1. Headline
  1. Headline
Image: Dominique Ramirez
Billy Calzada  /  AP
Former Miss San Antonio Dominique Ramirez sits in court Wednesday during opening arguments in her lawsuit against the Miss San Antonio pageant.
updated 3/17/2011 6:40:27 PM ET 2011-03-17T22:40:27

A Texas beauty queen gained enough weight that airbrushing couldn't fix photos of her in a bikini, but that's not why the size-2 teen had her Miss San Antonio crown revoked, the pageant president told a jury Thursday.

She said the girl was let go because she didn't follow pageant rules.

Domonique Ramirez caused a stir worldwide when she said pageant organizers harassed her about her weight and allegedly told her to "get off the tacos" before stripping her sash in January. The 17-year-old has sued to reclaim her title and compete for Miss Texas.

The first day of testimony revealed details of a drama practically made for Texas, with questions about the appropriateness of a minor modeling a wedding dress and the pageant director serving federal prison time for tax fraud.

  1. Related stories
    1. Beauty queen charged with Facebook fraud

      Former pageant winner is being accused of hacking into a Facebook account of her former boss.

    2. Ex-Miss USA accused of shoplifting Oil of Olay product
    3. Beauty queen stripped of crown for lying
    4. Miss Universe contestants pose topless
    5. Her hair turned brown, so they took beauty crown

That's to say nothing of what's generated the most attention: whether a 5-foot-8, 129-pound college student on track to compete for Miss America was booted for packing on a few pounds.

That wasn't the case, Miss San Antonio organizers said.

"Domonique is not fat by any stretch of the imagination. She's a beautiful girl," said Linda Woods, president of the Miss Bexar County organization, which runs the Miss San Antonio pageant.

But Woods told jurors Ramirez's measurements had changed.

She was named 2011 Miss San Antonio, in part, on the strength of her bikini competition, Woods said. But when Ramirez was photographed in a bikini months later in preparation for the Miss Texas pageant, the pictures were "unusable," she said, and fixing them was beyond the limits of photo-editing software.

Former pageant executive director Glynda Coyle said she only suggested once that Ramirez lose weight.

"The only thing I suggested to her, is that she might want to try to lose an inch in her hip," she said, "but because she is who she is, I said we can pad the top part to make you more symmetrical."

  1. More from TODAY.com
    1. Hillary Clinton: Granddaughter led me 'to speed up' political plans

      Clinton said she is inspired to keep working to ensure that Charlotte and her generation are provided equal opportunities ...

    2. Lauren Hill, inspirational college basketball player, dies
    3. Marathon dad's victories help raise money for son with spina bifida
    4. Will it work on Vale? Savannah tries tissue sleeping trick at home
    5. Listen to the chilling 911 call Sandra Bullock made during break-in

Woods said insubordination — not weight gain — ultimately cost Ramirez her crown. She said the teen violated her contract by being chronically late for events or not showing up altogether, not writing thank-you notes for gifts, and embarrassing the pageant board by turning down vocal coaching from an opera singer who Woods said has performed with Luciano Pavarotti.

Ramirez also modeled in a wedding dress without permission, and Woods said the pageant felt that wasn't the right image for a 17-year-old to project.

Ramirez has denied violating her contract or putting on weight. She once mocked the allegations by eating a doughnut in front of a horde of television cameras at the courthouse.

The teen is expected to testify, as she did last month during a hearing on her request for a temporary restraining order blocking the pageant from taking her crown. A judge ruled against her.

Ashley Dixon, who was runner-up to Ramirez, has since been named Miss San Antonio. She was asked to leave the courtroom immediately after entering Thursday because she is a potential witness.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Ousted beauty queen continues fight with pageant

  1. Closed captioning of: Ousted beauty queen continues fight with pageant

    >>> now to the tug of war over the miss san antonio crown. we brought you this story two weeks ago when she was told to give up her crown when pageant officials said she wasn't fulfilling her duties. earlier this week a judge ruled against her forcing her to go to trial, but the battle is far from over. ashley dixon emerged wednesday from a texas courtroom with a trademark wave having just been crowned in court as queen of her hometown.

