Tuesday 23 May 2017

Legal bid beauty queen dethroned

Domonique Ramirez, pictured with her lawyers before her appeal in Texas (San Antonio Express-News)
Domonique Ramirez, pictured with her lawyers before her appeal in Texas (San Antonio Express-News)

A Texas beauty queen who accused pageant organisers of harassing her about her weight has lost an appeal to temporarily forbid a new Miss San Antonio from taking her place.

Lawyers for Domonique Ramirez said the 17-year-old is not giving up and will now take her case to a Texas jury.

But pageant organisers wasted no time crowning Ashley Dixon as Miss San Antonio - placing the tiara on her while the former runner-up sat in the gallery of the courtroom.

"The judge's decision today speaks for itself," said Linda Woods, president of the Miss Bexar County organisation, which runs the Miss San Antonio pageant.

State district judge Cathleen Stryker set a March trial date after denying a motion for a temporary injunction following a two-day hearing, in which Ms Ramirez testified she was ordered to lose 13lb.

The teenager is 5ft 8in and weighs 9st 3lb. Ms Woods and the pageant have repeatedly denied that her measurements were the deciding factor and have accused her of exaggerating the issue in several nationally televised interviews.

"This time, we'll get 12 people who get to decide who gets the crown," said Luis Vera, the teenager's lawyer. "So, you know, it's a temporary setback."

She sued the pageant after being stripped of her crown in January.

The pageant claimed she violated her contract by breaking rules, such as showing up late to events and not writing thank-you notes.

Ms Woods said Ms Dixon will now prepare to represent the city in the Miss Texas pageant.

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