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Trouble Visits Miss Black Colorado Pageant

November 5, 1991

DENVER (AP) _ Trouble reigns at the Miss Black Colorado Pageant. This year’s winner was dethroned. The pageant is suing for the return of its crown and sash. The first runner-up was passed over as a replacement.

The pageant stripped Cameo Antoinette Diggs of her title for violating her contract by showing up late for 13 of 15 events, missing two and dressing inappropriately, pageant director Theresa Hailey said.

Diggs denies wrongdoing. On Monday, the pageant filed a small claims lawsuit against her, saying she has refused to turn over the $150 crown and $250 sash.

″All we want back are the crown and sash,″ Hailey said. ″We just want to make sure that Cameo doesn’t go around with them and impersonate Miss Black Colorado.″

A hearing on the lawsuit was scheduled for Dec. 26.

Diggs, 23, was crowned in July. Her replacement was crowned Saturday.

″Things aren’t always what they seem,″ Diggs said.

Deborah McDonald, Diggs’ coach, denied pageant rules were broken. She said the inappropriate dress cited was a business suit Diggs wore to the Denver Grand Prix. Pageant officials asked Diggs to wear an evening gown. McDonald said she and Diggs agreed such a gown would have looked silly at an auto race.

Diggs said her reign was difficult to handle with college classes, a job and time with her mother, who was recently widowed. Of the two missed engagements, Diggs said she was sick.

Diggs said she was promised $10,000 in scholarships but received only about $3,000 from the pageant.

Pageant officials chose Lynn Marie Kelley, 21, of Denver to replace Diggs. Kelley was the second runner-up. Hailey said she was chosen because the first runner-up, Pam Bailey, couldn’t be found when it was time to replace Diggs.

Bailey has threatened to sue over the decision.

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