Former Miss California USA Carrie Prejean is suing pageant organizers claiming she was wrongfully fired for saying marriage should be only between a man and a woman, her attorney said on Monday.
Two months after her controversial statement at the Miss USA pageant in April, Prejean was fired by pageant officials who said she missed several scheduled appearances.
Prejean’s attorney Charles LiMandri said pageant officials based their decision to terminate her contract on invitations Prejean received for events she was never required to attend.
Prejean, 22, made headlines worldwide when she said she believed only men and women should be allowed to wed in reply to a question by gay celebrity blogger and pageant judge Perez Hilton. She subsequently was named first runner-up. In the weeks that followed, she claimed the answer cost her the Miss USA crown.
The lawsuit names California pageant executive director Keith Lewis and actress and former Miss USA Shanna Moakler, who served as a co-director before resigning in protest of Prejean, but does not name Donald Trump, who owns Miss California USA’s parent organization and who in May refused to fire Prejean, a decision he reversed a month later.
The suit claims Prejean has been subject to public ridicule and humiliation and lost out on modeling work because she lost her crown. She has also suffered anxiety, depression and loss of sleep since her firing, the lawsuit states. The complaint does not state specific monetary damages that Prejean is seeking.