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Miss California USA Carrie Prejean loses title [Updated]

June 10, 2009 | 12:32 pm

Miss California USA Carrie Prejean, whose comments opposing gay marriage sparked controversy, has been stripped of her title, officials said today.

The action comes a month after Donald Trump, who runs the Miss USA pageant, announced she would retain the crown.

A spokesperson for K2 Productions, which operates the Miss California, confirmed to The Times that Prejean has been stripped of her crown because of "contract violations." Fox News reported that pageant officials contended that she failed to participate in pageant-related events.

The controversy began nearly a month ago, when Prejean was asked about her views on same-sex marriage during the nationally televised Miss USA pageant. Although she said she believed people were entitled to do as they liked, she said marriage should be recognized only as an institution between a man and a woman.

Trump said he had no problem with Prejean's comments. "She gave a very honest answer when asked a tough question," he said at a New York news conference with Prejean sitting next to him. "It was the same answer the president of the United States gave ... She has to be commended."

Trump also said he reviewed semi-nude photos of Prejean that have surfaced in recent days and concluded they should not disqualify her. "We are in the 21st century," said Trump, who owns the pageant. "We have determined that the pictures taken were fine."

Prejean, who has appeared on Fox News in recent weeks, could not immediately be reached for comment.

[Updated at 1:25 p.m.: K2 Productions said Tami Farrell, who was first runner-up in the Miss California USA competition, will take over the crown.

Miss USA officials said in a statement that Trump supported the firing. In another statement, officials said they took the action because of "Ms. Prejean’s unwillingness to make appearances on behalf of the Miss California USA organization."]

-- Ruben Vives

Photo: L.A. Times file