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Former Miss California USA Files Discrimination Lawsuit Against California Pageant Officials

September 2, 2009

Former Miss California USA, Carrie Prejean filed a discrimination lawsuit against California pageant officials on Monday, accusing the state organization of religious discrimination, libel, and slander.

Named in the case were Keith Lewis, executive director of the pageant, Shanna Moakler, former Miss USA and co-executive director of the pageant, and publicist Roger Neal, as well as the Miss California Organization.

Pageant officials fired the 22-year-old Prejean in June, for breach of contract issues and for missing scheduled appearances. Prejean's attorney claims that there were no contract violations and that Prejean was fired for her anti-gay marriage remarks made during the Miss USA pageant in April. In a pageant question concerning the legalization of gay marriage, Prejean stated her support of traditional marriage--remarking that she believes marriage should be between a man and a woman. After being named first runner-up in the contest, many people felt that Prejean lost the Miss USA title because of her controversial answer.

According to CNN, Prejean filed the lawsuit in Superior Court of California, accusing Moakler, Neal and Lewis of religious discrimination, posting derogatory statements about her on the internet, publicly disclosing private facts and intentionally and negligently inflicting emotional distress.

Prejean has not stated the specific dollar amount that she is seeking, but claims to have lost wages, and experienced public ridicule and humiliation since the loss of her crown. The suit also claims that since June, she has suffered from depression, anxiety and loss of sleep.

Former Miss California USA Sues Pageant Officials, August 31, 2009

Shanna Moakler Fires Back at Carrie Prejean's Lawsuit, People.com, August 31, 2009

Carrie Prejean Files Discrimination Suit Against Miss California Organization, Fox News, August 31, 2009

Former Miss California Sues Over Firing, Associated Press, September 1, 2009

Shanna Moakler: Carrie Prejean's Lawsuit is "Without Merit!", Seattle PI.com, September 1, 2009

Emails Show Bad Blood Between Prejean, Pageant Officials Before Controversy, Fox News, September 2, 2009

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