Domonique Ramirez, the size-2 beauty queen who may be stripped of her Miss San Antonio crown after allegedly being told to "get off the tacos" and to lose 13 pounds, denied on TODAY she had violated the weight clause of her contract, which she says was the reason, among other things, that led to her being fired.
"I'm still the same weight," she told TODAY's Lester Holt. "I fit perfectly into my clothes."
Ramirez filed a lawsuit against the Miss Bexar County Organization after the group informed her on Jan. 25 that they were stripping her of her title and handing it over to first runner-up Ashley Dixon.
For now, a judge has blocked Dixon from claiming the title until Ramirez’s legal complaint is addressed, and a growing war of words has ignited between the beauty queen and the people who crowned her last April.
"No one should ever have to be treated this way," Ramirez said about the ordeal. She said she's fighting for her crown because "this is beyond me, it's beyond the pageant directors. It's Miss America. It's about scholarship and education."
Weighty issuesWhile Miss San Antonio pageant board president Linda Woods claims Ramirez’s “weight was never an issue,” the teen tells a different story — saying Woods told her to “get off the tacos” if she wanted to keep her crown.
Ramirez told Holt that nowhere in her contract does it specify she has to be a certain weight and size, and if she did gain any weight it was because she was working with a personal trainer and gained muscle — not fat.
"Do I look like I need to lose 13 pounds?" she told NBC News. "If I lost 13 pounds, I'd be anorexic."
But Woods has countered that Ramirez’s weight was the least of the teen queen’s issues; she maintains Ramirez showed up for some promotional events an hour late, or not at all, and violated pageant rules by bringing her boyfriend to events.
Ramirez denied the latter allegation on TODAY. She said her boyfriend came to a few of her appearances on his own and had little contact with her. As for being late, she admitted she had shown up late at times to the London Daily Mail, but insisted the problem arose only because both of her parents worked and she had only recently received a driver's license.
Still, Woods conceded to several media outlets that pageant officials had talked to Ramirez about her weight, saying they were worried that Ramirez had gotten heavier since winning the pageant, and they wanted her to look her best when she competed in the Miss Texas pageant this summer.
Ramirez said the issue about her weight came up at a photo shoot. Headshots were supposed to be taken, but she also had to take pictures in a swimsuit. She said Woods told her then to "get off the tacos, get off the chips, you've got to lose this weight to get ready for Miss Texas."
Woods defended her comments days ago on KSTA Radio about the junk food. "She’s 17, and that’s what these kids eat,” she said.
Racial overtones?Speaking to the San Antonio Express, Ramirez’s lawyer, Luis Vera Jr., indicated there may have been racial overtones in the move to oust his client.
“The way I see this is these rich, white Dominion types versus the Latinos who are busting themselves to make a living,” he said.
Added Ramirez: “They’re bringing up stuff from the past and making up stuff that is not even true.”
A court date on the case is set for Feb. 16.
Michael Inbar contributed to this report.