UK & World News
Miss USA Contestant Told To Pay Pageant $5m
A Miss USA contestant who claimed the pageant was rigged has been ordered to pay the organisation $5m for defamation.
An arbitrator found that Sheena Monnin's comments about billionaire businessman Donald Trump's pageant were false, harmful and malicious.
The $5m (£3.1m) figure was the amount the arbitrator said the pageant lost in 2013 from a potential sponsor following Ms Monnin's allegations on Facebook and on NBC's Today show.
Ms Monnin was Miss Pennsylvania USA, but resigned that title after she failed to make it past the 2012 Miss USA contest's preliminary rounds.
In her Facebook post, she wrote: "I witnessed another contestant who said she saw the list of the top 5 before the show ever started (to) proceed.
"I knew the show must be rigged. ... and from what I witnessed is dishonest."
The arbitrator ruled there was no reasonable possibility the pageant's judging was rigged.
"Monnin claimed the pageant was rigged within minutes of being passed over as one of the sixteen semi-finalists, and before she had any purported factual basis for her allegation of rigging," arbitrator Theodore H. Katz wrote in his ruling.
He also said Ms Monnin objected to the pageant's decision to allow transgender contestants.
Ms Monnin did not participate in the arbitration. Her lawyer's office had no comment.