Testimony began Thursday in the trial of a lawsuit brought by a 17-year-old Texas beauty queen who accused pageant organizers of harassing her about her weight before stripping her of this year's Miss San Antonio title.
Domonique Ramirez is suing Miss Bexar County Organization Inc. in Bexar County state district court to regain her crown, alleging she was wrongly deprived of the 2011 crown she won at last April's pageant. The organization is a Miss America affiliate that runs the Miss San Antonio pageant.
In opening statements Wednesday, her attorney for Ramirez, Luis Vera Jr., noted his client's case attracted global attention after a pageant official said Ramirez had been warned to "get off the tacos."
The pageant has said it wanted to encourage better eating habits, but Ramirez called the official's comment a slur on her weight.
A pageant organizer who stripped a Texas beauty queen of her title says photos of the 17-year-old in a bikini were unusable despite attempts to airbrush them.
Linda Woods testified Thursday that Domonique Ramirez is "not fat by any stretch of the imagination."
But Woods says the teenager was named 2011 Miss San Antonio because of her strength in the bikini portion of the competition and she was no longer in that shape.
Woods is president of the Miss Bexar County organization. Ramirez is suing to re-claim her crown and compete in the Miss Texas pageant, a run-up to the Miss America contest.
Woods also told jurors Ramirez refused help from vocal coaches and didn't write thank-you notes. She says the "irresponsible" behavior led to Ramirez's ouster.
So, Ramirez sued Miss Bexar County Organization Inc., the Miss America affiliate that runs the Miss San Antonio pageant.
Vera contends organizers harassed the girl over her weight before yanking her title based on what he told jurors were "outright fabrications." Ramirez is 5-foot-8 and weighs 129 pounds.
Pageant attorney Ben Wallis Jr. said Ramirez signed a contract with the pageant organization. "One of the provisions says that Miss San Antonio is never late. That's a given," he told jurors. "I daresay if any of you were late for work on a regular basis, you wouldn't be working for that place."
Ramirez, who was crowned Miss San Antonio 2011 last April, was stripped of her crown in January. First runner-up Ashley Dixon was crowned in a courtroom after state District Judge Cathleen Stryker denied Ramirez a temporary restraining order last month. That prompted Ramirez to seek a jury trial.
A portion of Ramirez's contract stating that a "baseline for my weight and measurements will be established" is among the contract violations listed in a countersuit filed by the Miss Bexar County group. Most of the allegations, however, accuse Ramirez of being chronically tardy for appearances, such as grocery store openings, or skipping them altogether.