Published April 29, 2009
Shanna Moakler, former Miss USA and current co-executive director of the Miss California pageant has made it very clear how "hurt and upset" she was when her candidate Carrie Prejean voiced that she believed "marriage should be between a man and a woman" at the Miss USA pageant last weekend.
But this time it is Moakler who is standing up for what she believes in – the right for gay and lesbian couples to marry. Pop Tarts was exclusively on-set in North Hollywood on Tuesday evening as the reality starlet and the co-executive state pageant director Keith Lewis brought together Miss California and Miss USA 2006 first runner-up Tamiko Nash and last year’s Miss California Raquel Beezley to shoot a NO H8 Campaign in the hope of raising awareness and eventually having Proposition 8 over-turned in California.
The campaign was started in November last year by photographer Adam Bouska and so far almost 400 people have shot the trademark image of an individual on a white backdrop with duct tape over their mouth. (But of course when it is three former sash sisters under the lights and camera, three sparkling tiaras are also a necessity).
"It’s important for us right now to participate in this, especially given the conversation surrounding Miss California. We’re here showing we’re a family, we agree to disagree and support our beliefs," Lewis told Tarts, as Moakler (who was in the make-up chair) nodded in agreement. "It’s been a difficult time but we want to show that there are a lot of different families, I was raised by a single mom, and I am dad to two children that are being raised by two moms. Can’t we all just love each other and get along and celebrate the fact that people are able to find true love?"
But contact with Carrie Prejean since the now infamous incident went down is still questionable.
"We are working through it; we’re a family in resolution. We really want to give Carrie an opportunity to express her beliefs, the Miss California system is about empowering women to be strong and independent and stand up for whatever they believe in," Lewis said. "So as soon as Carrie is done explaining her beliefs we really look forward to her coming back to our platform. I’m proud that she was able to stand there and utter whatever it was that came out of her mouth. I’m a 45-year-old man and I don’t think I could explain myself to millions of people."
However the pageant controversy has made Lewis learn even more about his own convictions too.
"I was raised Christian and I struggled with it my whole life, I think a lot of people struggle with the Bible and homosexuality," he added. "But the Bible I have now come to know is an amazing historical document that was written in a time by people who had a different understanding of what our world was. We live in a world that’s very different at this point, our understanding is very different."
1997’s Miss Hawaii-turned Miss USA-turned Miss Universe, Brook Lee, also shot for the ad and took on a "Prejean Pageant" inspired theme by donning a white evening gown and sash that said "Miss Equality."
"Being a former Miss Universe I was at Miss USA last week, I was there when everything went down and experienced the blow-back afterwards. People were really shaken up," Lee told Tarts. "When I came back to L.A. it was prevalent in everyone’s mind and I wanted to do this campaign because a visual image lasts so much longer than words. I also brought my two-year-son to do it, activism stars early. My husband was here with us and he shot too."
And although the stunning pageant princess acknowledged that "everyone is entitled to their own opinion", she believes Carrie definitely did not deserve the coveted crown of Miss USA.
"The judges I spoke to said they applaud her for being so vocal, but she didn’t answer the question, she wasn’t consistent. They didn’t mark her down because they are some liberal majority and were trying to punish her for her Christian values," she explained. "But for her to go in the press and say she lost the crown because of her answer is playing with the truth. I heard she’s saying she wants to run for office now? Maybe she’ll team up with Palin."
Even "The Amazing Race" winner Reichen Lehmkuhl stopped by the studio to be snapped.
"We feel Proposition 8 takes away the equal rights for an entire group of people who are tax-payers and important people in society and one of those people happens to be me," he said. "I am here to support against a campaign that I feel is a campaign of hate. We just want equal rights; we don’t think we’re morally superior."
Paris and Nicky Hilton hit the headlines late last year when they were flown Down Under to host a New Year’s Eve bash to launch a new mobile-based online community, Bongo Virus. The hotel heiresses reportedly earned almost $1 million between them to show up at the party for a couple of hours and be brand ambassadors for a day, but while the girls got their money it turns out that their parent company, CommQuest, is now going broke.
After paying the Hilton’s a million to party and prance around Australia for a week, the Bongo business was recently sold for just $1.69 million, representing an earnings multiple of less than 2 and for obvious reasons the investors are hopping mad.
So while Paris’ partying at the time did create a bit of Bongo buzz in the press, is the lesson to be learned here that the world’s most perennial party princess really doesn’t have the goods to boost a business?
Kylie Minogue celebrating the grand opening of new TOUS jewelry store (famous for styling stars from its Vegas location inside Planet Hollywood's Miracle Mile shops) in Barcelona, Spain on Thursday night.
Hillary Duff and Natalie Portman leaving the Tribeca Film Festival DirectTV Lounge with L'OREAL giftbags on Thursday.
"90210" star AnnaLynne McCord getting red carpet-ready for the opening of The Chandelier Room at W Hoboken at the Patrick Melville Salon and Spa in New York Thursday night.
