Page last updated at 10:52 GMT, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 11:52 UK

US beauty queen could lose title

Miss California USA, Carrie Prejean
Ms Prejean says showing the photos was an attempt to mock her faith

Miss California Carrie Prejean could be stripped of her title after organisers say she breached her contract by keeping topless photos secret.

In April Ms Prejean made headlines at the Miss USA beauty pageant with her outspoken opposition to gay marriage, which she says cost her that title.

Ms Prejean says the publication of the pictures were an attempt to silence her for "defending traditional marriages".

A spokesman for the pageant said her disqualification was being discussed.

Apart from not being up front over the semi-nude pictures which appeared on an internet site, organisers of the Miss California USA pageant say Carrie Prejean also breached her contract by appearing unauthorised in commercials.

Ms Prejean said in a statement she posed for the photos which show her topless but with her arm covering most of her breast when she was 17, hoping to become a lingerie model.

'Christian and model'

She described the publication of the pictures as an attempt to "openly mock me for my Christian faith".

"I am a Christian, and I am a model. Models pose for pictures, including lingerie and swimwear photos," she said.

Roger Neat, a spokesman for the Miss California USA pageant, said organisers and lawyers were "going over the legalities and clearly she breached her contract".

Talks with the runner-up in the Miss California competition were being held, to discuss "the possible next steps".

During the Miss USA pageant last month Carrie Prejean said she believed that "a marriage should be between a man and a woman".

Last week Ms Prejean announced that she would star in new $1.5m ad campaign funded by the National Organization for Marriage, a group that is opposed to same-sex marriage.

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