care of my needs and asked for sexual favours in exchange to get me further in the pageant. I was disgusted. He showed up to a hotel some girls were staying at and when I ran into him he continued to ask for my room number. I was lucky I wasn’t staying at that hotel. After so many strange calls, I recognized his phone number and was able to block it. At an event at the Manila Yacht Club he took all of the delegates in my group to his yacht and had some girls take sultry photos. Again, I was disgusted. Later in the pageant we had another sponsor event at the Manila Yacht Club and he was telling girls he could take them to Boracay, as long as we didn’t tell any one. A group of us left to sit out side as we did not feel comfortable. He followed us outside and was upset we were not dancing with him. The team mangers laughed and told us to be nice. Eventually we were allowed to go and sit on the bus because we refused to go back to his yacht. Six girls and myself left because we felt unsafe at that event. I asked many times why more girls weren’t given the option to leave but, was never given an answer. That night a few of us were given the opportunity to bring our concerns to Miss Lorraine, the woman in charge of the pageant. I went through almost two weeks of sexual harassment before I anything was done about it. I was told he would not be around any more, but I had advised Lorraine of several other issues that were not resolved. Miss Peachy, another employee of the pageant, spoke with me at an event about...

A post shared by Jaime VandenBerg (@missjaimeyvonne) on


Among the incidents she narrated was the October 14 sponsored dinner at the Manila Yacht Club, which two other contestants, Miss England Abbey-Anne Gyles-Brown and Miss Guam Emma Sheedy, also pinpointed in their respective Instagram posts on Thursday morning, Manila time.

The October 14 Yacht Club Incident

According to Miss Canada, it was during the dinner at the Yacht Club when the troublesome sponsor made them uncomfortable. "He took the delegates in my group to his yacht and had some girls take sultry photos," Miss Canada wrote in her Instagram post.

Miss England meanwhile said the Yacht club dinner was "a sponsored evening meal away from team managers behind closed doors. The sponsor tried to find out which hotel and room I was staying in."

Miss Guam said that the sponsor tried to keep security away from the girls during the same dinner. 

According to Lorraine, she immediately spoke with Miss England on the phone, upon learning about the Oct 14 incident.  

"Kinausap ko si [Miss] England, na you know 'I'm gonna ban him in our events.' Sabi ko, 'don't worry and don't be scared' kasi hindi naman siya judge. Kaya daw nila hindi sinasabi kasi takot sila tapos kasi daw baka points against them sabi ko hindi at all," she said.



My personal encounter @missearth. • It’s time to speak up about my personal experience. I have been in close contact with my national director and all incidents have been noted. I have worked very hard for my title of Miss Earth England and as I have previously mentioned I took 4 years to get to the top and win my place at the Internationals. I was elated to finally represent England over in the beautiful Philippines. My trip was a rollercoaster of emotions, stress and endurance and I did not leave the pageant as I was not going to miss out on the experience. I have many beautiful memories of my time here in the Philippines and many wonderful days. I met happy Filipinos who showed me such kindness and respect. I enjoyed 50% of my trip but the other 50% was over shadowed by feeling exploited, vulnerable, unnerved & sexually harassed as I was approached by a sponsor on many occasions who asked for sexual favours in exchange for the Crown. This happened at Manila Yacht Club on a sponsored evening meal away from the team managers behind closed doors. The sponsor also tried to find out what hotel and room I was staying in. Myself and Canada approached Team Managers to express our disgust only to be laughed at. Another official attendee of the night told me not to cry as I would ruin my makeup! There was no respect or compassion shown to myself or Jaimie. I felt traumatised by this experience and had many sleepless nights. I was not sure who had my personal details including my mob number and hotel room. It was not only myself and Canada who were approached on this night but other delegates who I believe are going to come forward and tell their side of the story. I approached Lorraine Schuck who is the Vice President Of Miss Earth she informed me that the sponsor would be removed from all contact with contestants but this did not happen. As other groups experienced the same issue. Myself and @missjaimeyvonne removed ourselves from this uncomfortable environment and sat on the bus away from further exploitation. This is one of many incidents we faced during our Miss Earth Journey! The said sponsor in fact show up at a prelim event and also attended the Coronation night

A post shared by ??????????Abbey-Anne Gyles-Brown?????????? ( on


But because the coronation night was a public event, they couldn't do anything about it.

"Pagdating sa coronation night, because it's a public event hindi naman namin kontrolado, kahit pulis namin walang magawa d'on," she said.

Lorraine said, despite having no control of the attendees, she made sure that the girls had their own police escorts so no one could come near them. 

"Nanuod n'ong coronation night pero you know 'yong mga pulis pinagbabawal, sa mga babae na walang makalapit, so he watched the event." 

Get it documented

Lorraine said she also asked the girls to write a report about their experiences so should they decide to sue the sponsor, she could also support them.

"In fact, itong report na 'to, kaya ako nagpagawa ng report sa lahat sa kanila kasi kung totoo, ma-collaborate nilang lahat 'to, they can sue the guy and I will suport them," she said.

