Ms. America Pageant sends Katie Williams a Cease and Desist Letter

The pageant website clearly states under Rules and Regulations that it is a “No Politics” pageant. All contestants can read this on the website before applying to the pageant.

All contestants are required to hand sign and initial this agreement stating their willingness to comply. Any contestant violating this agreement will become ineligible to compete. Here you can see Ms. Williams hand signed initials in the bottom right hand cor

The contract that Katie Williams hand signed states that if the pageant determines her ineligible to participate in the national pageant then her title, Ms. Nevada State 2019, crown and sash shall be terminated, forfeited and returned to the Ms. America P

Here is the Signature Page from the Contract. Please note that it was hand signed by Katie Williams!

And here is a screenshot from 8/17/2019 (the day before she was removed) of Ms. Williams breaching the contract with a political post on her PAGEANT Facebook Fan page. Notice the date on the bottom right hand corner that shows the day the screen shot was

A Cease and Desist letter was sent to Katie Williams stating all the false claims that she has repeatedly made to the media and the public.

Katie Williams claims of censorship are false. The only reason Katie became ineligible to compete in the pageant was her blatant and repeated violations of her signed contract with the pageant.”

— Susan Jeske – CEO Ms. America Pageant

COSTA MESA, CA, US, November 8, 2019 / — A Cease and Desist letter was sent to Katie Williams from the Ms. America Pageant legal counsel Jeff Reeves of Theodora Oringher PC, stating all the false claims that she has repeatedly made to the media and the public about her being Ms. Nevada State 2019 and the false accusations against the Ms. America Pageant concerning why she was declared ineligible to compete at the 2019 national pageant.

For the complete text of the Cease and Desist Letter CLICK HERE.

Below are some excerpts from the document.

"…Specifically, you are now peddling the false narrative that you were censored and stripped of your title as Ms. Nevada State 2019 based on your political views. Your statements to that effect are knowingly false, seriously harmful and damaging to my clients’ and their reputations, and are therefore actionable defamation. As outlined above, you became ineligible for the Pageant simply because you repeatedly breached the Agreement and refused to cure those breaches despite being given ample opportunity to do so. Your ineligibility to compete was in no way connected to any political views you might have held or espoused.
Notwithstanding all of this, you saw fit to make the following statements, each one demonstrably false, as you knew at the time you made it:
1. “This [disqualification] comes after many emails of the coordinators emailing me saying quote, I am too political to be in the pageant.”
2. “Their basic answer was to delete everything on my page.”
3. “I asked what was the actual content they didn’t like, and they never gave me an answer.”
4. “I don’t understand how you can censor someone with [certain political] values when I’m not really saying anything bad.”
5. “For them to get mad at me for supporting [a politician], I really couldn’t believe it.”
6. “It became very clear that there was a clear political bias towards me.”
7. “The moment I dawned that … hat, it was all, it was all going.”
8. “I think it’s my support of [a political figure that led to my disqualification].”
9. “When I was Ms. Nevada State and was posting things and other contestants posted similar things that were polar opposite views, nothing happened to them. . . I sent these screenshots [of other contestants’ posts] to the CEO, she told me I was confused and didn’t know what political meant.”
Each of the above statements, standing alone, is demonstrably false, and you made each statement knowing it to be false. It is clear that you had no intention of reporting the truth when you made them. Your prior conduct therefore constitutes actionable defamation for which my clients may well seek damages…"

"…As you know, you are a party to a binding contract with the Pageant. You agreed to all terms of the Rules, Regulations and Terms of the At-Large Titleholder Agreement for Participation in the Ms. America Pageant Inc. (the “Agreement”) dated April 17, 2019. You signed it, initialed every page, and represented that you had the opportunity to consult with an attorney to give you legal advice before you signed it. Unfortunately, you have repeatedly breached the Agreement, and the Agreement unambiguously spells out the consequences for participants in the Ms. America Pageant who breach it.

Specifically, a breach of the Agreement, “shall [in Pageant’s sole discretion] result in the entrant’s disqualification, loss of title and return of crown, sash, and any and all prizes awarded.” Your breaches, explained below, resulted in your disqualification from the Pageant.

And, you expressly signed off on the consequences for your breach:
I understand and agree that I will surrender any title, crown, sash, gift(s), and prize(s) awarded to me by MAP, when, in the sole discretion of MAP, MAP determines that I am unable, fail, or refuse to fulfill the duties and obligations required under this Agreement.

You also know that you are in no position to challenge the Pageant’s determination as to your ineligibility to compete, having contracted as follows:
I understand and agree that MAP shall determine all issues as to eligibility to compete in the National Pageant. I agree to abide by an eligibility determination both as to myself and other applicants.

Now let me explain the exact nature of your breaches. You have repeatedly and flagrantly violated Section 1.i of the Agreement. That section provides, in part, that:

I will not post political statements, opinions or anything that could be misconstrued as a political statement or opinion on any form of social media, media or Internet. I will not use my title to endorse any political figure or promote any political agenda, or cause, or anything that could be misconstrued as a political figure or political agenda or cause.

