Pa. beauty queen says she's shocked by $5M ruling

3:41 PM, Dec 30, 2012   |    comments
In this photo provided by the Miss Universe Organization, Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin competes during the 2012 Miss USA Presentation Show on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 in Las Vegas.
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PITTSBURGH (AP) - 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.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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