May 14th, 2009
01:28 PM ET

Miss California Controversy Continues

Hi, this is Brittany Kaplan from Showbiz Tonight– as you may have heard, Shanna Moakler resigned from her post as the Co-Executive Director of Miss California USA.  It didn’t come as much of a shock to me when I heard her announcement since I had spoken to her earlier in the week and she shared her growing concerns with me.

 Shanna Moakler told me that her frustrations with Carrie Prejean began the day she was crowned Miss California.  “You know, we've always had a little bit of a problem with Carrie from the beginning. You know, she's a very strong willed girl and she has her opinions and she, you know, is who she is. We always had a little bit of problems before Miss USA but it was something that we were working through…”

When I asked Moakler, who is vocal about her support of same sex marriage, what her initial thoughts were after Prejean gave her controversial answer during the pageant she told me: “I don't knock her for answering the question, she didn't do anything wrong, she answered the question, it was her belief, it was her opinion. I can't lie and say I as a person wasn't hurt. You know, a lot of our sponsors are openly gay. They're the ones who helped her get onto that Miss USA stage so that she could voice her opinion.”

Moakler told me that she tried very hard to be supportive; she even called Prejean that night after the pageant.  “You know I was very honest. I told her I was very proud of her. I said congratulations, you stayed true to yourself, you're first runner up that's a great honor, but at the same time, you know, you hurt a lot of people who are very close to you and who care about you immensely. I was very honest with her. I always am.” 

As we were wrapping up she told me this; “I wanted to give back to the system that helped me, not to destroy a young girl, not to ruin her image, or to sit back and watch another organization do it to someone that we were initially helping.”

Shanna Moakler will be joining us tonight on Showbiz Tonight– don’t miss it, 11pm Eastern and Pacific on HLN.


Filed under: Donald Trump

soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Teresa

    So the day of the Stepford Candidate is over huh!! HA HA...Go Carrie

    May 18, 2009 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Michael O'Connor

    I need re-hab for being a moron. cause I am addicted to this emotional vomit and am nutritionally starving my brain....I can't stop reading about this stuff and am worried about permanent damage to my self esteem for being an idiot.

    May 18, 2009 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rick

    I have a problem with her answer, because I don’t think it is how she really feels on the subject. She hemmed and she hawed, and she came out with some bizarre “opposite marriage” comment. I think she was testing the audience as she spoke, looking around for approval, disapproval, controversy that would make her a star. Clearly posing for semi nude photo’s is not the closest thing to GOD, so how could she stand there and all of the sudden act as if she just got back from church. Phoney is what I call her. A complete phoney.

    May 18, 2009 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jon

    This girl has every right to voice her views and beliefs as much a Perez Hilton does. To then slam her for exercising her right is about as petty as it gets. As for her implants, it's her buisness not yours. Get over yourselves. Who is showing intolerance and hatred now. Not Miss. Californis that's for sure.

    May 18, 2009 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  5. Deonne

    how could this woman say she was proud of what carrie said and then come back and say that she hurt alot of people?? carrie is very aware of that fact, but still chose to make her comments and stand by them. that is what a miss usa should be. everyone wont be able to be pleased about the gay marriage issue, but everyone is entitled to his/her opinion.

    May 18, 2009 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  6. Alison

    While I am a supporter of Gay Marriage, I have no problem with Carrie's answer. In fact, I thought it was unfair that she was asked such a loaded question compared to others. But many of you are missing the point. The reason they wanted to remove her was not her answer, but that her contract says she has to approve all appearances and scheduling with the Miss California organization and she didn't when she agreed to do the commercial on marriage and also lied about the photos. She did break the rules, no matter what her opinion is.

    Shana's quitting is her way of saying that she does not support ignoring the rules for convenience or publicity.

    May 18, 2009 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  7. DAVID

    Opinions change; Beliefs do not.

    May 18, 2009 at 6:45 am | Report abuse |
  8. Katie Link

    Why are people bullying Miss California; that is exactly what I think is going on. The same old school yard bully, which is why I now agree with Miss California. I used to have a free attitude regarding alternative lifestyles, that whatever someone wants to do is their own business, they should be accepted for whoever they are but my experience over the years has shown me that acceptance is not enough, that doing their own thing seems to include involving anyone they choose with or without consent and if you don't participate in "the cause", or if you "oppose" them by simply wanting to do something your own way that does not effect them, they seem to go to any lengths necessary to "screw you". If Miss California participating in another cause such as save the whales do you think she would be so scrutinized. How many has the bully fooled!

    May 18, 2009 at 5:58 am | Report abuse |
  9. Steven in Charleston

    While I disagree with Ms. Prejean's position on gay marriage, I don't begrudge her her opinion, or the right to share it. And I'm even willing to cut her a bit of slack regarding photogate, although I think people should honor the rules of a competition, even if they are a bit outdated.

