Topless Photos of Miss California Could Cost Her Crown

Officials say Carrie Prejean may have violated contract by posing semi-nude.

May 6, 2009 — -- Miss California Carrie Prejean stands to lose her title by working for a group that opposes gay marriage and posing semi-nude for pictures when she was a teenager.

The directors of the Miss California USA pageant are currently looking into whether Prejean violated the 12-page contract all contestants are required to sign before the November state contest.

The document prohibits whoever holds the title of Miss California from making personal appearances, granting interviews or making commercials without permission from pageant officials and gives the pageant's directors the right to revoke her crown for breaching any of the document's provisions.

Since being chosen runner-up at the Miss USA pageant, Prejean has made televised appearances at her San Diego church and on behalf of the National Organization for Marriage, a group that is opposed to same-sex marriage.

An advertisement the group created based on Prejean's controversial answer at the Miss USA pageant about whether she supported gay marriage remains on the NOM Web site, despite a written request from the Miss Universe Organization, which owns the Miss USA pageant, to remove it.

Last week when Prejean was in Washington to announce her support for the new ad, Keith Lewis, co-director of the California contest, expressed concern to The Associated Press.

"There is a contract that all participants sign that is very involved and very intricate and limits a lot of their activities," Lewis told the news agency.

Also of concern are semi-nude photos of Prejean that surfaced on the Internet earlier this week.

A racy photo of Prejean wearing only pink panties was posted on gossip blog on Monday.

Prejean's contract contains a clause that asks participants whether they have conducted themselves "in accordance with the highest ethical and moral standards." For example, it asks if they have ever been photographed nude or partially nude.

"As you can see from the contract, she violated multiple items," Miss California pageant spokesman Roger Neal said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

Prejean's spokeswoman did not respond to questions about the possible breach of contract.

On Tuesday, Prejean said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press that the Web site which posted the photo and claims to have others is trying to belittle her religion.

She says the photos, which were taken of her as a teenager, had been released "surreptitiously to a tabloid Web site that openly mocks me for my Christian faith."

In the statement, Prejean also says the attacks on her and others who "speak in defense of traditional marriage" are intolerant and offensive.

She also defended the photos: "I am a Christian, and I am a model. Models pose for pictures, including lingerie and swimwear photos."

NOM President Maggie Gallagher also defended Prejean and said the picture did not disqualify her as a traditional marriage advocate.

"Of course Carrie is not perfect," Gallagher said in a statement Tuesday to AP. "On a personal note, as a former unwed mother, I want to say to Americans: You don't have to be a perfect person to have the right to stand up for marriage."

Also coming to Prejean's defense was Donald Trump, who owns the Miss USA pageant. Appearing on ABC's "The View" on Tuesday, he said her answer to the question of gay marriage posed during the televised pageant was not so far off base.

"That's the belief of 70 percent of the people, so it wasn't a horrible answer," he told the women on "The View." "That was her belief and she's taken hard hits. She's more famous because of it. No one is talking about the young woman who won. Nobody knows who she is."

Trump also said, contrary to popular belief, Prejean's answer did not cost her the title. "We went back and added up the scores," he said, "and she would not have won anyway. So that makes me feel better because it was a tough question."

Miss California's New Role

Last week, Prejean told NBC's "Today" show that she was going to Washington to work with the National Organization for Marriage, saying the union between a man and a woman is "something that is very dear to my heart."

While Prejean was talking about her values, others were dropping bombshells about her body.

Shanna Moakler, co-executive director of the Miss California Organization, confirmed to "Access Hollywood" Wednesday that the group paid for Prejean's breast implants weeks before she competed in the 2009 Miss USA pageant.

"It was something that we all spoke about together," Moakler said referring to herself, Carrie Prejean and Keith Lewis, who also serves as co-executive director for the organization. "It was an option and she wanted it. And we supported that decision."

The beauty queen's family is also voicing their support for her. More than a week after Carrie Prejean spoke out against "opposite marriage" at the Miss USA pageant, her "gay activist" sister came to her defense and lashed out at Perez Hilton, the judge who questioned Prejean about gay marriage during the competition and subsequently bashed her on his blog.

"Considering what she was going through, the circumstances of being put on the spot, given such a short amount of time to think and respond … she said what she felt in her heart would be the best answer," Christina Prejean told "She and I have talked about this subject; we both respect each other's views. I support civil unions that would give same sex couples equal, legal rights and privileges."

At the pageant, Prejean seemed initially tongue-tied answering to Hilton's question before saying that marriage should be between a man and a woman, drawing a mixed reaction from the audience and a look of thinly veiled disgust from Hilton.

In the days afterward, Prejean attempted to quell criticism of her marriage views by saying that her sister is a gay activist.

"My sister is a second lieutenant in the Air Force and she is a gay rights activist," Prejean told "Access Hollywood" last week, adding that Christina is not gay. "She supports gay people, she supports gay marriage. My beliefs have nothing to do with my sister or my mom, or whatever."

Christina Prejean, 22, admitted she was surprised to hear the beauty queen, 21, call her a gay activist.

"I have never even given myself that title. I was kind of surprised that she mentioned it, but I think she wanted to get the point across that our family is tolerant," Christina Prejean said, adding that she only recently got involved in gay rights activism.

"A couple weeks back, I attended a public forum in Idaho about protecting the LGBT community against discrimination," she continued. "That was the very first thing I attended, and I told her about it on the night of the pageant, after she said she felt bad that people might be offended by her response. … But that's obviously such a hot topic that either way, someone was going to be offended."

Miss California's Sister 'Appalled' by Perez Hilton

Christina Prejean said she is offended by Hilton's (real name: Mario Lavandeira) treatment of her sister after the pageant, whom he called a dumb b**** in a video posted on his blog. (Hilton later apologized on his blog, offering to take Prejean out for coffee and a "talk.")

"I was disappointed and appalled by his unprofessional behavior. He used language that's offensive not only to my sister but to all women," she said. "It showed his own hypocrisy because he speaks out about how people should be more tolerant, but at the same time he puts down people who don't share his own opinion."

Asked to respond, Hilton said simply, "I am praying for both her and her sister."

Since the fallout from the Miss USA pageant, Carrie Prejean, who finished as first runner-up, has defended her stance on gay marriage through the media and in church appearances, notably at San Diego's The Rock Church, which was active in the campaign to pass a constitutional ban on gay marriages in California last year. She was the guest of honor at morning services Sunday, where she recounted her side of the story to the congregation.

She said pageant officials counseled her to apologize, saying, "'You need to apologize to the gay community. You need to not talk about your faith. This has everything to do with you representing California and saving the brand,'" she recalled. "I was representing California. I was representing the majority of people in California."

Lewis, co-executive director of the Miss California Organization, responded with the following statement:

"Given the fact that Carrie Prejean's first act upon returning to California was to headline five services at a church that promotes homosexuality as both unnatural and abnormal, we stand by our concern for her individual image and look forward to a time in the near future when she can put down her personal agenda and assume the responsibilities associated with being Miss California USA."

Some, including "The View's" Elisabeth Hasselbeck, have suggested Carrie Prejean might make the prefect poster child for conservative values.

Prejean's sister agrees.

"She wants to be a role model," Christina Prejean said. "Before the pageant, she said she wanted to explore modeling or be a teacher for children with special needs, but she is open to political opportunities. I know she doesn't want to close the door to anything."

And with her new role with the National Organization for Marriage, it looks like Carrie Prejean won't shy away from Washington.