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PR 101: How to help Carrie Prejean November 26, 2009

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Former Miss California Carrie Prejean has seen some ups and downs over the last year or so.  While appearing in the Miss USA pageant over a year ago, Prejean created controversy after she stated her belief that marriage should be considered a sacred union between a man and a woman. After losing the pageant, and being criticized by judge Perez Hilton, Prejean appeared in advertisements for the Proposition 8 campaign, and became a frequent guest on political talk shows. The drama has continued, however. After suing the Miss USA pageant, Prejean was recently forced to settle when lawyers showed her a personal sex tape from her earlier years and threatened to make it public.

The news of the sex tape, which followed earlier stories about scandalous photographs she took as a teen model, put Prejean in an awkward position since she was set to promote her recently released book on the pageant that changed her life. Forced to address the sex tape scandal, Prejean called the incident the “biggest mistake” of her life and explained that she engaged in the sexual behavior for a partner in a long distance relationship. However, the scandal deepened with news that there were many other sex tapes and pictures that have yet to be made public.

Under pressure, and obviously refusing to discuss the matter any longer, Prejean made her situation worse when she stormed off the set of Larry King Live after the host asked her about her recent settlement. To see that incident yourself watch the following video:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Prejean does not seem to be recovering very well from the sex scandal. If you were on her crisis management team, how would you repair her reputation?

2.  Some might say that Prejean is in major trouble because she is guilty of hypocrisy. According to this logic, why is Prejean – who criticized people for living a homosexual lifestyle – a hypocrite for appearing in private sex tapes?

3.  It appears that Prejean might have performed in more “inappropriate” videos and pictures that have yet to be released. Should she wait to address those embarrassing images when they are made public, or should she be completely open about all that might be out there?  What does she have to win or lose by being completely honest?



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