Simon Cowell, David Hasselhoff, Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne, Nick Cannon, Janice Dickenson, Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott celebrating NBC Universal's Summer Program at the Langham, Huntington Hotel & Spa in Pasadena on Friday.
Oscar Nominee Melissa Leo hanging out with Thomas Hayden Church at the Tribeca Film Festival bash for "Don McKay" at Thom Bar, NYC on Friday night.
Kim Kardashian and Adrienne Bailon dancing to Fabolous’ performance at ESPN The Magazine’s pre draft bash at Espace in New York on Friday night.
Kenny Chesney inside ghostbar at the Palms Resort & Casino on Friday night at a VIP table.
Brad Pitt managing to go (almost) unnoticed riding the Maid of the Mist boat in Niagara Falls, Ontario with his sons Pax and Maddox and his parents, Bill and Jane on Saturday afternoon while Angelina Jolie was filming the thriller "Salt" in Albany.
Taboo and apl.de.ap of the Black Eyed Peas performing a surprise impromptu DJ set at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego's new glam bar, 207 on Saturday night. (They were both in town for the baby shower for Taboo’s pregnant wife, Jamyie Dizon).
The same night, Jaime Pressly was spotted at Hard Rock Hotel’s rooftop bar Float, drinking red wine with her girlfriends and getting bottle service of Grey Goose vodka for a bachelorette party.
Actor and comedian Pauly Shore dining at N9NE Steakhouse inside Palms Casino Resort on Saturday night before hitting up the Playboy Club upstairs.
Michael Clarke Duncan toasting with Jose Curevo Platino at the Celebrity Entertainment League’s player party for their upcoming "battle of the sexes" game against the WNBA’s Chicago Sky (Nelly and Donald Faison are his teammates) at Guy’s North in Studio City Saturday night.
Robert Redford, Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Brian Grazer, Lawrence Bender, Ron & Kelly Meyer, Norman Lear, Tom Ford, Robert Kennedy, Jr, Natasha Bedingfield, Heather Graham, Amber Valetta, Linda Evangelista & Peter Morton, Leah Remini, Chelsea Handler, Jeff Garlin, and Paul Reiser at the Regent Beverly Wilshire on Saturday evening for the Resources Defense Council’s 20th Anniversary Celebration.
Kenny Chesney rocking out the newly refurbished concert venue "The Joint" at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
Boxing champion Ricky Hatton dining at Nove Italiano inside the Palms with a group of six on Saturday night. He was also spotted making his way into the kitchen to greet the staff and sign Chef Geno’s door.
Carmen Electra celebrating her birthday with fiance Rob Patterson of Korn (who also rocked the turntables as a guest DJ) at MGM's famous Wet Republic Pool Party on Sunday. The former "Baywatch" babe partied with an entourage of beautiful girls including VH1's Rock of Love Season Three's tequila-loving bad girl, Mercia from Brazil. Chaos ensued when her four-tier birthday cake was delivered. The entire pool dropped everything to sing happy birthday before Carmen took the top tier of her pink and white cake and smashed it into the pool deck and threw pieces into the crowd. Her finance then ushered her inside the bungalow, away from the group of friends, to present her with a very personal present, a video montage of all her friends and family wishing her a happy birthday including her "Disaster Movie" costar Kim Kardashian and Perez Hilton.
Danny Masterson, aka DJ Mom Jeans, rocking the turntables at Wasted Space inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Masterson was joined by his brother, star of "Malcolm in the Middle," Christopher Masterson.
All grown up, "My Girl" star Anna Chlumsky donning Donna Karan while making a comeback at Tribeca Film Festival premiering two films over the weekend.
Scott Baio with wife Renee and baby Bailey hanging out at the Titi Collection booth at The Baby & Tween Celebration at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sunday.
Andy Garcia and Julianna Margulies celebrating with the premiere of their Tribeca Film Festival comedy, "City Island: with a Heineken after-party at Greenhouse nightclub on Sunday evening. Ed Norton was also spotted sipping his Heineken and laying low with friends.
Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal enjoying Cazadores cocktails at the after party for the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of the Mexican-American flick Rudo y Cursi on Sunday.
Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sanaa Lathan, Philip Baker Hall, Chandra Wilson, Christy Reese, director Josh Goldin among others, celebrating the Tribeca Film Festival world premiere of "Wonderful World" with an after-party at B.R. Guest's brand new 675 Bar on Monday night. PICS
Rapper Ray J enjoying dinner Monday night inside Strip House at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Las Vegas.
Brody Jenner and Jayde Nicole on a double-date with Doug Reinhardt and Paris Hilton at Nobu West Hollywood on Monday night.
Pamela Anderson sipping Cristal at the Grand Opening of Sapphire New York Gentleman’s Club on Monday. Anderson even stood up and gave a toast after someone at the event announced it was her birthday (which it wasn't)! Shannen Doherty also attended while Samantha Ronson turned the tables. (Ronson spent most of her time at the event twittering about she hadn't realized Sapphire was a gentlemen's club …)
Elizabeth Berkley lunching with a script and her BlackBerry at West Hollywood’s Real Food Daily Vegan Restaurant on Tuesday.