Prejean’s Boyfriend: Plenty More Tapes & She Asked Me to Lie

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Thursday November 12, 2009

Former Miss California USA Carrie Prejean became a darling of the anti-gay right after denouncing marriage equality on national television last April and then becoming a target for gay blogger Perez Hilton, who hurled an anti-woman slur at her on his video blog. The controversy that ensued swept Prejean into the embrace of the religious right, as she went on to make a commercial for the National Organization for Marriage (which opposes family parity for gays) and speaking at a megachurch.

But all was not clear sailing as Prejean undertook a new career as a poster girl for the right. Prejean's employer, the organizers of the Miss USA pageant, fired her, claiming that she was not living up to her duties as the hold of the Miss California crown. Moreover, the pageant organizers said, semi-nude photos of Prejean, taken when she was a teenager, violated the terms of her contract.

Prejean claimed that she was being silenced for her Christian views against gay families, but the media reported that there were other skeletons in the beauty queen's closet, citing the purported existence of a sex tape.

That video reportedly resurfaced when Prejean sought to sue her former employer for $1 million, only to settle for nothing--supposedly once a lawyer from the other side showed her a copy of the rumored sex tape.

The terms of the settlement are confidential, and Prejean has refused even to discuss why she settled at all. When asked about her reasons for settling by Larry King during an appearance on his show to promote her new book Still Standing, Prejean cited the confidentiality of the agreement, and told King that he was "being inappropriate." When King sought to clarify that he was not asking about the settlement's terms, but about her reasons for settling, Prejean removed her microphone and repeated her assertion that King was being "inappropriate," seeming to consult with an unseen person on the sound stage with her. Meantime, a question from a gay caller who asked what Prejean would have to say to gay pageant fans who wished to partake in family equality went unanswered.

Gossip site TMZ had previously reported that a sex tape had been the reason for the settlement; a subsequent TMZ report, posted on Nov. 12, said that a man (who asked not be identified) had spoken with the site and claimed to be the boyfriend for whom Prejean had made the video. He also claimed that the video was not the only one of its kind, and said that Prejean had contacted him to ask that he claim that she had been 17 years old when the video was made.

Prejean herself has said in recent interviews that she made the tape at age 17 for a boyfriend. Prejean called the tape "the biggest mistake" she had ever made. The man who spoke to TMZ claimed that Prejean had been 20 years old at the time the tape was made. TMZ also posted nine photos of Prejean that were allegedly taken during a romantic getaway with the former boyfriend.

But media reports indicate that it would be possible for Prejean to collect $1 million elsewhere, if she were willing to participate in a professional production. San Diego News reported in a November 11 article that Vivid Entertainment Group, an adult films company, had renewed its offer for Prejean to appear in one of its movies.

The offer had initially been extended last May, "when Carrie was making headlines during the controversy over her statements during the Miss USA Pageant," Vivid co-chairman Steven Hirsch said. "She didn't get back to us at the time.

"Now that it's been revealed that she has actually made her own sex tape, we know her reluctance certainly wasn't based on any fear of performing sexually for the camera," Hirsch continued. "She's a beautiful woman with plenty of talent, and we still believe that a video featuring her would be a best seller."

The article noted that for celebrities to be courted by companies dealing in adult material is not unusual, and added that Prejean is not a likely candidate to accept Vivid's offer.

Amidst the hoopla, Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper wrote a measured Nov. 11 item looking at the media storm surrounding Prejean. Roeper noted that Prejean had the right to express herself freely, but also scrutinized the full title of her new book Still Standing: The Untold Story of My Fight Against Gossip, Hate and Political Attacks.

"If you didn't know anything about Prejean and saw that title in a bookstore or on, you might wonder if she's an underdog candidate for the Senate, or a civil rights crusader, or maybe someone who became the centerpiece of a vital cause because she took a brave stand at a key moment in history," Roeper opined. "Of course, that's not quite the case. Carrie Prejean is a major player on Google Trends and all that jazz because she's a gorgeous, publicity-seeking, slightly scandal-tinged conservative who's taking her moment in the spotlight and milking it for everything she can."

Roeper went on to question the media-driven process by which Prejean has ascended to her rank as a religious-right superstar, citing the answer she gave Perez Hilton last April 19 during the Miss USA pageant. Hilton, a judge in the contest, had asked Prejean whether marriage equality should be the law of the land in all 50 states; Prejean responded, "We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage," adding, "I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense."

"OK, fine, we DON'T live in a land where everyone has that choice," wrote Roeper. "That's embarrassing to this country, but that's the way it is.

"Other than that, what's so earthquake-level offensive about Prejean's answer?" Roeper compared Prejean's answer to a comment Barack Obama had made on the radio in 2004, saying, "I do believe that... marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman." Obama also wrote a similar opinion in his book The Audacity of Hope.

"Isn't that pretty much what Carrie Prejean was trying to say?" Roeper asked. "And shouldn't the views of the man who would become president be, I don't know, a MILLION TIMES more relevant than the ad-libbed verbal meanderings of a contestant in a second-tier beauty pageant?"

While affirming Prejean's right to free speech, Roeper dismissed as "ridiculous... this notion that the vicious-evil-God-hating-liberal-media have been acting in concert to attack and silence poor little Carrie."

Roeper went on to quote Prejean from an appearance on the Today show: "It's unfortunate that conservative women are attacked for their beliefs and it's unacceptable and it shouldn't happen... and so many Americans believe that their beliefs are under attack and they should be silenced, and free speech doesn't exist. Since when does free speech not exist?"

"Said Carrie Prejean, speaking freely," Roeper interjected, going on to note that, "the idea that there's this 'campaign to silence' this woman who has published a book, who is all over the media--well, I guess that plan isn't working very well, is it?"

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.