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MADD cuts ties with Miss Teen USA

Mothers Against Drunk Driving said Wednesday that allegations of illegal underage drinking had led it to sever ties with 18-year-old Katie Blair, the reigning Miss Teen USA.

MADD said it was “disappointed” by news reports of hard partying by Blair and Miss USA Tara Conner, who on Tuesday tearfully admitted drinking at New York nightclubs as a minor. Conner turned 21 on Monday.

“In the past, MADD has teamed with Miss Teen USA to raise awareness about the serious and often deadly consequences of underage drinking. However, we do not feel, at this time, that Ms. Blair can be an effective spokesperson on underage drinking and will not ask her to represent MADD in future initiatives,” Heidi Castle, a spokeswoman for MADD, said in a statement.

A message left for a representative of Blair, of Billings, Mont., wasn’t immediately returned.

Donald Trump — owner of the Miss Universe Organization, which includes Miss Teen USA and Miss USA — said Tuesday at a news conference in New York that he would allow Conner to keep her crown if she settles down and enters alcohol rehab.

Miss Universe Organization spokeswoman Lark-Marie Anton said Blair’s crown also was safe.

Anton said the company respected “MADD’s decision as much as we respect their work. We look forward to working with them in the future.”

In a story Wednesday in The Billings (Mont.) Gazette, Paula Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization, said “a lot of the stories” of Blair’s activities were unfounded.

“I’m sorry that Katie got dragged into this,” Shugart said. “People just wanted to tell a story, and a lot of it is just to see the name of a particular club in the New York papers, whether it’s true or not.”

Rosie O’Donnell, co-host of ABC’s “The View,” said on Wednesday’s show that Trump’s news conference with Conner had annoyed her “on a multitude of levels.”

“... Left the first wife, had an affair, left the second wife, had an affair. Had kids both times, but he’s the moral compass for 20-year-olds in America,” the comedian-actress said to roars of audience laughter. “Donald, sit and spin my friend.”

Trump didn’t immediately respond Wednesday to a phone call from The Associated Press seeking comment about O’Donnell’s remarks.

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