Problems With Carrie Prejean Began Before Pageant Says Official

Jun. 12 2009, Published 7:54 a.m. ET

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Since she was fired from her post as Miss California, Carrie Prejean has been on the defensive, pegging much of her current woes on the controversial answer on gay marriage she gave during the Miss USA competition. But Keith Lewis, director of the Miss California organization, says their headaches with the beauty queen began long before she took the national stage.

On Friday, Prejean's parents went on a morning telecast for San Diego TV station KUSI asking for Lewis to resign and alleged he was not fit for the responsibilities of the position. Though they pointed to Lewis' handling of Miss California 2007 Megan Tandy as support for their argument, Tandy released a statement expressing shock over their comments and voicing her ongoing support for Lewis.

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In the below memo, Lewis reveals what was in Prejean’s original contract and gives a details account of which guidelines she broke.

From Keith Lewis:

Our problems with Carrie Prejean began before the controversial question at MISS USA. In early March, Carrie was advised in writing to re-read her contract because of conflicts that were ongoing for some time.  Although our focus before MISS USA was on preparation, our focus after MISS USA is on brand building.  Like anyone else who has a job, once you finish one assignment you go on to the next one.  Unfortunately, Carrie had her own agenda.  After signing on to appear at a press conference and to record a fundraising telemarketing message for the National Organization for Marriage, Carrie found a new voice that was not in keeping with ours.  Although we attempted to put all the differences behind us at the press conference hosted by Mr. Trump when he instructed Carrie to bring herself back into contract compliance, that unfortunately did not happen.

Carrie’s contract in part states the following:

a)   During the term of my reign as the State Pageant titleholder:

1)   To cooperate fully with you and your affiliates, employees, agents, representatives, designees, sponsors, official charity affiliations and the like in carrying out their instructions in connection with the actions I will be performing under this agreement and in connection with my preparation for competition in the 2009 Miss USA Pageant.  Without limiting the foregoing, I agree to follow and obey all rules, instructions, directions and requirements implemented by you in connection with my reign as the State Pageant titleholder, as they may be changed, modified or amended by you at any time.

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2)    To keep punctuality all appointments and appearances that require my presence.

3)   You will have the exclusive right and control over all personal appearances which I may make or any services which I may render in the entertainment, literary and related fields.  Without limiting the foregoing, I will not, without first obtaining your written consent, make any personal, television (both on scripted or unscripted television programming), motion picture, Internet/on-line or radio appearances or otherwise participate in, prepare or assist in the preparation of any written, audio or visual work that depicts, concerns, or relates in any way to me, including, without limitation, any motion picture, television program, commercials, music recordings, merchandising, screenplay, teleplay, print article, book, or Internet or web content.  For the avoidance of doubt, I acknowledge and agree that the foregoing restrictions shall apply to all such appearances, services and works, regardless whether or not related to my reign as Miss California USA 2009 or the Miss California USA Pageant.

Although we could list multitudes of documented violations, for the purpose of taste and time we will attach a few as they relate to her allegations.

Her statement “I made every appearance” – We offered 53 appearances in writing, she was available for 1 and was either unwilling or unavailable for all the others.

That does not include the offer of Playboy or the reality show, I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here

Miss USA
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Her statement, “They wanted me to do Playboy” not recommended but offered to her based upon her written request

Quoted from Carrie Prejean’s e-mail to us “I expect you to be forwarding me ALL email requests and interview requests to me. I know how you are and its (sic) not right if you are selecting things for me.” Her statement “I did not make a book deal”

Quoted from an e-mail from Charles Limandri to Paula Shugart at Miss Universe, “As we discussed, Carrie has already started moving forward with the book deal.  In fact, I now understand that she has already signed a contract with the publisher, that there are drafts of the content prepared, and that they expect to soon choose a writer to put it all together.  Therefore, obviously as far as she is concerned, this project must go forward at this point.”

Her statement “I have cooperated fully” Quoted from e-mails written to Keith Lewis from Carrie Prejean when he attempted to get details for her master calendar, “You do not cooperate with me, and you pick and chose the the things YOU want me to do. That is not happening anymore. Stop speaking for me. I have MY own voice. What are u gonna do fire me for volunteering for the special olympics hahaha ur crazy  No I am doing this appearance. You do not need details. Its for the SPECIAL OLYMPICS!!! You just need to know I will be doing it alright. You will not facilitate this appearance.” She was never told she could not go only to allow us to get the details Her statement, “I did not make appearances without their consent”  There is currently a video that she taped for Shape magazine that was shot after MISS USA without our permission or involvement and is available online.

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Her statement, “This is personal”. We agree but not on our part. We believe it is personal on the part of Carrie Prejean and her lawyer who is General Council for NOM, the National Organization for Marriage, and their desire to continue to focus on their agenda around this issue.  

The Miss California organization has a tradition of supporting strong-minded young women of all stripes.  There is room in the Miss California family for titleholders of all points of view and we respect Carrie for having the courage and faith to stand by her convictions.  We simply wish Carrie had been equally faithful to her contractual obligations, which she has not. 

(Photo: AP Images)



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