Dethroned Miss Florida files $15 million lawsuit over alleged smear campaign

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Dethroned Miss Florida Fights Back With $15M Lawsuit

Well, this isn't a pretty allegation.

A Miss Florida contestant who won the beauty competition in July but was stripped of her title days later has filed a $15 million lawsuit, claiming that she was subjected to a "false, malicious and defamatory public-smearing campaign, causing humiliation and embarrassment" to her.

In her suit, filed in circuit court in Florida on Monday, Genesis Davila named Miss Florida pageant owner IMG Universe, pageant producer Tel-Air Interests and executive director Grant Gravitt Jr.

Davila claims that, days after being crowned, she was called to Tel-Air's offices, where Gravitt "began to scream at her, asserting that she had lied, was a 'cheater,' and stating that he would 'take her down.'"

According to the suit, Gravitt first claimed that Davila, a citizen of Puerto Rico who had lived in Miami for more than 18 months, had lied about being a U.S. citizen.

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LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 05: Miss Mississippi USA 2016 Haley Sowers stands onstage during the 2016 Miss USA pageant at T-Mobile Arena on June 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 05: Miss Minnesota USA 2016 Bridget Jacobs stands onstage during the 2016 Miss USA pageant at T-Mobile Arena on June 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 05: Miss Illinois USA 2016 Zena Malak stands onstage during the 2016 Miss USA pageant at T-Mobile Arena on June 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 05: Miss Georgia USA 2016 Emanii Davis stands onstage during the 2016 Miss USA pageant at T-Mobile Arena on June 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 05: Miss Arkansas USA 2016 Abby Floyd stands onstage during the 2016 Miss USA pageant at T-Mobile Arena on June 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 05: Miss Connecticut USA 2016 Tiffany Teixeira stands onstage during the 2016 Miss USA pageant at T-Mobile Arena on June 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 05: Miss South Carolina USA 2016 Leah Lawson is named a top 15 finalist during the 2016 Miss USA pageant at T-Mobile Arena on June 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 05: Miss Georgia USA 2016 Emanii Davis is named a top 15 finalist during the 2016 Miss USA pageant at T-Mobile Arena on June 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 05: Miss New York USA 2016 Serena Bucaj stands onstage during the 2016 Miss USA pageant at T-Mobile Arena on June 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 05: Miss South Carolina USA 2016 Leah Lawson is named a top 15 finalist during the 2016 Miss USA pageant at T-Mobile Arena on June 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 05: Miss West Virginia USA 2016 Nichole Greene is named a top 15 finalist during the 2016 Miss USA pageant at T-Mobile Arena on June 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 05: Miss Alabama USA 2016 Peyton Brown is named a top 15 finalist during the 2016 Miss USA pageant at T-Mobile Arena on June 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 05: Miss Missouri USA 2016 Sydnee Stottlemyre is named a top 15 finalist during the 2016 Miss USA pageant at T-Mobile Arena on June 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 05: Miss New York USA 2016 Serena Bucaj stands onstage during the 2016 Miss USA pageant at T-Mobile Arena on June 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 05: Miss New Jersey USA 2016 Jessielyn Palumbo stands onstage during the 2016 Miss USA pageant at T-Mobile Arena on June 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 05: Miss Oregon USA 2016 Natriana Shorter stands onstage during the 2016 Miss USA pageant at T-Mobile Arena on June 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 05: Miss Rhode Island USA 2016 Theresa Agonia stands onstage during the 2016 Miss USA pageant at T-Mobile Arena on June 5, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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After an immigration lawyer affirmed that Davila was, in fact, qualified to compete, the lawsuit says, Gravitt claimed that Davila had "lied and cheated" by using an unauthorized vendor to help with her hair and makeup during the pageant, claiming as evidence a photo that was taken a week prior to the pageant, Davila claims.

The lawsuit claims that Gravitt was working, at least in part, out of prejudice.

"Gravitt's ever-changing and unsupported reasons for stripping Plaintiff of her title and crown of Miss Florida is financially motivated and due to his ... overt prejudice against Puerto Ricans," the complaint reads.

IMG has not yet responded to TheWrap's request for comment.

Davila claims breach of contract (oral and implied in fact) and intentional infliction of emotional stress.

Davila is seeking damages "at the maximum legal rate in an amount in excess of $15 million."

Read original story Dethroned Miss Florida Files $15 Million Lawsuit Over Alleged Smear Campaign At TheWrap

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