Miss California stripped of crown
Miss California USA Carrie Prejean, a San Diego native who finished second in the Miss USA pageant after voicing opposition to same-sex marriage and then came under fire with the release of risque photos on the Internet, was stripped of her crown Wednesday.
Keith Lewis, executive director of the Miss California USA pageant, said the decision to strip Prejean of the crown was not based on her political views or the uproar over the online photos, but based on her refusal to work with pageant officials.
“This was a decision based solely on contract violations, including Ms. Prejean’s unwillingness to make appearances on behalf of the Miss California USA organization,’' Lewis said in a statement.
Tami Farrell, the runner-up in the Miss California USA pageant, will immediately take over as Miss California, pageant officials said.
Donald Trump, owner of the Miss Universe Organization, announced last month in New York that Prejean would be allowed to keep her crown. But in a statement today, Trump said Prejean didn’t live up to her obligations.
“I told Carrie she needed to get back to work and honor her contract with the Miss California USA Organization and I gave her the opportunity to do so,’' Trump said. “Unfortunately, it just doesn’t look like it is going to happen and I offered Keith my full support in making this decision. Carrie is a beautiful young woman and I wish her well as she pursues her other interests.’'
Lewis said he had hoped that relations between the organization and Prejean would improve after Trump’s announcement.
“However, since that time it has become abundantly clear that Carrie is unwilling to fulfill her obligations under our contract and work together,’' he said.
Prejean could not be reached for immediate comment.
Prejean’s troubles began when, answering a question from celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, a judge at the Miss USA pageant, she said she was personally opposed to same-sex marriage. Hilton immediately blasted Prejean’s answer, and she became the target of same-sex marriage supporters.
Shortly after that, partially nude photos of Prejean were posted on the Internet, raising further questions about whether she had violated the terms of her contract with the Miss California USA Organization.
Trump said last month he was not bothered by the photos, saying were “fine,’' and noting that some were even “beautiful.’'
Prejean graduated from Vista High and now attends San Diego Christian College in El Cajon.