Taylor Hamlin was crowned the 2018 Maine Sea Goddess on Wednesday.
The next day, after she says organizers at the Maine Lobster Festival were emailed photos from her social media pages, the 18-year-old says she was forced to relinquish her position.
“I just wanted to let everyone know that the lobster festival committee has taken me down from the sea goddess position due to members of our community emailing pictures of me throughout high school,” Hamlin wrote on Facebook Thursday evening.
The Maine Lobster Festival said in a statement that photos of “inappropriate behavior” were brought to the attention of the board of directors, which decided the photos were “not in keeping with the behavior and image of the Maine Sea Goddess.”
One of the photos from more than a year ago showed Hamlin holding a joint, while another from earlier this week showed the teen holding a vaping device called a Juul, according to the Portland Press Herald.
Festival officials say the teen “decided to resign her position as Maine Sea Goddess” after a meeting with the Coronation Committee on Thursday.
“We wish all the best to Taylor Hamlin in her future endeavors,” organizers said. “This is a terrible situation for everyone involved.”
— Maine Lobster Fest (@MELobsterFest) August 2, 2018
But Hamlin, who graduated from Oceanside High School in June and will be attending the University of Maine this fall, told the Press Herald she was informed she needed to step down and sign a document saying she could no longer fulfill the Sea Goddess duties, which extend until next year’s festival.
“Everybody is a teen once and awhile,” Hamlin wrote on Facebook. “I’m sorry to whoever didn’t receive the goddess they wanted and felt the need to sabotage this amazing thing that has happened to me. You clearly don’t know me well enough or know the real Taylor Hamlin.”
She was told she could keep the prize money, a $2,000 college scholarship, according to Village Soup.
Festival organizers said this year’s crown princess will assume the duties of the 2018 Maine Sea Goddess, which include attending the Big E in Springfield, Massachusetts, and the Maine Blueberry Festival.
Hamlin wrote on Facebook that she is active throughout her community in athletics, church, and school activities.
“If you have negative opinions about their decision you should email them and tell them who I really am, what I stand for,” she said. “Because I have truly never felt more swept under the rug. I will always be this year’s sea goddess in my heart and hopefully in all of yours.”