Axed Miss Calif. Sues Pageant

Carrie Prejean accuses pageant officials of religious discrimination
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2009 1:23 AM CDT
Carrie Prejean answers a question from judge Perez Hilton, unseen, about legalizing same-sex marriage during the Miss USA Pageant in April this year.   (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)
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(Newser) – Dethroned beauty queen Carrie Prejean has filed a lawsuit against the officials who stripped her of the Miss California title, CNN reports. Prejean—who sparked an uproar when she declared her opposition to same-sex marriage at the Miss USA pageant earlier this year—alleges that she suffered from libel and religious discrimination from pageant directors and event publicist Roger Neal, whom she accuses of conspiring against her.

Prejean charges that she was made "the subject of public ridicule, scorn and humiliation," and is seeking damages and attorney fees. Pageant officials denounced the suit as a PR stunt and said they're looking forward to the chance to defend themselves in court. "I'm a lifelong Christian," pageant co-director Keith Lewis told E! Online. "I take great offense at her martyrdom." The directors say Prejean was dumped because of repeated contract violations,including skipped public appearances.