Local News

Revels' Former Fiance Turns Over Topless Photos, Computer Disk

Posted October 15, 2002

— The former fiance of Rebekah Revels, the Miss North Carolina who resigned after the Miss America pageant learned about topless photos of her, turned over the pictures Tuesday, her lawyer said.

Minutes before entering a Robeson County courtroom, Tosh Welch gave Barry Nakell, Revels' attorney, some printouts and a disk containing topless pictures of Revels. He said the original pictures do not exist any more.

Nakell would not describe the pictures in detail.

Nakell said in court Tuesday that now that he has the photos, he would not seek contempt charges against Welch, a police officer from Cherokee, N.C.

"Rebekah and I are both trying to show compassion for a man who is struggling with himself," Nakell said.

However, Judge Gary Locklear had words to Welch about his conduct.

"You and every other person who find themselves in a similar situation would be a whole lot better off just to do the right thing, especially when there is a court involved," Locklear said. "You, of all people, the fact that you are an officer, you should fully be aware of that."

Nakell said he will not destroy the pictures, but keep them in a safe place in case a judge in another pending lawsuit orders to see them.

Welch left the courtroom without comment.

Revels won the crown in June but resigned in July after the Miss America pageant received an e-mail indicating there were nude photos of her. Revels told pageant officials that the e-mail came from Welch.

Miss America received the e-mail July 19, advising officials to ask Revels whether she has ever lived with her boyfriend and about the existence of topless photographs.

"Would you want to be represented by someone with a past?" the e-mail said. "Nude pics of Miss America bring in big bucks nowadays."

Revels has said she was changing clothes when Welch surprised her by snapping a picture of her topless.

Revels has sued Welch, accusing him of invasion of privacy, interference in her contracts and inflicting emotional distress.

After Revels resigned, she sought to reclaim her crown after the Miss North Carolina Organization had signed a contract with Misty Clymer, the first runner-up.

The 24-year-old Revels won a state judge's order last month that restored her title. The ruling from Wake County Superior Court Judge Narley Cashwell meant the state had two Miss North Carolinas - Revels and Clymer.

A federal judge, however, refused in a separate lawsuit to force the Miss America pageant to accept Revels as a contestant.

Then Cashwell ruled last week that neither woman could represent the state as Miss North Carolina while Revels' claim against the state pageant for breach of contract is heard.

Cashwell also ruled that the claim, which Revels wanted a jury to hear, must be heard in arbitration as her contract with the state pageant required.

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