    >> i'm extremely excited to be representing san antonio .

    >> reporter: dixon assumes the crown after a judge dethroned 17-year-old dominique ramirez whoorarily keep the jewels. ramirez was stripped of her sash in january, a size two, she recently told me the pageant's president prodded her about her weight.

    >> she was just like get off the tacos, get off the chips. you need to lose the weight.

    >> reporter: for the panlg end's part --

    >> we're very excited.

    >> reporter: they deny weight was a factor in the decision to replace ramirez saying she violated her contract by being late and missing engagements. something ramirez address mitts. and with more courtroom drama looping, pageant officials say their focus is preparing dixon , not ramirez , to compete to become miss texas in september.

    >> she can continue with her vocal lessons and we're working with her, meeting with larkin, the trainer, and working on her interview skills, as well. so we've got a lot to work on.

    >> reporter: a lot of legal work ahead over a crown with a few thorns. joining us now are dominique ramirez and her mom. good morning ning to both of you. about thanks for coming back with us.

    >> do g. morning.bout thanks for coming back with us.

    >> do g. morning.out thanks for coming b ack with us.

    >> do g. morning.thanks for coming back with us. dge's decision?action to the odo g. morn ingoddo g. morning. morning. morning.

    >> i feel fine. she's given me what i wanted, a chance to get in front of not the board of the organization, but 12 people like you and i.

    >> but in the meantime while this waits to go to trial, you have now been formally stripped of your crown and it's now sitting on someone else's head. do you think it will be harder to get it back now that it's actually been transferred?

    >> i don't believe so. the jury will decide.

    >> what makes you think, though, a jury -- was there something that the judge didn't necessarily buy or hear that you think a jury will?

    >> i'm not exactly sure. i mean, the jury will -- they've seen the story. they know what is going on. and i mean, it's basically just up to them and i've been fighting and i've been doing my best and i wasn't actually there for the judge's decision. i was sick at home with pneumonia.

    >> and i know you were sick and not feeling well. we hope you're feeling better. but the pageant officials really made a big deal out of your reliability and you admitted that you were late to some events and they really down played the weight issue which you had talked about last time you were here. do you think that the reliability question is a legitimate one?

    >> no, i don't believe so. i mean, they really made weight a big thing in the beginning of this and i think they're really just trying to cover up for their mistake. my reliability, i've been reliable since i was 13 years old in high school graduating early. i mean, i've been a volunteer for many organizations and they are heaping me out with this trial. so we'll see how it goes.

    >> hows that been on you, though, to face this criticism if not over your weight over your reliability? i mean, it's an attack on your character you might say.

    >> yes, definitely something i'm not used to. but i'm learning a lot from this. and i'm just taking it as a learning experience and it's not hurting me at all.

    >> let me turn to your mom. as we noted, dominique missed the ruling because she was out sick with pneumonia. are you worried about how this is affecting her physically and emotionally?

    >> well, it is affecting her in school. she is having to get caught up with a lot of homework and staying up really ligate and then having to go to court. so it is affecting her in a way, yes.

    >> is this a battle worth fighting? the crown has now been placed on another young lady . what do you advise your daughter in this case? do you want her to continue to go forward?

    >> yes. one thing we did teach my daughter is to never give up. if she really wants something, she needs to fight for it. and just never to give up.

    >> we'll have to end our conversation here for now, but thanks again for coming on and talking to us. we appreciate it.

    >> thank you.

    >> thank you for having us.

Photos: Beauty queen scandals

loading photos...
  1. Miss Delaware Teen USA

    They may be beautiful, but the competition can get ugly. From blackmail to sabotage, check out the underside of the pageant circuit.