Lorraine said most of the candidates did not complain about any sexual harassment incidents except for the group who were at the Yacht Club last October 14.

"Kasi pinasulat ko lahat ng girls ng written report ng buong event, kung may harassment na nangyari and ang karamihan n'on, eh talagang wala. May konting nagsasabi na may tumatawag sa kanila pero bino-block nila, tapos 'etong group na 'to, 'eto lang naman 'yong may nangyari sa Yacht Club."

On Miss  Guam's allegations of touching

In her Instagram post, Miss Guam Emma Sheedy said the sponsor grabbed her bare backside during the National Costume Competition.  

But Lorraine said she did not know how Miss Guam could've been touched when they had police officers with them all the time.

"'Di ko alam saan nanggaling 'yong kay Guam na hinawakan siya sa puwet, at hindi niya nire-report 'yan. Nagtanong na ako sa kanilang lahat at hindi nila ni-rereport, so hindi ko alam saan biglang sumulpot, so bakit kung may humawak sa kanya, alam nilang may police officer sila sa tabi nila."

Lorraine noted that the girls had been briefed since day one to report such incidents, should they unfortunately happen.

"Alam nilang dapat lapitan nila ang team manager. Bakit hindi nila ginawa? Bakit ngayon lang nila sasabihin 'to?" she asked perplexed.

Lorraine said she couldn't help but wonder if all of this was all planned, since she already addressed the problems on the day it happened.

"Because the problem was addressed. Kunwari may nangyari pa after, bakit hindi nila nire-report sa team manager at sa pulis?"



My side of the Miss Earth International Experience: - After a year and a half of preparation for my first beauty pageant; the Miss Earth pageant, I was excited to travel back to the Philippines for the 6th time. The hospitality of the Filipinos is not found anywhere else. The Philippines is like a second home to me. I joined the pageant to make a difference and be a role model to those around me. I enjoyed a majority of the pageant, but what I did not know, is that a specific sponsor from the Manila Yacht Club would change the way I see pageantry and sponsors. The sponsor who’s name is Amado S. Cruz became a problem for many of the delegates, including myself. To focus on ONLY myself, I was pulled aside multiple times to be invited to Boracay, private islands and into his house and insisted that I and “the latino women dance for him.” Amado S. Cruz grabbed my bare backside at the National Costume Competition where I was able to push him away, but he consistently told me not to tell anyone about any of the instances. At the Manila Yacht Club, Amado S. Cruz ensured that the team managers and security personnel were separated in another room, this is where he made many girls uncomfortable. A groups of us left the room because we felt uncomfortable, but Amado S. Cruz followed us and insisted that we stayed inside to dance with him. We asked our team managers to bring us to the busses, which took over 20 minutes for them finally to do. Later on that night @missjaimeyvonne and @Miss.Earth.England spoke on the phone with Lorraine Schuck, the Vice President of Miss Earth, who assured them that Amado S. Cruz would not be at any other event. From the moment the pageant started until coronation night, Amado S. Cruz was at every event and dinner he could physically get to. Since other delegates have posted, multiple other queens from past years have come out about the same behavior. I want to help put a stop to this sponsor being apart of the Miss Earth International Pageant because he has become a problem for years. #missearth2018 #missearth #MeToo @missearth

A post shared by Emma Mae (@erma101) on


On how the sponsor obtained the beauty queens' numbers

When asked about how the sponsor got their number, Lorraine said she did not know how it happened. The only contact number organizers have of the candidates is their international contact numbers.

"Ang mga number nila, bumibili sila ng sim card. Alam mo ba, kami sa opisina, ni wala kaming isang number nila na local? Ang meron kami nila 'yung contact nila abroad, pero wala kaming number nila dito. So 'yon din ang tinatanong ko paano nakuha ang number nila n'ong mga taong to," Lorraine said.

Lorraine said the team managers contact the candidates through a group chat in Messenger.

"Eh kahit 'yong team managers tinanong ko, eh hindi ho namin alam kasi ang communication namin with them through messenger, nakagroup chat kaming lahat."

Who is 'Amado'?

It was Miss Earth Guam Emma Sheedy who named the alleged troublesome sponsor.

But Lorraine clarified that the Amado mentioned wasn't actually an official sponsor of the pageant. He only hosted food for the girls, Lorraine said, as he owned several restaurants near Manila Yacht Club and Intramuros where they took the girls for a tour.

"Hindi naman sponsorship yun nag-host sa pagkain. Hindi siya totoong sponsor," she said.

"'Yong Yacht Club, malapit lahat sa hotels nila. [Because of the] traffic, mas madaling kumain at mag-dinner ang mga babae in that area. Hindi sponsor ang Yacht Club. Individual member ng Yacht Club ang nag-sponsor so tinatawag na rin nating sponsor kasi nag-host [siya] ng food ng girls," Lorraine explained.

Miss Earth Canada, England and Guam shared their sexual harassment experiences in the Philippines during the Miss Earth pageant. Meanwhile Miss Earth Cuba countered the sexual harassment claims of her fellow candidates. — LA, GMA News