Carrie Prejean fired as Miss California

Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:56pm EDT
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By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Beauty queen Carrie Prejean, who ignited a furor at the Miss USA pageant by taking a stand against gay marriage, has been fired as Miss California for violating her contract, officials said on Wednesday.

Prejean, who nearly lost her Miss California crown last month following the same-sex marriage flap and revelations that she had posed topless at age 17, failed to fulfill her duties, a pageant spokesman said.

"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," Keith Lewis, the pageant's executive director, said in a statement.

The pageant said owner Donald Trump, who had stood by Prejean, 22, despite the uproar over her same-sex marriage remarks and racy photos, backed 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 in the statement.

"Unfortunately it just doesn't look like it's going to happen and I offered Keith my full support in making this decision," he said. "Carrie is a beautiful young woman and I wish her well as she pursues other interests."

Pageant officials said first runner-up Tami Farrell would assume the crown and take over Prejean's duties as Miss California.

Prejean's remarks at the Miss USA pageant came after judge and Internet gossip Perez Hilton asked her if every U.S. state should legalize same-sex marriage.   Continued...

<p>Donald Trump, the owner of the Miss Universe Organization, poses with Miss California USA, Carrie Prejean, following a news conference announcing that Prejean would retain her title, in New York, May 12, 2009. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>