A contestant who claimed the Miss USA contest was fixed has been ordered to pay the pageant $US5 million ($4.76 million) for defamation.
In a decision signed last week, an arbitrator found that Sheena Monnin’s comments were false, harmful and malicious. Ms Monnin was Miss Pennsylvania USA.
The arbitrator said there was no reasonable possibility the judging was rigged.
Ms Monnin did not participate in the arbitration. Her lawyer’s office said there was no comment.
The arbitrator said Ms Monnin was disgruntled about not making it past the preliminary rounds. He also said she objected to the pageant’s decision to allow transgender contestants.
Ms Monnin resigned as Miss Pennsylvania USA after the pageant.
The arbitrator said her allegations on Facebook and NBC’s Today show cost the pageant $US5 million from a potential 2013 sponsor.