California Beauty Queen Shocked by Firing (with video)
June 11, 2009
Ousted Miss California Carrie Prejean says she's "shocked" by her firing yesterday by the officials of the Miss California USA Pageant.
"They don't like me," Prejean told the entertainment website TMZ. "From day one they wanted me out and they got what they wanted."
K2 Productions, the producers of the pageant under license from Miss Universe, cited continued breach of contract issues as the reason for Prejean's dismissal.
Former Miss Caliornia Carrie Prejean
"This was a decision based solely on contract violations," said Keith Lewis, executive director of K2. "After our press conference in New York we had hoped we would be able to forge a better working relationship. However, since that time it has become abundantly clear that Carrie has no desire to fulfill her obligations under our contract and work together."
Donald Trump, owner of the pageant, said he fired the Miss USA runner-up not for her stance against same-sex marriage, but for failing to make required appearances, as well as unauthorized attendance at other events.
"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."
"The claim that she has an unauthorized book contract is false. She does not. The claim that she is refusing to appear is false. Carrie has been in constant contact with pageant officials seeking to fulfill her obligations. I have e-mails in my possession tied to the pageant organization as recently as last Friday citing future appearance requests for Carrie. She represented the Pageant in Las Vegas the weekend before last, and is scheduled to appear at a Special Olympics event this weekend in California, a cause dear to her heart. Everyone has been pleased with her appearances and excited to see her."
He also says it was a radio host, not anyone affiliated with the pageant, who informed Prejean she had been axed.
"What kind of employer alerts the media before they speak to their employee?" he stated.
Prejean told TMZ, "What's behind this I think is a political debate. They don't agree with the stance that I took [on California's anti-homosexual marriage Proposition 8].
She also says Lewis told her Playboy offered $140,000 for her to pose semi-nude. She rejected the offer.
As WND previously reported, Prejean became a lightning rod for controversy affirming on air that "marriage should be between a man and a woman." She claimed her state sponsors urged her afterwards to apologize for the statement and keep quiet about her Christian faith.
"'You need to apologize to the gay community. You need to not talk about your faith," Prejean recalled being instructed. "This has everything to do with you representing California and saving the brand.'"
Prejean, however, defended her statement by alluding to California's Proposition 8 ballot initiative, in which the state's voters added language to the California Constitution defining marriage as only between one man and one woman.
"I was representing California," Prejean declared. "I was representing the majority of people in California."
Lewis also wrote a letter condemning Prejean that echoed what she says she was told following the pageant.
"As co-executive director of Miss CA USA and one of the leaders of the Miss CA family, I am personally saddened and hurt that Miss CA USA 2009 believes marriage rights belong only to a man and a woman," he wrote. "Although I believe all religions should be able to ordain what unions they see fit, I do not believe our government should be able to discriminate against anyone. Religious beliefs have no place in politics in the Miss CA family."
Prejean nonetheless refused to apologize for the answer she gave.
"I don't take back what I said," Prejean told a church gathering, according to a San Diego Union-Tribune report. "No way I wasn't going to stand up for what I believe in."
On NBC's "Today" show, Prejean, a student at San Diego Christian College, explained what went through her mind when pageant judge Perez Hilton, an openly homosexual celebrity gossip blogger, asked her about same-sex marriage:
"I knew at that moment after I answered the question, I knew, I was not going to win because of my answer, because I had spoken from my heart, from my beliefs and for my God," she said. "I wouldn't have answered it differently. The way I answered may have been offensive. With that question specifically, it's not about being politically correct. For me it was being biblically correct."
At church, she added, "I learned that God has a bigger crown than any man can give you."
Her answer, which has made her the sudden center of both praise and scorn, included the words, "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 and that's how I think it should be – between a man and a woman."
Video of the question and Prejean's full answer can be seen here:
Hilton, whose given name is Mario Armando Lavandeira, admitted later that he gave Prejean a zero score for her answer, likely costing her the pageant crown, which she had previously been considered a frontrunner to win.
Following the contest, however, Hilton launched into a full-blown attack on Prejean – publicly calling her a b-tch and a c---, as well as defacing photos of her with sexually explicit drawings.
Hilton also echoed the pressure for Prejean to be quiet about her Christian faith.
During a appearance of his own on NBC's "Today," Hilton explained that he demands a Miss USA winner be "politically savvy," and that even though Prejean is a Christian, he doesn't want her "talking about Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, because that's offensive."
An audio clip of Hilton's comments can be heard here:
A legal analyst told Fox News Prejean may have grounds for a discrimination lawsuit.
"It's her religious beliefs which prompted her to say 'I don't believe in same-sex marriages,'" analyst Mercedes Colwin said. "So she was espousing her beliefs," and has reason to sue for violation of Title VII, which prohibits discrimination based on religion.
And while a handful of celebrities have joined Hilton in bashing the beauty queen, Prejean has also become a celebrity to many who support her beliefs – with thousands of fans encouraging her in over a dozen Facebook groups.
"I've gotten … hundreds of messages from people I don't know, saying how proud of me they are that I stood my ground," Prejean told Fox News. "That made me the real winner of the night."
Concerned individuals may contact the Miss Universe Organization.
To send a message to VH 1, the channel that airs Hilton's shows, call (212)258-6000 or send an e-mail.