Deposed Miss California Carrie Prejean said she was "shocked" when she read the news Wednesday that pageant officials had fired her. In an interview with TMZ, Prejean said that contrary to claims by pageant officials, she has been very cooperative with them.
"What's behind this, I think, is a political debate," she told the site. "They don't agree with the stance that I took [on Proposition 8]. [Former pageant director] Shanna [Moakler] is trying to bash me. They don't like me. From day one, they wanted me out, and they got what they wanted."
Prejean came under fire at the Miss USA pageant in April, when she expressed her opposition to gay marriage in a response to a question from judge and openly gay celebrity blogger Perez Hilton. She almost lost her crown a short time later after a series of topless photos of her leaked to the Internet — not disclosing the existence of such photos is a violation of pageant rules — but pageant boss Donald Trump stepped in last month and said the beauty queen could keep her job.
But on Wednesday, Prejean, who recently appeared on Fox News as a correspondent, was fired due to breach of contract, according to a statement from the Miss California USA organization.
"This was a decision based solely on contract violations including Ms. Prejean's unwillingness to make appearances on behalf of the Miss California USA organization," read the statement from Keith Lewis, executive director of K2 Productions, which produces the pageant. "After our press conference in New York, we had hoped we would be able to forge a better working relationship. However, since that time it has become abundantly clear that Carrie has no desire to fulfill her obligations under our contract and work together."
Following the sacking, Prejean reportedly told TMZ that Lewis asked her last month if she would appear on "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!" and in Playboy magazine. Lewis told her the Playboy gig would pay $140,000 and feature semi-nude pictures, she told the site, and she rejected both offers. Lewis told TMZ that he was not pressuring her to take either job, but was just passing along the offers. At press time, MTV News could not reach spokespeople for Prejean or K2 Productions for comment.
In announcing the firing, Trump said in a statement that, "I told Carrie she needed to get back to work and honor her contract with the Miss California Organization, and I gave her the opportunity to do so. Unfortunately, it just doesn't look like it is going to happen, and I offered Keith my full support in making this decision."
According to TMZ, Trump said on Wednesday that Prejean had treated people in the pageant like "sh--." Prejean responded that if the famously irascible real-estate mogul really does feel that way, she's sorry. "I've shown respect for every party involved, even when they haven't shown it back," she said. "I was very respectful of people, even when they slandered me and humiliated me. I have not once stooped down to their level."
Fox News reported that a source said Prejean plans to write a book and pursue other opportunities.