A teenage Texas beauty queen is digging in her heels and fighting to keep her crown after being stripped of her Miss San Antonio title over allegations she routinely showed up late and did not maintain her appearance.
Domonique Ramirez, a 17-year-old college student and winner of the 2010 Miss San Antonio pageant, says she’s suing the Miss Bexar County Organization Inc. for unjustly stripping her of her title – claiming one board member told her she was "way too big."
Pageant officials say the 5-foot-8-inch brunette beauty queen violated her contract by failing to show up on time at scheduled events and "keeping up her appearances in every capacity."
"The bottom line is that she failed to be the responsible role model that we worked for in our organization," said Linda Woods, the pageant board's spokeswoman.
Woods told FoxNews.com that Ramirez "didn't take her responsibilities seriously" and was sometimes a "no-show" at required public appearances. She said the young woman often arrived to events "over an hour late," with "no makeup, a dirty sash and a broken crown."
"It is our platform to teach our girls personal responsibility," Woods said. "I have to protect the integrity of my organization."
But Ramirez and her attorney claim the board also violated the pageant contract by failing to provide the teenager with a chaperone at pageant-sponsored events.
"They have to provide Domonique with a companion to go to these events and they didn’t," said Luis Vera, Ramirez’s attorney.
What's more, he said, is that the board prohibited Ramirez from bringing her parents or family members to public appearances – making it difficult for the young woman to meet the commitments in her contract.
"My daughter was 16 when she won and only had a driver’s permit," said Lorraine Briseno, Ramirez’s mother. "I have a full-time job and they assured me she’d never be alone and would have a chaperone, but it never happened that way."
In an interview with FoxNews.com, Ramirez said Woods and others also raised the issue of weight – allegedly telling the former volleyball player and model that she needed to "drop 13 pounds."
"You’re just way too big," Ramirez claims Woods told her at a photo shoot in late November. "This is not going to work."
"They were telling me something that was unreasonable," she said.
Ramirez, who stands at 5-foot-8, said she weighs 129 pounds – the same weight she claims to have been when she won the crown in April 2010, "give or take a couple of pounds," she said.
Woods reportedly said on KTSA radio Tuesday that she directed Ramirez to change her junk food eating habits ahead of the Miss Texas pageant in July.
"I said, you know, ‘Get off the tacos, get off the chips and the soda.' Because she's 17, and that's what these kids eat," Woods was quoted as saying, the San Antonio Express-News reports.
But Woods defended her position in an interview with FoxNews.com, saying the teenager’s weight was "absolutely not" a factor in the board's decision to dethrone Ramirez and instead hand the crown to first runner-up Ashley Dixon.
Her tardiness was "the main reason and really the only factor," she said. "I never made weight an issue."
Woods said the pageant contract does not mention weight – only asking that winners maintain a "neat" and "well-groomed" appearance and a "healthy look."
But a copy of the contract, obtained by FoxNews.com, shows a clause that states: "I understand that a baseline for my weight and measurements will be established at the the time of this contract signing.
"Realistic goals will be established and I am expected to make satisfactory progress to attain those goal," the contract reads. "If satisfactory progress is not made, I will have two weeks to make the correction. Failure to do so could result in the forfeiture of my title."
A Bexar County judge issued a temporary restraining order on Tuesday that allows Ramirez to officially keep her title pending a court hearing on Feb. 16.
"I’m just a girl who's brave enough to stand up for herself," Ramirez said. "I’m doing this for all the girls who will come after me."