Texas beauty queen Domonique Ramirez wins 'fat' case
- 25 March 2011
- From the section US & Canada
A US beauty contest winner who claimed she was stripped of her crown because she had gained weight has won her courtroom fight to regain the title.
Seventeen-year-old Domonique Ramirez claimed pageant officials in Texas had told her to "get off the tacos".
Organisers of the Miss San Antonio contest said she was dismissed because she had breached her contract.
After nearly 12 hours of deliberation, jurors in Bexar County, Texas, ruled in favour of Ms Ramirez.
Judge Barbara Nellermoe said she didn't "have any choice but to reinstate Domonique Ramirez as Miss San Antonio 2011".
"This is about principle, this is about what's right," the 5ft 8in (173cm), 129lb (58.5kg) Ms Ramirez said after the verdict on Thursday.
Organisers took away the teenager's crown in January, saying she had arrived late to events and failed to conduct herself in a way befitting a beauty queen.
During the week-long trial, pageant director Linda Woods said the teenager had turned up to a bikini shoot overweight, making the pictures "unusable".
Ms Ramirez told the court that pageant bosses had said she "needed to lay off the tacos and the junk food".
Ms Woods described the verdict as an "injustice for the city of San Antonio".
Jury foreman Jesse Sanchez told the local newspaper, the Express-News, that the verdict was a "a hard decision". She declined to divulge what damages and fees were awarded to Ms Ramirez.
Now that she has her title back, Ms Ramirez is eligible to compete for the titles of Miss Texas and Miss America.
But, one complication remains. During her dismissal period, another Miss San Antonio, Ashley Dixon, was crowned.
"I don't plan on taking the crown away from Ashley. I'm hoping that we'll be able to share and she can go to Miss Texas as well as Miss Bexar County, and we can both share the crown," Ms Ramirez said.