Jury Awards Monetary Damages In Revels Case
Posted March 26, 2004
LUMBERTON, N.C. — Jurors have awarded Rebekah Revels monetary damages for her ex-fiance's actions that cost her the Miss North Carolina crown and interfered with her chance to be Miss America.
Revels will receive $3,000 in compensatory damages and $8,000 in punitive damages from her ex-fiance, Tosh Welch.
"We both know what happened. We both know why we're in court today. It's because he maliciously hurt me," Revels said.
"I'm pleased. It's not too outstanding. It shows me there were some holes in her story they didn't believe," Welch said.
Welch, a police officer in Cherokee, admitted telling pageant officials that he had topless pictures of Revels, but he denied he told them about them out of revenge.
"My intention was never for her to be disqualified. My intention was for them to pose a couple of questions to her," he said.
Whatever his intentions, Revels lost her crown and a jury found Thursday that Welch wrongfully interfered with her contract with Miss North Carolina and a possible contract with Miss America. The jury disagreed with Revels' claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Barry Nakell, Revels' attorney, told jurors Friday morning to consider damages of at least $60,000.
"A real man does not hurt a woman. A real man does not sabotage a woman's success," Nakell said.
John Regan, Welch's attorney, tried to counter, saying that Revels should be partially responsible for her actions.
"I'm just saying it takes two to tango. You can't tango by yourself," he said.
Revels said the case was not about the money, but principle. She said she is ready to move on.
"It's closure, and it is finally over," she said.
Revels still has a case pending in Wake County against the Miss North Carolina pageant. The case in Wake County was thrown out by an arbitrator because Revels' attorney refused to turn over the pictures to the defense.
Revels' lawyer took the case back to court where a judge is expected to rule anyday on whether the arbitrator's ruling should stand.