Entertainment behind the scenes
Verdict looms on Miss California’s title
For Miss California, first there was the gay marriage controversy. Then it was the breast implant flap. Now it’s the “semi-nude” photo imbroglio. And that last one could be the one that causes the Miss California pageant organizers to strip Carrie Prejean of her sash.
Keith Lewis, co-director of the Miss California USA pageant, said in a statement on Wednesday that he was “absolutely stunned” to learn there were four photos circulating on the Internet of Prejean in her underwear with no top. Apparently, he believed there was only one photo out there. All the photos were taken long before Prejean became Miss California, and they are apparently taken in the style of a Victoria Secret advertising spread.
“This completely changes things for us,” Lewis said. “Yesterday, we thought she had explained things accurately. We need to revisit this issue with her.”
On Wednesday, business magnate Donald Trump, the owner of the Miss USA pageant, told Los Angeles radio station KISSFM that he planned to review the racy pictures of Prejean and that a decision could come on Wednesday or Thursday on whether to take away her sash.
A spokeswoman for Prejean was not immediately available.
The emergence of racy photos has created problems for other beauty pageant winners, including former Miss America Vanessa Williams, who in 1984 relinquinshed the crown because organizers of the pageant were upset over erotic photos of her circulating at the time. Of course, that’s all a distant memory for Williams, whose career as a singer, model and actress has thrived, and who these days enjoys a starring role on ABC comedy “Ugly Betty”
Prejean, a Christian college student, has many fans, especially among supporters of traditional marriage who have praised her for rejecting gay marriage during the question-and-answer segment of the Miss USA pageant last month. The Miss California pageant organizers have made no secret of their disappointment in those remarks. And all the while, the controversy has pitted conservative Christians against gay rights advocates.
Could being stripped of the Miss California sash only help Prejean’s profile? The verdict awaits.