Miss USA Loser Must Pay $5M for Defaming Pageant

Sheena Monnin claimed Miss USA was rigged
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2012 8:39 AM CST
Updated Dec 19, 2012 10:37 AM CST
In this Wednesday, May 30, 2012 file photo provided by the Miss Universe Organization, Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin competes during the 2012 Miss USA Presentation Show in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/Miss Universe Organization, Darren Decker, File)

(Newser) – The former Miss Pennsylvania will pay a steep price for claiming the Miss USA pageant was rigged: An arbitrator has ordered Sheena Monnin to pay the Donald Trump-owned pageant organization $5 million for defaming it. The arbitrator found that Monnin was "disgruntled" after failing to make it out of the preliminary competition as well as angry about the pageant's decision to allow transgender contestants, and that her false allegations cost the pageant a $5 million potential 2013 sponsor.

He added that, because of the way the pageant is judged, there's no "reasonable possibility" it's rigged. Monnin resigned her state title after the contest, the AP reports. Though Monnin apparently agreed to arbitrate any disputes upon becoming a Miss USA contestant, she and her lawyer didn't participate in the arbitration process and claimed they didn't have to. (Read more Sheena Monnin stories.)

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