07/12/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Miss California Was "Combative" And "Really Difficult": Pageant Official

Miss California Carrie Prejean lost her crown on Wednesday and Thursday morning pageant executive Keith Lewis told CBS's 'The Early Show' how she was difficult to work with and skipped "tens and tens" of appearances.

"It was a combative relationship. It was just very difficult for us," Lewis told Julie Chen. "We tried to meet halfway, and it was obvious that wasn't going to happen."

He said they now only speak through their attorneys.



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JULIE CHEN, CO-ANCHOR: While she sparked controversy with everything from her views on gay marriage to news of her breast implants, now Donald Trump has taken the Miss California title away from Carrie Prejean, allegedly because she skipped out on public appearances. The crown now goes to Tami Farrell, who joins us from Los Angeles, along with the executive director of the Miss California organization, Keith Lewis.

Good morning to you both.



Good morning.

CHEN: Keith, let me begin with you. What appearances did she skip out on, and how many appearances did she skip out on?

LEWIS: More than I could name off the top of my head, tens and tens and tens. So, she was unavailable. She didn't want to make them. She didn't want to make any appearances in Hollywood. She was just really difficult to work with.

CHEN: What was her excuse? What would she say?

LEWIS: Well, different things at different times, from I've got other commitments to I'm not just Miss Hollywood. I need to be other things and making other things in the state.

I think the important thing is the fact that we came to a meeting of the minds in New York. We said we were putting it behind us. We were moving forward. We were going to get back on track. And that was really far from what happened.

CHEN: In your history of working with the Miss California organization, is that not typical behavior for a Miss California to miss as many appearances as you say she missed?

LEWIS: Yes. It was a combatative relationship. It was just very difficult for us. We tried to meet halfway, and it was obvious that wasn't going to happen. And finally, there was a point where the organization really had to stand up and say, you know what, it's time for us to move on and get back to the business of beauty.

And Mr. Trump agreed with us. He's the one that came forward and said, go ahead and give her her walking papers.

CHEN: Keith, have you heard from her since she got fired? What has she said?

LEWIS: No. We deal through attorneys. So, it's appropriate for the attorneys.

CHEN: Have you heard from her attorney?

LEWIS: Pardon me?

CHEN: Have you heard from her attorney, then?

LEWIS: I think my attorney has heard from her attorney, yes.

CHEN: And what was said?

LEWIS: Well, her attorney is also the general counsel for the National Organization for Marriage, which was kind of what created this controversy, when she went out and began doing some public appearances for them. So, I think that, you know, we need to keep everything in perspective. We...

CHEN: Is she going to fight this? Is she going to try to get her title back, do you know?

LEWIS: I don't think she ever really wanted to have the title afterwards because that wasn't consistent with her behavior. I think if you tell your boss, I'm not going to do the job, I'm going to do whatever I want, you can't tell me what I'm going to do, I think that you expect that your boss is going to say to you, you know what, you're probably not supposed to be in this job anymore.

CHEN: Well, now in the job is Tami. Tami, let me turn to you. How excited are you to be the new Miss California?

FARRELL: I'm really excited. I'm honored to be representing the state of California. I mean, this is the first time in ten years that the Miss California pageant is actually going to be televised. So, I think this is a great opportunity.

CHEN: How are you going to handle your duties differently than we saw Carrie Prejean, Tami?

FARRELL: Well, you know, I think people forget. A month ago I was named the beauty ambassador for our state, and I've actually started doing several appearances since last month, appearances that she was unavailable to do. So, I think I'm just going to make myself available to Keith and to the program. And there's a lot of charities that I'm passionate about. So, I'm excited to work with them.

LEWIS: And Julie, she's...

CHEN: Good for you.

LEWIS: ... she's a former previous national title holder. She was Miss Teen USA, so she intimately knows what the responsibilities are in this role.

CHEN: Good. Keith, in the final seconds, all this publicity over Carrie Prejean, is it going to end up helping her at the end of the day, even getting fired?

LEWIS: I think Carrie Prejean will be successful in what she decides to put her mind towards, and I think also the pageant will be successful because the pageant has raised awareness on this program and Miss USA and another three years, so...

CHEN: Yes. It certainly has gotten a lot of attention for you guys. Keith Lewis, Tami Farrell, thank you both. And Tami, congratulations.

FARRELL: Thank you so much.

LEWIS: Thank you.

CHEN: You're welcome.

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