    What I DO have a problem with was her decision to become a vocal advocate for the anti-gay-marriage cause. Her job as Miss California is to "represent" the entire state, and suggesting that one group of people shouldn't have access to rights and benefits that everyone else does falls short of that. If she wants to be the next Ann Coulter, that is her perogative - she just needs to wait until her term is over.

    I was very disappointed in Mr. Trump's decision to let her stay, although I'm not surprised that he made a decision that was in his best interests, at the expense of everyone else.

    May 15, 2009 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. from the 70s

    first of all, everyone is entitled to mistakes. i am sure, kimberly, you had yours. nobody is pointing out to you though. and Christians make mistakes just like everyone else. i am not going to defend someone or go against them based on their past. this is what is meant to be a Christian.

    May 15, 2009 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kimberly

    I think the real issue is that Miss California lied about her semi nude photo shoot and not her thoughts on gay marriages. The gay marriage thing was just something that got more attention because it is so controversial. She is entitled to her opinion just like everyone else. And that was added to the mix. The wardrobe malfunction photo shoot for TMZ? How could she not know her blouse was wide open...HELLO! And she calls herself a Christian? hmmmm. What kind of influence is that? where else can you drop your clothes and lie about it and get rewarded for it? Morals play an important role in every ones life. It helps us make the decision between right and wrong. And I think alot of folks have lost sight of that. But then again, were all judging for whats on the outside...and not for whats on the inside aren't we.

    May 15, 2009 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. DC James

    Funny how other contestants have photos with even less clothing on and yet somehow Prejean's are the only problematic ones.

    I support gay rights but going after this girl is such a hateful manor is not going to win nay sayers over to the gay rights side. You cannot build up your cause tearing down someone like this. Had she just been ignored no one would even be talking about her now.

    May 15, 2009 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. DOT

    Right on, Goods – who cares ?

    I never won, or lost, a penny on this contest.
    If anyone did, they are nut jobs !

    (Speaking of nut jobs – 'Google' Parez Hilton, and you'll see the definition outright.) Someone that wants to be Paris Hilton so bad, that he changed his name as close as he could to her's.
    That's what happens to men that wear pink panties !

    May 15, 2009 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  14. Duh

    This is about violation of a contract folks- not about what she said or even the fact that she posed nude. She did not disclose the truth per the terms of her contract and lied about the pictures afterward. She is supposed to be a person of character as Ms. California. I commend Shanna for resigning since Trump obviously does not care about charactor or enforcing his own contracts.

    May 15, 2009 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  15. Tom

    Carrie Prejean needs to fade away. She is a 21 year old with no life experience, and spreads hate. WHEN WILL HER 15 MINUTES BE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 15, 2009 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  16. SP

    I am very disappointed in Ms. Moakler. Essentially by resigning she is stating that if you voice an opinion different from what is politically correct then you shouldn't say it. I am an ardent supporter of freedom of speech and while I don't necessarily agree with Ms. Prejean, I do think she has the right to state her opinion. Ms. Moakler should take a hard look at herself and question her decision. When you blindly follow the "politically correct" path you lose part of yourself.

    May 15, 2009 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  17. Matt

    my being a gay man, i was personally offended by what Ms. Carrie said, but it also upsets me if she solely lost her crown for that opinion. It is no one's right to tell people what to believe as morally and ethically correct. However, Trump also had the right and the RESPONSIBILITY to have the contract signed by Ms. Carrie, also. This is as a precaution against bad role models for little girls, such as women posing for Playboy or lingerie ads. I don't respect that as a job in which little girls should pursue. This is Carrie's fault in lying on her contract, not speaking her mind. I would never attack anyone for speaking her mind, i do it too much myself.

    May 15, 2009 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  18. Trish

    This chic needs her crown stripped. Her answer on marriage did not bother me. She said "No offense", done. Didn't agree, but all have their rights. Nude pics...she should be gone. Terra Connors should've been gone 4 drug use. This pageant is based on the example that you set, and the kind of representative u are 4 your state/country. I don't care if her photog released these photos, they shouldn't exist! Find it funny at the press conf, a reporter asked her how she feels about taking these pics for her portfolio just to further her career, knowing she's a role model 4 young girls and she doesn't respond, asks for anymore questions! She also said she "absolutely" forgives Hilton for slamming her and is a strong Christian, yet the next morning she's on Fox & Friends complaining about him. Saying you're a devout practicing Christian when your dying your hair, getting breast implants, posing nude, continuing to drag this out, absorbing all the exposure you can is not going to convince me you're that good of a person.

