Caught in the Act: Katie Rees

Stripped of Her Title

Katie Rees, 22, was crowned Miss Nevada USA in October 2006, only to be stripped of her crown two months later.

 

"I got the news when I was home for Christmas visiting my parents," Katie recalls. "I was definitely shocked."

 

Katie was relieved of her duties when racy photos of her surfaced on the Internet.

In the pictures, Katie is exposing herself to the camera, kissing other females and fondling semi-nude women.

 

"They're just pictures. I didn't hurt anybody," Katie says in her defense. "Everybody has skeletons in their closet, and there's not one person who can look back on their life and say there isn't something that they regret."

 

"You think that it's unfair that you've been stripped of your title," Dr. Phil says to Katie.

"I don't think that it was unfair, however, I do think that I was unfairly treated with the double standard," she says. She feels that because Miss USA, Tara Connor, was given a second chance, she

should be given one. "If you ask me, her actions were way worse than mine. I wasn't caught using illegal drugs, and also, the pictures were not at the time of my crown or anywhere near them. It was three years ago."

 

"You say this was an isolated event and not who you really are," Dr. Phil says.

 

"Yes," Katie agrees.

"What was going through your mind that night?" Dr. Phil asks.

"We all make bad decisions sometimes," Katie says. "It was just a bad night of poor judgment. I didn't do it to hurt anybody intentionally. I didn't mean to disgrace the Miss USA® Pageant or Nevada. I would have made them proud."

 

"You think that Miss USA should have been given a second chance " so you think [Donald] Trump did the ri

ght thing there " but that you should have been given a second chance as well, because this was just an isolated event," Dr. Phil clarifies.

"And also, it wasn't during the time of Miss Nevada, and it's a direct quote from Mr. Trump that everybody deserves a second chance," Katie says.

 

"Didn't you sign a deal when you got into the Miss USA® Pageant to where you attest that there is no prior conduct that could tarnish you being a title-holder in any way?" Dr. Phil questions.

"Yes, sir," Katie agrees. "I didn't remember these pictures."

"You say that's an isolated event, but that's the other picture from a different time," Dr. Phil says, holding up a picture for Katie to see, "of the same conduct."

"I was 19 years old," Katie says. "It was an isolated time in my life. They're pictures. I didn't intentionally hurt anyone."

"I'm not saying you did, and I'm not even saying that if that's kind of who you are, and you like to go out and do that, that that's necessarily a bad thing," Dr. Phil tells her.

Dr. Phil reads a statement from Paula Shugart, President of the Miss Universe Organization. "'Katie is fully aware that prior to the revelation of the salacious photographs, she was already under investigation by the

Miss Universe Organization for other alleged serious activities,'" he says.

"Which were found unsubstantiated," Katie says, declining to elaborate.

Dr. Phil continues. "'During this investigation, she had the opportunity to be forthcoming with her state director and the organization on several occasions about the existence of any photos from her past. Katie vehemently denied knowing of any questionable photographs and further asserted that she would never expose her breasts in public because she is very "shy" about them,'" he reads.

"That is true," Katie says. "These days I am. You will not find anything within the past three years that is anything of that nature."


Dr. Phil reads the rest of the letter. "'Since her termination, Katie has claimed on several occasions that this was an isolated incident which occurred when she was 19, although she initially claimed to be 17. This statement is contradicted by another photograph, which surfaced on the Internet in December, of Katie exhibiting the same behavior on a clearly separate occasion. The Miss Universe Organization was well within its rights to take away Katie Rees' state title. We sincerely hope that she will find her appearance with Dr. Phil beneficial and enlightening, and we wish her well,'" he says. "They seem to think that you weren't forthcoming about it and that that was the problem."

"As I already said, I didn't remember the pictures," Katie says. "I can guarantee you that that picture was within the same week." She says she and her friend were being silly.

"Maybe the pageant road is just not the best fit for you," Dr. Phil says. "Maybe you want to be an actress."

Katie says her goal is to be an actress. "Miss USA® opens doors for you," she explains. "I did a lot of really good things while I was Miss Nevada."

Dr. Phil points out that if Katie enjoys these activities with her friends, that's her choice, but the pictures are inconsistent with the image of Miss Universe.

"A great basketbal

l player once said, ‘I'm not a role model. I'm a basketball player,'" Katie says. "I'm just a normal girl in a beauty pageant."

"Anything you want to say to Donald Trump?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Everybody deserves a second chance, as well as myself," she says. "I still admire him as a businessman. I think he's very smart and someone to look up to, but it's just a shame that he was hasty and didn't really get to know me."

"Do you have an image in mind that you're projecting at this point?" Dr. Phil inquires.

Katie says that she's turned down Playboy and Girls Gone Wild. "I really am trying to turn it around, because I want to be taken seriously, and I'm seriously working on my career," she says.

Dr. Phil points out that Katie chose her own wardrobe to wear on the show.

 

"I am shy about getting naked, but I think this is a classy dress," Katie says, laughing. "Hey, if you've got it, flaunt it."