    First up: Melissa King, Miss Delaware Teen USA, resigned her crown on Feb. 26, 2013, after a sex video featuring a woman resembling her surfaced online. (@Melissa_M_King\Twitter) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Called Miss USA 'rigged'

    After Miss Pennsylvania 2012, Sheena Monnin, spoke out on Facebook against the Miss Universe organization in June, calling it "trashy" and "rigged," co-owner Donald Trump threatened a lawsuit. (Miss Universe Organization) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Facing DUI charges

    Former Miss USA Rima Fakih, pictured here on April 11, 2012 as she faces DUI charges in district court in Highland Park, Mich. Fakih pleaded no contest in the case, and on May 9 she was sentenced to probation and community service for driving under the influence and getting pulled over with an open Champagne bottle in her car. (AP, Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. A transgender Miss Universe?

    Jenna Talackova, a transgender beauty queen, protested the decision by pageant representatives to drop her from the Miss Universe Canada competition. She was finally given the green light to go by the Donald Trump-led Miss Universe Organization. The 23-year-old will, however, need to prove that she meets the "legal gender recognition requirements of Canada," according to local media. (Mario Anzuoni / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Miss California 1992

    They may be beautiful, but the competition can get ugly. From blackmail to sabotage, check out the underside of the pageant circuit.

    First up: Miss California 1992 Shannon Marketic, center, was accused of stealing almost $90 in beauty products from a Target store in August 2010. Marketic, 38, denies stealing the items and says they rolled in the cart and landed underneath her purse. (AP, Denton Police Department) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Former Miss California USA 2009

    Hosts Billy Bush and Nadine Velazquez listen as Miss California Carrie Prejean makes her highly publicized answer to a question from judge Perez Hilton about legalizing same-sex marriage during the Miss USA Pageant in Las Vegas on April 19, 2009. The controversy grew in ensuing weeks when Prejean became the spokesperson for a national group opposing same-sex unions, after which racy photos of her surfaced. Prejean blamed people opposing her views for the release of the photos. She eventually surrendered her crown after pageant officials accused her of missing events, an allegation she denied. (Eric Jamison / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Miss Universe 2008

    Crowned Miss Universe in July 2008, Venezuela's Dayana Mendoza kept her crown despite risque photos that showed the beauty queen topless, though covering most of her chest. The Miss Universe president said that Mendoza’s photographs had "artistic beauty." (Evan Agostini / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Miss Washington 2008

    Elyse Umemoto, Miss Washington and second runner-up in this year's Miss America pageant, was shown flipping off the camera while wearing her crown, playing beer pong, posing in her bra and making suggestive hand signs on TMZ.com. (Jacob Andrzejczak / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Miss South Florida Fair 2008

    Jessica Wittenbrink, who was crowned Miss South Florida Fair 2008, says her evening gown was smeared with lipstick during the competition. (Uma Sanghvi / Palm Beach Post via Zuma Press) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Miss Puerto Rico 2007

    Ingrid Marie Rivera smiles during a beauty pageant in Santurce, Puerto Rico. Rivera beat 29 rivals to become the island's 2008 Miss Universe contestant, despite applying makeup and wearing evening gowns that had been coated with pepper spray, pageant spokesman Harold Rosario said. (Ricardo Daz Serrano / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Miss New Jersey 2007

    Amy Polumbo was crowned Miss New Jersey 2007. An anonymous person threatened to reveal "scandalous" photos of the beauty queen, but Polumbo refused to cave in to the blackmail. She took the incident public and revealed the photos herself on TODAY. (Donald B. Kravitz / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Miss USA 2006

    Tara Conner, representing Kentucky, won the Miss USA title in 2006 and moved to New York City where she partied in clubs and drank despite being underage. Donald Trump gave her a reprieve, allowing her to retain the title after she agreed to enter rehab and undergo drug testing. (Chris Gardner / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Miss South Carolina Teen USA

    Lauren Caitlin Upton, Miss South Carolina, became a Internet sensation with her nonsensical answer to a question during the Miss Teen USA competition in August 2007. The 18-year-old got a chance to redeem herself on TODAY when she was again asked why one-fifth of Americans can't locate the U.S. on a map. (Patrick Prather / Miss Universe via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Miss France 2008

    Despite racy photos that appeared recently in a gossip magazine, Miss France 2008 Valerie Begue will keep her crown, but will not compete in the Miss World or Miss Universe pageants. (Francois Mori / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Miss Nevada USA 2006

