Miss Florida USA Karina Brez
was thrown into the Miss USA-pageant-is-fixed controversy Friday.
Brez, a gemologist from Wellington, allegedly told other contestants she saw a list of the top five winners before they were announced June 3.
Miss Rhode Island, Olivia Culpo
, eventually won the crown.
But before that, Brez allegedly told Miss Pennsylvania, Sheena Monnin
, about a list she’d seen, showing that the pageant could be rigged.
At least, that’s what Monnin said on NBC’s Today
show Friday as she upped the ante in her increasingly bitter feud with pageant owner Donald Trump
Trump is going after Monnin for defamation because, Trump says, the contestants are elected fair and square.
While Brez could now get brought into the legal action, she just issued a statement saying Monnin is full of it.
“I want to make a statement, very firm and very clearly, that I did not at any time tell Miss Pennsylvania USA ... that I knew the final five contestants in the pageant,” Brez wrote. "Backstage during the pageant, I did see a piece of paper with names on it, and like most people in such frenetic circumstances, joked that they must be the names of the final contestants. It was a throwaway comment, in the stress of the pageant, and was never meant as a fact. The list I saw didn’t even have the eventual winner on it.”
Monnin, meanwhile, commented that Brez’s body language told her otherwise: "I have many years of psychological training. I know when someone is scared and serious. Her body language was serious. ... I know what I heard. There is no doubt in my mind that [Brez] is serious when she laid out what she saw."Rocking The Rock
Hollywood star Dwayne The Rock Johnson
has been named in a fraud lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade County against his ex-wife Dany Garcia,
a financial adviser. Garcia allegedly bilked an investor out of $1.8 million, according to Miami-Dade County court records.
The investor? It’s the mother of Carlos Costa,
who received millions from Cuba for Costa’s 1996 death in the shooting down of his Brothers To The Rescue plane by Cuban jets. Johnson, currently filming the shoot’em’up Pain & Gain
in Miami, is named not as a co-defendant but as a “co-conspirator” for having benefited monetarily from Garcia’s alleged wrongdoings. The money’s gone, said Garcia’s attorney, Richard Barbara,
because of the real estate bubble. “There was no fraud, no trying to dupe investors and no taking advantage of a celebrity,” he said.Order in the court
The defamation lawsuit brought in October by Miami’s Basketball Wives
star Evelyn Lozada
against the website Media Takeout has been quietly settled.
The site last year claimed Lozada was cheating on her football-playing fiancé Chad Ochocinco
with his friend Terrell Owens
What’s more, the site claimed Lozada was pregnant and planned to quit the show.
Apparently, none of it was true. And since the site wouldn’t retract, Lozada sued.
Neither her attorney nor Media Takeout’s mouthpiece commented, except to say that the resolution came complete with a confidentiality agreement.