NEW YORK – Miss Nevada Katie Rees lost her title Thursday after raunchy photos of her surfaced on the Internet.
A day after Donald Trump spared the beauty-queen career of Miss USA Tara Conner, Rees, 22 — one of his state pageant winners — sparked a controversy of her own with the racy pictures, which showed Rees exposing one of her breasts, passionately kissing other women and pulling down her pants to show her thong underwear at a party in Tampa, Fla.
"Katie Rees has been relieved of her duties as Miss Nevada USA 2007," said Paula M. Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization, which owns the Miss USA pageant.
First runner-up Helen Salas will assume the title and compete at the 2007 Miss USA pageant on March 23 in Los Angeles.
Earlier Thursday The Web site Canada.com, which posted the pics, reported that pageant officials were investigating Rees' behavior. The 22-year-old was crowned Miss Nevada in Las Vegas last October, and was to represent the state in the Miss USA pageant next spring.
In a statement sent to the entertainment TV show “Extra,” an attorney for Rees said:
“Katie Rees — Miss Nevada USA — wants the public to know she was 17 and had a lapse in judgment … the actions on that evening in subject are in no way indicative of the person she is or the person she has become … she is a law-abiding citizen and talented adult. This was an isolated incident that occurred more than five years ago when she was a minor.”
Pageant officials declined to provide a telephone number for Rees and said they didn't know when the photos of her were taken.
Conner was almost stripped of her title Tuesday after reports surfaced that she had attended wild parties in New York's bar scene, took drugs and was seen making out with Miss Teen USA Katie Blair.
Trump announced Tuesday that he would allow her to remain Miss USA if she settled down and entered alcohol rehab, which reports indicated she would do on Thursday.
It was also revealed Wednesday that Mothers Against Drunk Driving had cut ties with Blair over reports that the Montana teen had been drinking underage and carousing with Conner.
In a story Wednesday in The Billings (Mont.) Gazette, Paula Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization, said "a lot of the stories" of Blair's activities were unfounded.
"I'm sorry that Katie got dragged into this," Shugart said. "People just wanted to tell a story, and a lot of it is just to see the name of a particular club in the New York papers, whether it's true or not."
Shugart made the decision to jettison Rees, but pageant co-owner Donald Trump supported it, said Miss Universe Organization spokeswoman Lark-Marie Anton.
Rees has appeared as Miss Nevada USA at charity events such as the Goodie Two Shoe Giveaway, at which underprivileged students received free shoes, backpacks and school supplies.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.