On the same day that a semi-nude photo of Miss CaliforniaCarrie Prejean
surfaced online - with the promise of more to come - the Miss Universe pageant has apparently told the anti-gay marriage group she is working with to back off.
TMZ reports that the organization sent a cease and desist letter to the National Organization for Marriage because the group is using footage from the recent Miss USA pageant in an anti-gay marriage commercial.
The commercial - still playing on NOM's website - uses Prejean's pageant response to celebrity bloggerPerez Hilton
about the gay marriage debate. Prejean responded with her belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.
TMZ noted that the letter doesn't signal that Miss Universe is taking sides on the issue. It just doesn't want copyrighted material used to promote an agenda.
At the same time, the directors of the Miss California USA pageant are looking into whether Prejean violated her contract by working with NOM and by posing semi-nude when she was a teenage model.
Pageant spokesmanRoger Neal
said Tuesday that it appears Prejean has run afoul of several sections of the 12-page contract that all prospective contestants were required to sign before competing in the November state contest.
The detailed document prohibits the titular Miss California from making personal appearances, giving interviews or making commercials without permission from pageant officials.
In the last 10 days, Prejean has made televised appearances at her San Diego church and on behalf of NOM.
The contact also contains a clause asking participants to say whether they have conducted themselves “in accordance with the highest ethical and moral standards.” As an example, it asks if they have ever been photographed nude or partially nude.
“As you can see from the contract, she violated multiple items,” Neal said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
A photo of Prejean wearing only pink panties with her back turned to the camera appeared Monday on the gossip blog theDirty.com.
Prejean issued a statement early Tuesday saying she posed for the shot while as a 17-year-old model and objecting to its release as an attempt to belittle her religious faith: “I am a Christian, and I am a model. Models pose for pictures, including lingerie and swimwear photos.”
Prejean spokeswomanMelany Ethridge
said she could not comment on the contract because she was unfamiliar with its contents. Ethridge said she had not heard that pageant directors were reviewing it.