KTLA News 11:35 PM PDT, June 10, 2009
LOS ANGELES -- Miss California Carrie Prejean has been stripped of her crown.
Donald Trump, who runs the competition, says the decision was based, not on Prejean's political views, but because she violated her contract.
"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," the California pageant's executive director, Keith Lewis, said in a statement.
He had complained at a news conference last month that Prejean was skipping Miss California USA events while speaking out against gay marriage at unsanctioned appearances.
After the complaints reached Trump, who owns Miss California USA's parent organization, the mogul decided to give her a second chance and keep her on.
On Thursday, he changed his mind.
"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 in a statement.
"Unfortunately it just doesn't look like it is going to happen."
Prejean's attorney, Charles S. Limandri, issued the following statement:
"This is all kind of a big shock. We've been working with Mr. Trump's office; she's been doing all the speaking engagements she's been asked to do. It is not true that she has not been cooperating. Something is going on; the truth is not being told. I don't understand where this is coming from, or why. For people to say that she breached her contract, that she is not doing speaking engagements is false. She did one last Sunday in Las Vegas and it went really well.
I spoke to her for about a minute earlier today, and then she got a call from Trump's office, and that was the first word. No one said to her, Carrie, you are not doing what we want you to do. "
Pageant officials said Prejean would be replaced by the Miss California pageant's first runner-up, Miss Malibu,Tami Farrell, 24.
During the Miss USA competition, Prejean answered a judge's question about gay marriage by saying wedding vows should be reserved for men and women.
"I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other," she said.
"We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And you know what? I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised."
After the response drew heavy criticism she began speaking to crowds opposed to gay marriage, violating a section of her contract that required she clear unsanctioned appearances with pageant officials.
About the same time, seminude photos of her began to surface on the Internet.
Although the photos were mild, pageant officials said she also violated her contract by not disclosing their existence to them.
When Trump initially decided to keep Prejean on, Lewis' co-executive director, former Miss USA Shanna Moakler resigned in protest.
In: News, Arts and Entertainment, Other Entertainment
Tags: Trump, Miss California, You're fired, Miss Malibu, Tami Farrell, Replacement
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States (load item map)
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