As Ms. Jeske explained to you before you signed the Agreement, the Pageant is a “No Politics” event. And there is a simple reason for that policy: the Pageant does not want to be drawn into controversy due to potentially being seen as endorsing any political candidate, party or cause. Yet, to balance the Pageant’s legitimate objective to remain free from controversy, with its desire to allow participants like you to voice your political opinions, the Pageant permits, indeed encourages, participants to create a separate social media account to be used for their Ms. America title. That way, participants can keep their personal social media accounts and post whatever political or other content they want to post there, and then maintain a separate Ms. America account to be used simply for the Pageant. Indeed, you stated you “understand and agree that I will hold my business and professional [social media] sites, accounts and pages separate from my pageant site, accounts and pages…”

"… The Pageant had and has no philosophical issue with your political views. The problem, as you know, was that you chose to mix politics and pageant on your Personal Account, something you had never done before…"

"…You ignored Ms. Jeske’s email and multiple requests for a conversation, and did not even attempt to follow her instructions on how to remedy your violation.
Then, on August 17, 2019, Ms. Jeske called and emailed you (again, asking to speak to you in person) because your Personal Account, Fan Page, and Ms. Nevada State 2019 Account continued to intermingle politics and Pageant…"

"…the issue was obviously not whether you had created separate social media pages. Rather, the very point of creating the separate accounts was to allow you to keep your political commentary separate from the Pageant, and thereby remain eligible for the Pageant by no longer being in breach of the Agreement. But you persisted in mixing your Ms. Nevada State 2019 title with political speech on all social media accounts…"

"…There were 40 participants in this year’s Ms. America Pageant, and 39 of them had no difficulty following this simple directive…"

"…Moreover, there is no factual basis for your contentions that my clients allegedly singled you out and allowed other contestants to post political speech. You told my client on July 31 via Facebook Messenger that other contestants were violating the No Politics policy, and when Ms. Jeske asked for specific examples, you refused to identify any. It was not until August 18—nearly three weeks later and after you became ineligible to compete —that for the first time you sent Ms. Jeske alleged violations committed by other contestants. But those alleged “violations” were not violations at all. They reflected non-political speech related to topics such as child and animal abuse…"

"…Trying yet again to help you rectify this breach before serious consequences resulted, Ms. Jeske made five separate requests to speak to you over the phone between August 8 and 10. But you refused to speak to her, instead demanding that all communications take place only by email. Ms. Jeske respected your request and emailed you the following message on August 10, again advising you that your Pageant social media had to be kept separate from your political social media; she even offered advice on how to fix the problem:
Dear Katie,
I am sure that you just overlooked it but can you please take off your political Facebook personal profile page that you are Ms. Nevada State 2019. Just go to the Facebook information Section and it is easy to fix…"

"…While you never returned Ms. Jeske’s August 17 call, you did acknowledge her voicemail in an email dated August 17, 2019, and stated “I did separate the accounts so I’m unsure of what you aren’t happy with.” But the issue was obviously not whether you had created separate social media pages. Rather, the very point of creating the separate accounts was to allow you to keep your political commentary separate from the Pageant, and thereby remain eligible for the Pageant by no longer being in breach of the Agreement. But you persisted in mixing your Ms. Nevada State 2019 title with political speech on all social media accounts.

Thus, the next day, on August 18, 2019, my clients had no choice but to declare you ineligible to compete in the 2019 Ms. America Pageant for your violations of Rule 1.i. of the Agreement. But even then my clients still graciously attempted to work with you to cure your contract violations. Ms. Jeske gave you nearly 24 hours to resolve the outstanding issues which would have restored your eligibility to participate in the Pageant:
I tried to call you tonight to try to resolve your social media issues…"

"…Based on the examples you emailed [of other contestants allegedly violating the No Politics policy], I do not believe you understand the no politics rule of the pageant. Stephanie and I would like to resolve a few last issues on your social media account which must be done over the phone. You need to take a phone call with us because we don’t have time to go back and forth in email any longer. If you cannot talk to us over the phone then you are no longer eligible to compete in this years pageant. This must be done by 5 pm August 19, 2019 – PST.
The pageant wishes you well and we hope to speak to you. Please give us a few options of time that you can take our call…"

"…But, for what can now be seen as your own self-promoting reasons, you continued to refuse my clients’ efforts to cooperate in resolving the issues, instead choosing to remain ineligible to compete as you responded on August 18 that you would “email [her] tomorrow about the crown and refund.” Indeed, you ignored no less than 15 attempts by Ms. Jeske to speak to you between July 31 and August 18, 2019, concerning your violations of the Agreement.
In sum, you became ineligible to compete in the 2019 Ms. America Pageant because of your own conduct. It was your choice to repeatedly breach, and remain in breach of, the Agreement and thereby disqualify yourself from the competition. But making things far worse, you decided to lie about the reasons why you were not eligible for the Pageant this year…"

For the complete text of the Cease and Desist Letter go to:

The Ms. America® Pageant is a California Corporation that currently owns and runs the Ms. International™, Ms. America®, Ms. America® International, Ms. America® Elite, Miss International Beauty® and USA International®. The Ms. America Pageant is for women 26 years of age and up who are single, divorced, widowed or married with or without children. Contestants are to have a Platform or Cause that they believe in and would like to use their title and “crown for a purpose” to make a difference. This year, the Contestants together made over 600 appearances which contributed to over 3000 volunteer service hours. All contestants in the pageant received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award for the Class of 2019. The National titleholders made over 350 appearances and each received the Presidential Volunteer Service award, which included a gold medal pin, certificate, and a letter signed by the President of the United States on White House stationery. Ms. America is a registered federal trademark with the USPTO in Washington DC since February 2000.

Susan Jeske
Ms. America Pageant Inc
+1 949-679-8888
email us here
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Source: EIN Presswire