While 24-year-old Amanda Longacre beamed when she was crowned Miss Delaware earlier this month, her tears are no longer those of joy after she was stripped of her crown Thursday.
“I can fulfill this job,” she told WCAU-TV. “I did nothing morally or ethically wrong. Now I am getting all the repercussions.”
So why was the title was given to another 24-year-old? Because Longacre will be turning 25 years old in October.
“They deleted me off of everything, they’re ignoring me,” Longacre told WCAU. “They deleted me off the [Facebook] group and put up a press release announcing a new Miss Delaware.”
The website for Miss Delaware was down Friday as it was being updated.
Thursday evening, the crown was passed to the competition’s first runner-up Brittany Lewis.
“I’m so ecstatic. I’m so excited to be a representative of the state of Delaware,” Lewis said, according to KYW-TV.
According to the Miss America Organization, contestants must be between 17 and 24 years old. The Wilmington News Journal reported Miss America board member and legal counsel Elizabeth Soucek said contestants could not exceed the age limit before December 31 on the year they were crowned. She would not comment further due to the “possibility of pending litigation.”
Carolyn Nelson, a spokeswoman for the Miss Delaware organization, told WCAU that Longacre included her birth date on her application and contract accurately and honestly.
“I did everything right and it was all in front of them,” Longacre said.
In an interview with the News Journal, Longacre said she asked about her eligibility in 2013 before competing.
“I had asked and my local directors made sure of my eligibility with the executive board that I was eligible to compete because I would be 24 at the Miss America pageant,” she said. “They had my birth certificate, my social security card, my driver’s license. They had my birth date on numerous amounts of documents. I have not fabricated anything. It was clearly stated, it was there.”
She also noted that the contract signed by the executive board allowing her to compete included her birth date.
“Now I have lost everything … all because of a technicality that was not caught by the executive board,” Longacre said, choking up.
Watch Longacre talk about the technicality in her interview with the News Journal:
Longacre said she already withdrew on an internship offer from the Department of Justice in order to fulfill her duties as Miss Delaware. Now she told WCAU she doesn’t know if that offer still stands.
“I can fulfill this job,” she told the news station. “I did nothing morally or ethically wrong. Now I am getting all the repercussions.”
In addition to possibly missing out on an internship, being stripped of the crown also resulted in financial losses, Mark Billion, Longacre’s attorney, said.
“We believe there’s a breach of contract here,” Billion told the News Journal, noting that financial losses could be up to $10,000, not including a possible loss of future income and the $11,000 scholarship she will no longer receive. “If everyone agreed these were the rules and Amanda spent all this time and money — and she’s not going back to school because they told her she was Miss Delaware — you just feel bad all the way around.”
Watch Longacre talk about being disqualified, after she was already crowned, in KYW-TV’s report:
Longacre told the News Journal the whole situation is “really humiliating because I did nothing wrong.”
(H/T: USA Today)
This story was updated to include more information.