Carrie Prejean filed a lawsuit on Monday against the Miss California pageant directors claiming they discriminated against her religious beliefs, caused her emotional distress and engaged in slander after she came under fire for her answer to a question about gay marriage at the 2009 Miss USA pageant.
Now FOXNews.com has obtained a series of heated e-mail exchanges between the two parties that show bad blood was brewing long before Prejean and the directors butted heads over her stance on same-sex unions.
The problems between Prejean and Miss California escalated to such a level that the 22-year-old severed all ties with her state team several weeks prior to the April 19 national pageant, according a March 9 e-mail exchange in which Prejean wrote (in all caps) to Miss California co-director Keith Lewis:
I WILL NOT BE VERBALLY AND EMOTIONALLY ABUSED ANYMORE BY ANY OF YOU. I HAVE A COMPETITION TO PREPARE FOR. I WILL NO LONGER BE DEALING WITH ANYONE WHO IS GOING TO BRING ME DOWN AT THIS POINT. I WILL ONLY SURROUND MYSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO MAKE ME HAPPY. AND RIGHT NOW, THAT IS NONE OF YOU. I WILL SEE YOU ALL IN APRIL. PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT ME AT ALL FROM THIS POINT FORWARD.
“Our differences began in January," Lewis told Foxnews.com. "Carrie became a challenge. She wanted everyone to jump through hoops for her, but she wasn’t willing to cooperate. She is very good at receiving, but not at giving. We were very patient with Carrie, but she wasn’t following ... her contract.”
Prejean’s lawyer, Charles Limandri, told FOXNews.com that the issues before the pageant were minor, and that Prejean was discouraged from making free public appearances at places like hospitals, nursing homes and schools.
“The only public appearances that Keith Lewis seemed to be interested in for her were Hollywood appearances, because he was a Hollywood agent and producer, and this furthered those other business interests," Limandri said. "Also, he would take a commission from her paid appearances even though their contract said that he was not entitled to one.”
Lewis said that the accusation he took a commission was “without fact,” and that Prejean made appearances at various places, including a nursing home that was a direct competitor to one of their sponsors, which he said was a violation of her Miss California contract, which stated: "I will not, without first obtaining your written consent, make any personal, television, motion picture, internet/online or radio appearances."
Limandri said Lewis also told Prejean to stay mum on religion in general.
“Before the pageant she was also told not to talk about God and that made her uncomfortable since she is quite religious," said Limandri. "Carrie was also uncomfortable with Shanna Moakler's foul mouth, using the 'f-word' and the 'c-word' around her all the time. However, these were not major problems, and they were all getting along quite well going into the Miss USA Pageant."
Lewis said Prejean never expressed her disapproval of Moakler’s use of words. He also said he found it incredibly “ignorant” that people would think Prejean was stripped of her sash due to her religious beliefs, as claimed in Prejean’s lawsuit.
“Come on, people, you can read in the press that we have a current titleholder (first runner-up Tami Farrell) who shares the same traditional views on marriage. That has nothing to do with it,” Lewis said. “I’m thrilled Carrie is suing us. It gives us a chance to file against her for our damages. I look forward to her selling lots of books, we will get back some of those profits.”
Hollie McKay has been a FoxNews.com staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay