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Former Miss California USA and California Pageant Officials Reach Settlement

November 10, 2009

In a recent post, our Anaheim-based Employment and Labor Lawyers wrote about the Los Angeles, California discrimination lawsuit filed by Carrie Prejean, Former Miss California USA, against California pageant officials--accusing the state organization of religious discrimination, slander, and libel.

According to CNN, the legal battle between pageant officials and the former beauty queen Prejean came to a quick end last week after an alleged "sex tape" involving Prejean was revealed--bringing a settlement of the two California employment lawsuits.

Pageant officials fired the 22-year old Miss California USA in June, for breach of contract issues and for missing scheduled appearances. Prejean sued the pageant, alleging that she endured religious discrimination after being fired over for her anti-gay marriage remarks made during the Miss USA pageant in April. Along with religious discrimination charges, Prejean accused pageant officials of publicly disclosing private facts about her breast enhancements, posting derogatory statements about her on the internet, and intentionally and negligently inflicting emotional distress.

In the settlement negotiations Prejean allegedly demanded more than a million dollars, claiming to have lost wages, and experienced public ridicule and humiliation since the loss of her crown. The suit also claimed that since June, she has suffered from depression, anxiety and loss of sleep.

Pageant officials filed a countersuit against Prejean last month, citing Prejean's lack of cooperation, and for not meeting her contractual obligations. The officials demanded that she repay the $5,200 spent on her breast enhancements--funded by the pageant. The countersuit also demanded the future proceeds from her new tell-all book, to be released in bookstores this week.

According to the Today Show, during a negotiating session, a "sex tape" starring Prejean was shown by the pageant lawyers, that helped reach a quick settlement. After the tape surfaced, Prejean dropped her lawsuit and settled with the pageant officials, who allegedly paid $100,000 for her legal fees.

Pageant spokesman Keith Lewis said that this settlement signed last week means that all demands from the lawsuit are dropped, including the fight over the rights to her book, the attempt for the pageant to be receive payment for the breast enhancement surgery, and Prejean's charges against the pageant for violation of privacy--for publicly disclosing the fact that she had received breast enhancement surgery.

Prejean claims responsibility for the so called "sex tape," claiming that she was by herself, and made it when she was 17 for her teenage boyfriend who she loved and cared about at the time. She claims that it was the worst mistake of her life.

Pageant Director Keith Lewis stated to CNN that as all lawsuit demands have been dropped, the Miss California USA pageant, to be aired live on November 22, is now back to the "business of beauty."

Carrie Prejean: 'I Was Not Having Sex' in Video, Today Show, November 10, 2009

Carrie Prejean Discusses Sex Tape With Sean Hannity: Worst Mistake of My Life, The Huffington Post, November 9, 2009

Source: Carrie Prejean 'Sex Tape' Spurred Pageant Settlement, CNN, November 4, 2009

Prejean Settles Lawsuits with Miss California USA Pageant, CNN, November 3, 2009

Carrie Prejean & Miss California Pageant Settle Lawsuits, The Huffington Post, November 3, 2009

Carrie Prejean Sex Tape Triggered Settlement, The Huffington Post, November 4, 2009

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity, (EEOC)