Beauty Queen Accused of Defaming Victim on TV | Courthouse News Service
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Beauty Queen Accused of Defaming Victim on TV

NASHVILLE (CN) - A Tennessee man claims in court that a former Arizona beauty queen kidnapped and tortured him and then defamed him on TV, blaming him for the incident.

Joshua Conway says that Kumari Fulbright conspired with her ex-fiancé in December 2007 to kidnap Conway, who was her boyfriend at the time.

"This action arises out of a near-fatal story of sex, lies, money and violence that was literally made for Hollywood," according to a lawsuit filed by Conway. "Mr. Conway was tied up, held at gunpoint, and tortured for more than eight hours, during which time defendant Fulbright 'hit [Mr. Conway], bit him, put her nails into his neck, put a knife in his ear,' and threatened to 'cut off his balls.'"

According to the lawsuit Conway filed Wednesday in Davidson County, Tenn., he eventually "made a dramatic escape from his restraints by ripping the skin off his zip-tied hands, wrestling a gun away from defendant Fulbright that was fired in the struggle, and bursting out of her house covered in his own blood."

The kidnapping happened because of Fulbright's lie that Conway had been stealing from her, he claims. Conway says Fulbright actually asked him to pawn her jewelry because she needed money.

Fulbright and her ex-fiancé Robert Ergonis were eventually convicted and sent to prison, according to Conway's complaint. Ergonis is serving a 22-year sentence, while Fulbright spent about two years in prison.

But it didn't end there, Conway says. He claims Fulbright appeared on a TV show called "One Bad Choice" in July 2015, after she was released from prison, and defamed Conway while discussing the kidnapping incident.

"Defendant Fulbright appeared on a national television program and recounted an utterly fabricated version of her crimes that repeatedly defamed Mr. Conway, blamed him for his own kidnapping and torture, and minimized her own involvement and criminal misconduct despite her prior guilty plea and incontrovertible guilt," the complaint states. "Defendant's Fulbright's outright lies - which were both premeditated and manufactured with actual malice - falsely accuse plaintiff...of having stolen cash from her, stealing tens of thousands of dollars' worth of jewelry, and drugging her."

Conway seeks $5 million, including punitive damages, for libel, false light, infliction of emotional distress, assault, battery and false imprisonment. He is represented by Daniel Horwitz in Nashville.

Fulbright did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent Thursday morning to an email address listed on her Facebook page.

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