crimesider

Sheena Monnin, former Miss Pennsylvania USA who falsely claimed the pageant was fixed, says she's shocked by $5M ruling

Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin competes during the 2012 Miss USA Presentation Show in Las Vegas.
AP Photo/Miss Universe Organization, File, Darren Decker
(CBS/AP) PITTSBURGH - Pennsylvania beauty queen Sheena Monnin, who resigned after alleging that the 2012 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.

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The former Miss Pennsylvania USA tells the Pittsburgh Tribune- Review that the "most logical course" would be to contest the ruling, but she's considering her options.

Monnin resigned in June after alleging that the finalists of the May Miss USA Pageant in Las Vegas had been chosen in advance, the Tribune Review reports.

Arbitrator Theodore Katz says Monnin's accusations were false, harmful and malicious and cost the pageant a $5 million fee from a potential 2012 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.

According to The Tribune-Review, Katz claims Monnin accusations stemmed from frustration at failing to make it into the top 15. He said she was also upset because of the pageant's decision to allow trangender competitors.

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