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Beauty queen says she's shocked by $5 million ruling

PITTSBURGH – A Pennsylvania beauty queen who resigned after alleging the Miss USA pageant had been fixed said 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 told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (http://bit.ly/UfGJ8P) the “most logical course” would be to contest the ruling, but she’s considering her options.

Arbitrator Theodore Katz said 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 pointed 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 called that a catch-all that’s never been used.

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