A spokesman for the Miss California pageant denied on Monday that contest officials told Carrie Prejean to publicly apologize for her statement opposing same-sex marriage during the Miss USA pageant.
Carrie Prejean, 21, claimed during Sunday services at her San Diego church that producers of the state pageant told her to apologize to the gay community and to avoid mentioning religion when she appeared last week on the TODAY show and other national programs.
But San Diego public relations representative Roger Neal, who said he was one of the people advising her, called those claims lies. Contest officials urged Prejean only to reiterate that she didn't mean to offend anyone and to use the national spotlight "to heal some wounds," he said.
“She chose to stand up in church and in front of the media and say something that was a lie,” Neal said. “No one ever said, 'You must apologize to the gay community,' and no one ever said, 'Don't talk about your faith or your religion.' Those two things never came out of anybody's mouth.”
Prejean didn't immediately return a call from The Associated Press on Monday.
During her appearances at the Rock Church in San Diego, she said she turned to her pastor there for comfort and counsel after she was criticized for saying during the Miss USA pageant that she thought marriage should only be between a man and a woman.
Keith Lewis, a Los Angeles talent agent and gay activist who runs the Miss California pageant, also issued a statement expressing dismay with Prejean and concern about her ability to carry out her duties during the remainder of her rein.
“Given the fact that Carrie Prejean's first act upon returning to California was to headline five services at a church that promotes homosexuality as both unnatural and abnormal, we stand by our concern for her individual image and look forward to a time in the near future when she can put down her personal agenda” and resume her responsibilities as Miss California, Jenkins wrote.