Miss California USA 2009 Carrie Prejean Once Said Answer to Controversial Question Cost Her the Crown
In 2009, during the Miss USA pageant, Miss California USA 2009 Carrie Prejean drew nationwide attention over her answer to a question regarding same-sex marriage.
Pageant judge Perez Hilton asked Carrie Prejean, who is a model, whether she believed that each state in the United States should legalize same-sex marriage.
"I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other," Prejean responded. "We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage."
Carrie Prejean at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on April 19, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Photo: Getty Images
Prejean added that she believes marriage should be between a man and a woman. She emphasized that that was also the belief of her country and family. The model continued:
"No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised."
However, Prejean's answer to the question did not sit well with others. Hilton, who is popular for posts covering gossip items about celebrities, even considered her answer the "worst answer in pageant history."
Carrie Prejean at Trump Tower on May 12, 2009 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images
In an interview, Hilton admitted that he was floored. For the renowned blogger, Prejean's answer "alienated millions of gay and lesbian Americans, their families and their supporters."
Despite the fact that Hilton praised Prejean for her honesty, he pointed out that Miss USA should represent everybody, especially because she is not a politician.
The model's semi-unclothed photographs later hit the Internet, which violated the terms of her contract.
Carrie Prejean at the Grand Ole Opry House on April 23, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. | Photo: Getty Images
Hilton additionally believed that Prejean's answer cost her the contest because no contender in the Miss USA has ever been booed during the question-and-answer portion of the show.
But in an interview, Prejean said that she had no regrets, adding that she was content with the answer she gave when Hilton asked her about her belief in same-sex marriage.
Donald Trump and Carrie Prejean at Trump Tower on May 12, 2009 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images
Meanwhile, the co-director of the Miss California competition, Keith Lewis, said that he was offended, admitting in an interview that her statement disheartened him.
Lewis said in a statement that he was hurt Prejean believes marriage rights belong only to a man and a woman. Co-director Shanna Moakler completely upheld Lewis's judgment of Prejean's perspectives.
Perez Hilton at Sofitel Hotel on August 21, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. | Photo: Getty Images
The model's semi-unclothed photographs later hit the Internet, which violated the terms of her contract. The pageant organizers investigated Prejean, who defended the photos as legitimate modeling.
Donald Trump, who owned Miss USA from 1996 to 2015, agreed to Prejean, yet regardless of his initial support, Trump allowed to end her contract in June 2009.