NEW YORK (AP) — A contestant who claimed the Miss USA contest was fixed has been ordered to pay the pageant $5 million for defamation.
In a decision signed last week, an arbitrator found that Sheena Monnin’s comments were false, harmful and malicious. Monnin was Miss Pennsylvania USA.
The arbitrator says there’s no reasonable possibility the judging was rigged.
Monnin did not participate in the arbitration. Her lawyer’s office said the attorney had no comment.
The arbitrator says Monnin was disgruntled about not making it past the preliminary rounds. He also says she objected to the pageant’s decision to allow transgender contestants.
Monnin resigned as Miss Pennsylvania USA after the pageant.
The arbitrator says her allegations on Facebook and NBC’s “Today” show cost the pageant $5 million from a potential 2013 sponsor.
(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)