    May 15, 2009 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  19. disgusted

    I agree with Donald Bridges. It's not that she posed for the photos, it's that she lied. All contestants are required to tell if they ever had nude oe semi nude photos taken. She said no. She asked for and accepted money from the board for breast augmentation after lying to them. When the first picture surfaced, in panties with back to camera, she said it was the only one. When the rest (so far) were released she lied and said the wind blew her vest open even though her hair wasn't moving and she was looking directly into the camera! Those photos showed exposed nipples which does put them into the category of soft core porn. She went on to repeatedly violate her contract by giving unauthorized interviews and doing unauthorized appearances. She claims to be a christian in spite of behaving in a most unchristian way. Some christians continue you to support her even though she is an obvious hypocrit. This furthers the opinion of nonchristians that most christians are also hypocrits.

    May 15, 2009 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  20. Rocky

    I am so proud of Miss Prejean. and if she reads this, please know and meditate on this word.
    John 15:19-20 "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also."
    Rev 14:12 "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."
    you are a voice for those who cannot speak or have fear in their heart and will not speak. You have given glory to Him in the midst of a valley you foresaw. ou will carry your cross, but for it you have pleased your Father. May He continue to pour out on you blessing for your loyalty to Him. Amen

    May 15, 2009 at 5:54 am | Report abuse |
  21. Ohso

    I am wondering why is it if the topic is such a sensitive issue, that they would even ask the question. Besides, these personalities are of minimal influence much less a morale one. Who looks up to beauty pageant queens for morale advise. Why even bother televising their opinions, I guess we have no other news to be reported on.

    May 15, 2009 at 4:12 am | Report abuse |
  22. Laura

    Shanna, let me get this straight...you have children with a few different men, posed for playboy completely nude, get in fist fights with Paris Hilton and others in public, and have a problem with a person that expresses her freedom of speech? You are the one that should be kicked out of the Miss USA/Universe organization, not Carrie.

    May 14, 2009 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Canuck

    I agree this should be let go. Except to remember Carrie and boycott any product or business she has anything to do with.

    May 14, 2009 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  24. blaze

    Shanna Moakler is just blowing excuse the pun, hot air, cause she didnt like the comment made about same sex marriages since shes a lesbian. Shes just trying to make up for her insecurities.
    Jealously. Dont spout morals when you have none.

    May 14, 2009 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  25. martin

    not a good answer

    May 14, 2009 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  26. George

    lynda – "keeping rights she enjoys away from others"...really?

    Any man can marry any woman (outside of incestuous or polygamous marriages). Those rights belong to everyone.

    May 14, 2009 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Gooods

    So Donald Trump does the right thing by not bending to the will of the far homo right(Perez Hilton)!! Some no name lady resigns!! All this for some very young lady who has a commercialized title!! Go Trump!!!

    May 14, 2009 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Francis

    People, we need to stop talking about this. Let Ms. Silicone Valley, Perez "media whore" Hilton and Donald, Mr. Bad Toupee, Trump go away. They're all trash.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Tony

    Shanna just LOVES that she is in the spotlight and is squeezing out more of her 15 minutes of fame. Look, I don't agree with many of Carrie's decisions, but I believe the witch hunt to defame/decrown her is ridiculous. Shanna has lived a reckless life filled with substance abuse, run-ins with the law, and now she is trying to stand on moral high ground? Give me a break. She's pathetic. It looks like she putting up this "I'm mad and upset" act so that she can catch some attention from the sponsors that she claims Carrie so easily upset.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Donald Bridges

    Jake – Shanna Moakler won Miss America in '95 and posed for Playboy in '01. Her pictures were not during her reign and while she was representing Miss America. Carrie Prejeans were before her run at the tiara. Big difference in timing and a violation of the morality clause in the contract she signed.

    May 14, 2009 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Horus32

    Dude, who cares? It was just a lingerie ad, and it didnt really show much of anything. It's not like it was a porno or something, and even if it was, I would wanna know where I could rent it! HA!

    May 14, 2009 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Donald Bridges

    Whoa! Yes everyone has the right to say what they believe. But that is not why Shanna Moakler was going after Carrie Prejean. She was going after her because Ms. Prejean LIED when she signed the contract which has a morality clause stating she has not knowingly posed for any nude or SEMI-NUDE pictures. I'm sure Shanna had some issues on the whole gay thing but that was not the reasons she sought to remove her as stated in the press conference the day before Mr. Trump overruled her and threw the signed contract out the window. It may be his show but those legal documents are still binding. He was in the wrong.
    I applaud Shanna for resigning. I would not work for a boss that would not have my back.

    May 14, 2009 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  33. lynda

    And divided we fall. If we went with what the "majority" of the people in the U.S. believed, we'd still have slavery. People usually take the humane out of human.

