Local News

Federal Judge Rules Against Revels As Miss North Carolina

Posted September 13, 2002

— Misty Clymer said a judge's ruling to refuse to force the Miss America Organization to recognize Rebekah Revels as Miss North Carolina is bittersweet for her.

During joint appearances with Revels on morning television shows, Clymer said she feels bad that Revels cannot compete her lifelong dream of competing in the pageant.

Revels said that, despite the outcome, both women will be fine.

She said there is no animosity between the two and that they are Southern ladies and can deal with what happened.

Thursday afternoon, U.S. District Court Judge James Fox ruled that the Miss America Organization does not have to recognize Revels as Miss North Carolina.

Fox said the the actions of Revel's former fiance were "below despicable;" however, he did not rule in her favor.

Barry Nakell, Revels' attorney, said he respects the judge's decision, but does not agree with it.

"I really feel that Rebekah was wronged. I do feel that deeply in my heart," he said.

Fox denied a preliminary injunction that would have forced the Miss America Organization to recognize Revels as a contestant.

Fox said she failed to prove irreparable harm, and in fact, irreparable harm tips in favor of the Miss America Organization.

As part of his ruling Fox said, "There is a public interest in seeing that the image of the crown is not tarnished, because if it is tarnished, there would be fewer contestants, fewer scholarships and fewer ideals to uphold."

Although Revels gets to keep the Miss North Carolina crown, first runner-up Misty Clymer will represent the state in the national pageant.

"Happy is not the right word. There are no winners. Not at the cost of people's feelings," said George Bauer, of the Miss America Pageant. "Rebekah will not be competing in the finals starting next week. At present, Rebekah will be our guest in Atlantic City."

Bauer said when he returns to Atlantic City, N.J., he will talk with Revels and encourage her to attend Miss America activities as a VIP.

Fox said his ruling does not compel the pageant to exclude Revels, who had been rehearsing and taking part in events with other contestants until last night. That was when another judge's order restoring the title expired.

Nakell is not expected to appeal to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia, but is likely to pursue arbitration or a jury trial.

Revels will continue to represent the state as Miss North Carolina, but there is no word on what that means for Clymer. Nakell said that is something the Miss North Carolina Association will have to decide.

Thursday morning, Fox had said that he was not sure that a contract between Revels and the national pageant even existed, because the Miss America Organization never signed it.

He said if a contract did exist, under the contract's immoral clause, just the threat of nude pictures could have an adverse effect on the pageant.

Revels claimed she was forced to resign in July when a former boyfriend told pageant officials he had two topless snapshots of her.


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