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Beauty queen says she’s shocked by $5M ruling

Published: Monday, Dec. 31, 2012 5:30 a.m. CST

PITTSBURGH – A Pennsylvania beauty queen who resigned after alleging that the Miss USA pageant had been fixed says she is stunned by an arbitrator’s ruling that she must pay the pageant organization $5 million for defamation.

Former Miss Pennsylvania USA Sheena Monnin tells the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the “most logical course” would be to contest the ruling, but she’s considering her options.

Arbitrator Theodore Katz says Monnin’s allegations that finalists had been selected in advance were false, harmful and malicious and cost the pageant a $5 million fee from a potential 2013 sponsor.

Monnin points to a Miss USA contract clause giving top pageant officials the power to pick the top five finalists and the winner, but a company official calls that a catch-all that’s never been used.

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