Brez, a gemologist from Wellington, allegedly told other contestants she saw a list of the top five winners way before they were announced Sunday. Miss Rhode Island Olivia Culpo won the crown.
Brez allegedly told Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin about the list.
At least, that’s what Monnin said on Today as she upped the ante in her feud with pageant owner Donald Trump.
Trump announced he’d be suing Monnin for defamation because, Trump says, the contestants are elected fair-and-square.
While Brez could now get brought into the legal action, she just issued a statement saying Monnin is full of it.
“I want to make a statement, very firm and very clearly, that I did not at any time tell Miss Pennsylvania USA or other Miss USA contestants that I knew the final five contestants in the pageant,” Brez wrote. ”For reasons I don’t understand, my name is now being brought forward as the person who released the names and implied that the Final Five contestants were pre-selected. This is absolutely not true, and not the case.
“Backstage during the pageant, I did see a piece of paper with names on it, and like most people in such frenetic circumstances, joked that they must be the names of the final contestants. It was a throwaway comment, in the stress of the pageant, and was never meant as a fact. The list I saw didn’t even have the eventual winner on it.
“Since this situation arose, and accusations made, I have spoken with pageant officials and with Mr. Trump’s representatives. I have told them what happened, and that there was never any malicious implication made in my jocular statements. Miss Pennsylvania USA is using this situation for her own ends. I want it firmly understood that I am honored and privileged to serve as Miss Florida USA and to have competed in the Miss USA pageant. I would never do anything to undermine the Pageant in any way.”
Monnin, meanwhile, commented on the network about Brez’ body language when Brez allegedly told her about the list: “I have many years of psychological training. I know when someone is scared and serious. Her body language was serious. . . It’s too coincidental for someone to be able to call out in order the top 5. I know what I heard there is no doubt in my mind that (Brez) is serious when she laid out what she saw.”