Miss California Under Investigation

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The directors of the Miss California USA pageant are looking into whether title holder Carrie Prejean violated her contract by working with a national group opposed to gay marriage and by posing semi-nude when she was a teenage model.

Pageant spokesman Roger Neal said Tuesday that it appears Prejean has run afoul of several sections of the 12-page contract that all prospective contestants were required to sign before competing in the November state contest.

The detailed document prohibits the titular Miss California from making personal appearances, giving interviews or making commercials without permission from pageant officials. In the last 10 days, Prejean has made televised appearances at her San Diego church and on behalf of the National Organization for Marriage, a group opposed to same-sex marriage.

The contact also contains a clause asking participants to say whether they have conducted themselves "in accordance with the highest ethical and moral standards." As an example, it asks if they have ever been photographed nude or partially nude.

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

A photo of Prejean wearing only pink panties with her back turned to the camera appeared Monday on the gossip blog theDirty.com. She issued a statement early Tuesday saying she posed for the shot while as a 17-year-old model and objecting to its release as an attempt to belittle her religious faith: "I am a Christian, and I am a model. Models pose for pictures, including lingerie and swimwear photos."

Prejean spokeswoman Melany Ethridge said she could not comment on the contract because she was unfamiliar with its contents. Ethridge said she had not heard the pageant directors were reviewing it.

Prejean, a San Diego native who attends San Diego Christian College, was named the first runner-up to Miss North Carolina in the Miss USA pageant April 19. Her response to a question about legalizing same-sex marriage, and subsequent statements that her answer favoring limiting marriage to a man and a woman may have cost her the title, have made her a media sensation.

The California pageant contract gives pageant officials almost unlimited control over the title holder's activities, including the right to terminate her reign for breaching its provisions.


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