Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pageant Press: Shanna Moakler Resigns Over Miss California Controversy

That little "miscommunication" problem between Miss California codirector Shanna Moakler and crown-holder Carrie Prejean was clearly not as done a deal as Donald Trump would have liked us to believe.

Just one day after the Donald dismissed Moakler's urgings to strip Prejean of her Miss California title and announced that the controversial beauty queen would remain the face of the Golden State, Moakler has resigned as the organization's co-executive director.

"Since the press conference yesterday, I had a chance to think about what has taken place, and I feel that at this time it is in my best interest to resign from the Miss California USA organization," Moakler said in a statement this morning.

"I cannot with a clear conscious [sic] move forward supporting and promoting the Miss Universe Organization when I no longer believe in it, or the contracts I signed committing myself as a youth."

Those would be the same contracts, Moakler has long asserted, that Prejean violated.

"I want to be a role model for young women with high hopes of pageantry, but now feel it more important to be a role model for my children," Moakler continued. "I am sorry and hope I have not let any young supporters down, but wish them the best of luck in fulfilling their dreams."

While two days ago, in a press conference with pageant codirector Keith Lewis, Moakler all but wrote off Prejean, publicly denouncing her apparent disregard for abiding by her contract and installing runner-up Tami Farrell as the new ambassador and de facto face of the Miss California organization, Moakler formed a seemingly united front with Prejean and Trump at a second press conference in New York just yesterday.

While she remained quiet throughout the conference, aside from agreeing with Lewis that the organization was looking forward to moving past the numerous Prejean-proliferated scandals of the past weeks and refocusing the efforts of the 21-year-old, she did release a statement after the press conference pledging her dedication to the organization.

"We are thankful for Donald Trump, who was able to facilitate getting us together to communicate, which allowed us the opportunity to discuss our feelings and reach a place where we could move forward with all that has happened," Moakler said yesterday.

"We want to work together on issues important to her and to our organization."

Lewis expressed his regret over Moakler's resignation in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.

"Shanna has and will continue to be a large part of my life," he said. "Although I am sad she has come to this decision, I will always respect the convictions that brought her to this place."

While Moakler has long been an outspoken advocate for same-sex marriage, she maintained that her and Prejean's conflicting opinions were never the issue; rather, "we couldn't communicate with Carrie personally and there were too many organizations trying to exploit her title."

Sounds like there's no danger of communication—mis- or otherwise—now.

(Originally published May 13, 2009, at 12:10 p.m. PT)

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