Miami Beach

Dethroned Miss Florida USA to file $5 million lawsuit

lriely@miamiherald.com

For the first time since her Miss Florida USA 2017 crown was taken away, Genesis Davila will speak Monday about allegations that she broke pageant rules.

She’ll also speak about the $5 million lawsuit she and her attorney, Richard Wolfe, are filing against the owners of the Miss Florida USA pageant at a 3 p.m. press conference at her lawyer’s office Monday. The lawsuit seeks damages for defamation, and Wolfe said he also plans to file an emergency injunction.

Davila, 24, represented Miami Beach when she was crowned July 16 at the Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale. For six days, she held the official Miss Florida USA crown and banner, an endorsements and appearances package worth at least $100,000 and looked toward the three-week trip to Miss USA 2017.

But then on July 22, TelAir boss Grant Gravitt handed the crown to first runner-up Miss Sunny Isles Beach USA, Linette de Los Santos, 24, after he said Davila cheated. He said he received “30 to 40 complaints” from other contestants, including two Instagram photos that appear to indicate Davila received make-up help.

 

Working his magic @ildegoncalves 0️⃣7️⃣ DAYS✅ #missflorida2017

A photo posted by Genesis Davila® (@genesismdavila) on

Davila, who was Miss World Puerto Rico in 2014, and her lawyers began preparing the lawsuit after organizers refused to reinstate her. The lawsuit also alleges that the pageant directors accused Davila of not being an American citizen.

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