Carrie Prejean Stripped Of Miss California Title, Says Decision Came As A Surprise
First Published: June 10, 2009 3:41 PM EDT Credit: Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Carrie Prejean has been stripped of her Miss California title.
“The Miss California USA Organization, in conjunction with the Miss Universe Organization and with the blessing of its owner, Mr. Donald J. Trump, announced today the termination of Carrie Prejean as Miss California USA 2009, citing continued breach of contract issues,” the Miss California Organization said in a statement to Access Hollywood.
The group kicked the controversial beauty queen from her post due to “contract violations including Ms. Prejean’s unwillingness to make appearances on behalf of the Miss California USA organization,” the pageant’s Executive Director, Keith Lewis, said in a statement.
Last month, Trump decided that Prejean would be allowed to keep her crown despite racy photos of the 22-year-old surfacing on the Internet. But Lewis claims that in the weeks that followed, the beauty queen did not step up to the plate.
“Since that time it has become abundantly clear that Carrie is unwilling to fulfill her obligations under our contract and work together,” Lewis’ statement continued.
Billy Bush broke the news to Prejean on Wednesday afternoon when he called her for Access Hollywood and “The Billy Bush Show.”
“We’ve just found out from Keith Lewis, your executive director there, that it’s official, they have put out a statement and you have been fired,” Bush said.
“Well, that’s the first that I know about that, Billy,” Prejean said.
“Really?” he continued.
“Yeah. I was just talking to my lawyer and I just got a phone call from you and I’ve gotten some text messages saying ‘Hey, is this really true?’ and I said, ‘True about what?’ and they said, ‘That you’ve been fired.’ And I started to laugh because everyone’s been cooperating and everyone’s been getting along so well,” she said. “This is the first that I’ve heard of it. This is funny to me. I have no idea what’s going on.”
Trump was also involved in Wednesday’s dethroning, and leant his voice to her dismissal.
“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 his statement. “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 other interests.”
Miss Malibu Tami Farrell, who was the First Runner-Up, is now Miss California.
In addition to the semi-nude photo scandal, Prejean’s reign as Miss California also created headlines at the Miss USA pageant in April after she answered a question from Perez Hilton regarding her stance on gay marriage. She said she believed marriage “should be between a man and a woman.”
Shanna Moakler quit the Miss California Organization, where she had served as a co-executive director back in May after Trump let Prejean keep her crown. When asked last month by Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush if she would return to the group if Prejean quit, Moakler said she would.
“Absolutely,” she said. “In a heartbeat…. It’s not [a] ‘her or me’[situation]. It’s you… have to, at some point, make her take responsibility.”
And on Wednesday, not long after the news broke, Moakler issued a statement to Access over Prejean’s firing.
“First and foremost, my faith has been restored in the Miss Universe Organization and with Donald Trump. I believed eventually what I intimately knew would come to fruition,” Moakler said.
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