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NEW INTERVIEW: Miss California: "It Did Cost Me My Crown"

Apr. 20 2009, Published 6:47 a.m. ET

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In a brand new radio interview, Miss California Carrie Prejean says she believes her response to a controversial question about same-sex marriage cost her the crown in Sunday's Miss USA competition in Las Vegas.

During the pageant, Prejean, 21, was asked by judge Perez Hilton if she thought gay marriage should be legalized in all 50 states.

Prejean seemed to have trouble finding her words at first, but then replied: "In my country, and in my family, I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman."

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"It did cost me my crown," Prejean told Billy Bush of Access Hollywood and The Billy Bush Show on satellite radio show Monday. "I wouldn't have had it any other way. I said what I feel. I stated an opinion that was true to myself and that's all I can do."

"It is a very touchy subject and Hilton is a homosexual and I see where he was coming from and I see the audience would've wanted me to be more politically correct," she added. "But I was raised in a way that you can never compromise your beliefs and your opinions for anything."

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She also says that her 22-year-old sister is in the Air Force and is a gay rights activist.

Prejean told Bush that her sister -- who is not gay -- was not offended by her comments Sunday night.

“She was just in my hotel room and she said, ‘Sis, I’m not offended by anything that you said. We have two different opinions and I love you because of it. I love you because you stood up for what was right, and it’s not a matter of being gay or not gay, it’s a matter of you competing for Miss USA and getting a question and answering it to the best of your ability.”

Prejean -- who finished second in the compeition --says despite all the controversy, "I feel like I won. I feel like I'm the winner. I really do."

Asked about rumors that she is dating Michael Phelps, she said, "He is a great man. Wouldn't you like to know, Billy Bush? We can talk about that a different day."

Prejean finished second in the pageant.  Miss North Carolina, Kristen Dalton, was crowned Miss USA.



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