    Katie Rees was stripped of her title in 2006 after racy photos of her appeared on the Internet. Some of the photos showed her kissing other young women, exposing her breasts and pulling down her pants to show her thong underwear. Afterwards, Rees signed a two-year, $2 million-plus deal to host a variety show at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. In April, Rees agreed to pay fines for five misdemeanor traffic violations in exchange for prosecutors dropping a charge of resisting arrest. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Miss New Jersey USA 2007

    Ashley Harder held the title of Miss New Jersey USA 2007 and was set to compete in the Miss USA pageant before she became pregnant and voluntarily stepped down. Runner-up Erin Abrahamson assumed the title. (Marcin Szczepanski / Courier-Post via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Miss California USA 2008

    Christina Silva, 24, was declared Miss California USA in November only to have her crown revoked days later. Pageant official say a mix-up in tallying the votes led to the wrong woman being crowned. Silva, who is Hispanic, is suing the pageant, alleging rigging and racial bias. (Damian Dovarganes / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Miss Great Britain 2006

    Danielle Lloyd was stripped of her title after it was revealed that she had posed nude for Playboy and amid accusations that she was dating one of the judges at the time of the contest. Lloyd went on to star in the British reality show Celebrity Big Brother in 2007 where she and other contestants were accused of bullying and making racist comments about Indian actress Shilpa Shetty. (Guang Niu / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Miss United States Teen 2003

    Former Miss Oregon Teen USA Kari Ann Peniche was stripped of her title in 2003 after she posed nude for Playboy magazine. Peniche appeared as a patient on the VH1 television show Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew but was involuntarily discharged.

    In 2009, a racy video of Peniche, "Grey’s Anatomy" star Eric Dane and his wife Rebecca Gayheart was leaked. The 12-minute video was said to be shot inside Peniche’s apartment, and within it, Gayheart said she was high. (Albert L. Ortega / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Miss Louisiana Teen USA 2008

    Miss Louisiana Teen USA 2008 Lindsey Evans was stripped of her crown 10 days before completing her reign. She and her friends skipped out on a $46 restaurant bill, and Evans left behind her purse, which contained a bag of marijuana. The women were arrested for theft and drug possession when they returned to retrieve the purse. (Splash News) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Miss Universe 2002

    Former Miss Russia Oxana Fedorova was fired less than four months into her reign for missing too many events. She was a law student at the time and complained that being Miss Universe interfered with her education. "I never had any intention of abandoning my university work," she said.

    The pageant president said contestants know Miss Universe is a full-time job and that winners spend 80 percent of their time traveling as goodwill ambassadors. (Dita Alangkara / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Miss America 1984

    Vanessa Williams, representing New York, became the first black Miss America. She had to resign when nude photos taken before her beauty contest victories were published in Penthouse. The crown was given to Suzette Charles, who's also black. Williams later became a successful singer with such hits as "Save the Best for Last," and "Colors of the Wind." Some of her movie credits include "Eraser," "Soul Food" and "Dance with Me." She currently plays the scheming fashion editor on "Ugly Betty." (Yvonne Hemsey / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Miss World 1973

    Marjorie Wallace was dethroned about four months into her reign, after she was accused of dating too many high-profile men, including professional soccer player George Best and singer Tom Jones. The organizers said the first woman from the U.S. to win the title hadn't maintained Miss World's reputation. She later became a television host for "Good Morning Los Angeles" and "Entertainment Tonight." (Evening Standard / Everning Standard via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  1. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  2. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  3. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  4. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. @HillaryClinton/twitter

    Hillary Clinton: Granddaughter led me 'to speed up' political plans

    4/10/2015 3:58:42 PM +00:00 2015-04-10T15:58:42
  1. Courtesy Bryan Morseman

    Marathon dad's victories help raise money for son with spina bifida

    4/10/2015 5:54:50 PM +00:00 2015-04-10T17:54:50
  1. YouTube

    8 great celebrity impressions of other celebrities

    4/10/2015 6:44:22 PM +00:00 2015-04-10T18:44:22