Local News

Tosh Welch, Attorney Fail To Appear At Hearing Over Topless Photos

Posted September 23, 2002

— After failing to appear in court Monday, a Robeson County judge issued a preliminary injuction ordering Tosh Welch to turn over any topless photos he may have of his former fiance, Miss North Carolina Rebekah Revels.

Judge Gary Locklear said he was troubled by the absence of Welch or an attorney representing him, and issued the preliminary injunction after confirming that Welch had been served twice with a civil summons to appear in court.

Revels did not appear in court Monday. Her attorney, Barry Nakell, said even if the photos are handed over, they are suing Welch for damages.

"We've alleged four different wrongs by Tosh Welch. One is invasion of privacy; a second is malicious interference with a contract; a third is malicious interference with an advantageous economic relation, and fourth, intentional infliction of emotional distress," Nakell said.

Nakell said it would be up to a jury to determine damages.

Revels won the Miss North Carolina pageant in June, but resigned in July after Welch e-mailed Miss America pageant officials about the alleged photos.

"We have a temporary restraining order against him that's been served on him and that requires him to immediately hand over all photos he has of Rebekah to me for safe keeping and not to show them to anybody else," Nakell said.

Welch, a police officer and Cherokee Indian, lives on the Cherokee reservation in western North Carolina. Tribal leaders said Welch does not have to answer to a court's demands outside the Cherokee nation.

Nakell contends the proper channels were used to issue the civil summons to Welch.

The next court date is set for October 15.

Revels went to court to regain her crown and compete in the Miss America pageant after saying Miss North Carolina officials forced her resignation over the alleged photos. The case ended up in federal court, where a judge ruled against Revels.

First runner-up Misty Clymer, who was crowned as Miss North Carolina, represented the state, placing in the top 15 in the Miss America pageant this weekend.


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