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

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Associated Press

Posted on December 30, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Updated Sunday, Dec 30 at 1:01 PM

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 (http://bit.ly/UfGJ8P ) 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.

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