    I don't have a problem with this girl expressing her opinion. I don't even have a problem with her under-age nude photos (that is her parents problem). Perez is a nut-case. What I had a problem with was her so quickly jumping up and doing a commercial so she could advocate for keeping rights that she enjoys away from others.

    Everyone has the right to their opinions and beliefs. Just don't force them down my throat.

    May 14, 2009 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Jake

    Let me get this – she apparently has a problem with Miss California retaining her crown. Didn't Shanna Moakler pose as a Playboy Playmate at one time?? Sheessh!

    May 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Jacqueline D. Knight

    Moakler has a right to her opinion. She has a right to resign her position if she no longer wants to work there. Carrie has a right to her opinion. Trump has a right to keep or lose anyone he wants - it's his show!

    I wonder if Moakler will resign her citizenship since so many people in the US disagree with her opinion?

    And who the heck is Perez Hilton? Another no talent wannabe looking for his 15 seconds of fame. Good luck to him! This country and Great Britain are still, Thank God, two of a handful of countries where no discernable talent can turn you into a big bucks megastar, if only for 15 seconds.

    May 14, 2009 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  36. jack wilkerson

    Leave the woman alone. At least she holds beliefs that most Americans have about marraige being a union between a man and a woman. Besides , she entitled to her beliefs and can be true to them. Contestants wear at the pageant on stage little or no clothing as they compete. Afraid the is an issue above her beliefs since they may differ from a minority of people

    May 14, 2009 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Matt

    Shanna is a former Miss USA (1995, I believe) and is the ex-wife of Travis Barker (Blink 182 Drummer). She is plenty qualified to have an informed opinion regarding this situation...probably more qualified that anyone else offering commentary, including Donald Trump.

    Prejean has the right to her own opinion as does Shanna Moakler. I, personally, respect Shanna's decision to resign. This whole Miss USA concept is grasping for ratings and publicity. It's pathetic.

    You'll have to forgive me if I have offended anyone. It's been a windy day on the bluff and I didn't realize my computer was documenting EVERYTHING coming from my fingers – because I'm just that naive. ...no offense, of course.

    May 14, 2009 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Lee Ann

    I agree with Delores Williams, it,s the fact that she lied and wasn't held accountable for the lies that bothers me. I believe everyone is entitled to thier own opinion, I also don't have a problem with her posing nude – but as a role model that many girls aspire to be like she sends a very bad message. For Donald Trump to ignore the lies is also unforgivable!!

    May 14, 2009 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Ron Howerton

    I find it hard to believe that anybody really cares about Miss USA, much less what she thinks! She's not some political pundit or religious leader whose opinion may effect public policy, for Pete's sake! This is a tempest in a teapot and the best thing that could possibly happen would be to let Ms. Prejean and this pathetic pageant fade into the obscurity they deserve.

    May 14, 2009 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Beth

    Look. All this Prejean lady wants to do is parade around in a bikini and show off her body. She is, in fact very narcisistic. If that is what she likes to do, why doesn't she just hang out at a strip joint in a bikini. And we really don't care about her grandfather's contribution to the military either. Actually, she kind of looks like a Barbie Doll which is so uncool these days.

    May 14, 2009 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Dennis

    Congratulation's and Thank you Shanna. I couldn't believe it when Mr. Trump allowed Prejean to continue, obviously he wanted to go with the bad seed just for publicity, good or bad. He should of thought about the bigger picture and that Prejean should not be given a platform to spew her hatred. Shanna, once again thank you for standing up and not being a part of this disgrace.

    May 14, 2009 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  42. hemnebob

    i don't have a problem with the answer to her question...
    what i do have a problem with is the fact that the pageant paid for her silicone enhancements and the fact that she LIED about the naked and when she actually took these poses/pictures that continue to surface daily. we all know that the donald loves pretty girls but this is taking the integrity to a new low to allow her to keep the title even after she lied. pretty pathetic to me and the fact that she stated her opinion in her answer was based behind her religious beliefs yet she poses naked ... not candids but posed. i will predict that we will continue seeing these questionable poses and the glory and glitz from this pageant will diminish with this new ms. usa and will eventually be found as a failure.

    May 14, 2009 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Delores Williams

    So let me get this straight. Shanna Moakler had problems BEFORE the controversy, so basically what she wanted was a woman that she could control. Here's the thing. Who was last year's MIss CA? I live here and would lose money trying to remember. And for that matter, who is Shanna Moakler? Maybe she needs to get a real job instead. Donald Trump lost nothing. All the negatives I have heard or read have come from Shanna Moakler. That says a lot. She only resigned because Trump saw her for what she was. No loss at all to the pageant world. Free speech is for all people not just those you agree with.

    May 14, 2009 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |

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