Beauty queen shocked by $6m verdict

Last updated 11:34 31/12/2012
US beauty queen Sheena Monnin.
VERDICT SHOCK: US beauty queen Sheena Monnin.

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A Pennsylvania beauty queen who resigned after alleging the Miss USA pageant had been fixed says she is stunned by an arbitrator's ruling that she must pay the pageant organisation $US5 million (NZ$6 million) for defamation.

Former Miss Pennsylvania USA Sheena Monnin has told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review the "most logical course" would be to contest the ruling, but she's considering her options.

Arbitrator Theodore Katz says Monnin's allegations that finalists had been selected in advance were false, harmful and malicious and cost the pageant a $US5 million fee from a potential 2013 sponsor.

Monnin points to a Miss USA contract clause giving top pageant officials the power to pick the top five finalists and the winner, but a company official calls that a catch-all that's never been used.

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- AP

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