“I know He has big plans for me,” she said in a statement Thursday. “I am proud to be the strong woman God has molded me to be. I will always stand for the truth, respectfully, and never back down.”
MIss California USA officials said Prejean was fired for a continued breach of contract. During a press conference last month, pageant executive director Keith Lewis and other officials said Prejean had been unavailable to attend Miss California USA events but was participating in unsanctioned events supporting traditional marriage.
“This was a business decision, based solely on contract violations,” Lewis said in a statement Wednesday. “After our press conference in New York we had hoped we would be able to forge a better working relationship. However, since that time it has become abundantly clear that Carrie has no desire to fulfill her obligations under our contract and work together.”
Initially Trump allowed Prejean to keep her crown, but on Wednesday he changed his position.
“I told Carrie she needed to get back to work and honor her contract with the Miss California USA Organization and I gave her the opportunity to do so,” he said in a statement. “Unfortunately it just doesn’t look like it is going to happen.”
Prejean disputed claims that she refused to make appearances on behalf of Miss California USA.
“I worked in good faith to meet my responsibilities as Miss California USA,” Prejean said Thursday. “I have met every scheduled appearance and responsibility as recently as May 31. I have followed the proper protocol requested of me and haven’t made any appearances or speaking engagements without the consent or approval from the Miss California USA or Miss Universe organizations.”
Prejean, a 22-year-old San Diego Christian College student, had been under fire since the Miss USA Pageant on April 19 when judge Perez Hilton asked Prejean whether gay marriage should be legal.
She said she believed marriage should be between a man and a woman. “No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised,” she said.
Some observers believe the response may have cost her the Miss USA crown.
In an interview with the gossip magazine TMZ, Prejean said “a political debate” was behind the firing. “They don’t agree with the stance that I took [on Proposition 8],” she said.
“They don’t like me,” she added. “From day one they wanted me out and they got what they wanted.”
Pageant officials said runner-up Tami Farrell, 24, will immediately replace Prejean and assume her responsibilities as Miss California.
Since the Miss USA pageant, Christians have rallied behind Prejean. She appeared in an ad for the National Organization for Marriage and introduced Mercy Me during the Dove Awards on April 23.
Prejean’s Christian support continued even after seminude photos surfaced on the Internet. Last month, when they were first threatening to remove Prejean, pageant officials said the photos also represented a breach of contract because Prejean never acknowledged their existence.
Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, who interviewed Prejean on his radio broadcast last month, applauded Prejean in May for putting “her belief in traditional marriage and her moral principles above her long-standing desire to win the Miss USA title.”
At the time he said Prejean was “paying a high price for her faith” and had “steadfastly defended marriage between a man and a woman, in the face of crushing criticism.”
National Organization for Marriage President Maggie Gallagher also defended Prejean.
“Of course Carrie is not perfect,” Gallagher said after the seminude photos surfaced. “On a personal note, as a former unwed mother, I want to say to Americans: you don’t have to be a perfect person to have the right to stand up for marriage.”