Former Miss California USA and Carrie Prejean is suing pageant officials, alleging she was stripped of her crown because she spoke out against gay marriage.
The 22-year-old Prejean filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Monday accusing the pageant’s co-executive directors, Keith Lewis and former Miss USA Shanna Moakler, as well as pageant publicist Roger Neal, of libel, slander and religious discrimination.
The suit does not say how much Prejean, who is from La Jolla, is seeking in damages.
Prejean was fired in June for allegedly missing scheduled appearances and for showing up at ones that were not approved by pageant officials.
But the lawsuit maintains Prejean was removed because of controversial remarks she made in April during the Miss USA pageant after being questioned by celebrity blogger Perez Hilton about gay marriage.
Prejean responded that she believed marriage should only be between men and women.
“No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised,’' said Prejean, a Christian.
Since then, Prejean has gone of a whirlwind of televised appearances, defending her answer.
Representatives for Lewis and Moakler said they had no immediate comment on the lawsuit.
The suit is the second in 16 months to be filed against Lewis by a former Miss California. In April 2008, Christina Silva sued him after she was stripped of her title due to a vote-tabulation error by pageant officials.
Silva, a Latina, maintained she was the victim of racial bias. She dropped her suit in February.