TODAY   |  June 09, 2012

Suit filed against Miss USA beauty

Donald Trump’s Miss Universe organization has filed a lawsuit against a former Miss Pennsylvania who gave back her crown and charged that the Miss USA pageant is fixed. NBC’s Mara Schiavocampo reports.

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>>> now the scandal involving the miss usa pageant . donald trump 's miss universe organization has filed legal action against former miss pennsylvania . the move comes after she resigned claiming the pageant was rigged. here's nbc's maria schiavocampo.

>> reporter: she walked the pageant. now she's standing her ground. former miss pennsylvania sheena monnin not backing down, feeling the pa jegeant is rigged. speaking exclusively on the "today" show, monnin prettied her claim. she said she had seen a list of five contestants before the show even started, the list that she says was announced live on the air.

>> i feel an injustice to those who were not in the top five but thousands of pageant girls who compete believing this is an honest system, and i did for nine years.

>> reporter: she didn't make the top 16 and later she resigned on facebook over the claim. now the miss university organization owned by universal and donald trump , they're fighting back. in a statement he said they're filing a legala against her for her ongoing defamatory statements. on facebook she wrote,ly not be bought off, i will not be bullied into silence, i will not be pressured into changing or recanting what i would do. another is also speaking out in an exclusive interview. she said she simply made a comment about a rehearsal list.

>> i honestly don't even remember speaking to her. i know i made the comment out laid saying about some rehearsal list backstage and she assumed that i said a fact which i said it jokingly.

>> donald trump 's wife, a former model who's no stranger to the beauty industry is defending the competition too.

>> everything is correctly done.

>> reporter: monnin is a self-descri self-described. her attempt to step down was on a protest to allow transgender contestants.

>> not only is she making serious allegations but her information is coming from what we call hearsay or a third party.

>> reporter: now the woman who claims the miss usa pageant isn't judged may be the one facing judgment. for today, maria schiavocampo, nbc news, new york.