Former Miss California Sues for Religious Discrimination


     (CN) — Former Miss California USA Carrie Prejean sued pageant officials for libel and religious discrimination, claiming she was told to not mention God long before she made her controversial remarks against gay marriage on national TV last April.




     The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, claims California pageant Executive Director Keith Lewis and former Miss USA Shanna Moakler told Prejean not to mention God on her application or in speeches at least two months before the Miss USA contest, in which Prejean was the first runner-up.
     Lewis and Moakler asked Prejean to stop mentioning God “despite their knowledge of her deeply held religious beliefs as a Christian and her status as a student at a Christian college,” the lawsuit states.
     Prejean made headlines when she spoke out against gay marriage in a response to a question by blogger Perez Hilton, an openly gay judge on the show. Many say Prejean lost because of her anti-gay response, the complaint states.
     Prejean was stripped of her crown in June for allegedly failing to make required appearances and for making unapproved appearances.
     Prejean says Lewis, Moakler and Miss California USA publicist Roger Neal used social networking Web sites like Facebook and Twitter to post disparaging remarks about her.
     Prejean also says defendants tried to have her dismissed by asking her to do a Playboy photo shoot for $120,000. When Prejean refused, she says they released to the media a fake list of some 50 appearances Prejean had allegedly missed to get her fired.
     Prejean also says Lewis and Moakler improperly revealed that Miss California USA paid for Prejean’s breast implants. She also claims Lewis and Moakler encouraged her to have the surgery.
     Prejean says she has lost out on modeling work and has been subject to public ridicule after she lost the California crown. She also says she has suffered from nervousness, anxiety, humiliation and sleeplessness.
     She is represented by Charles LiMandri.

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