Miss Florida contestant stripped of title claims innocence, files $15M suit

MIAMI (WSVN) - A South Florida woman who was stripped of the 2017 Miss Florida title after organizers accused her of breaking the rules is saying she did nothing wrong, and she plans on taking legal action.

Speaking to reporters in Miami with her attorney by her side, Monday, Genesis Davila said she was devastated, not just by losing her crown, but by how she found out she was no longer the winner. “No one’s really aware, but how I found out about this was through a post in social media,” she said.

Davila then read a statement in which she said she should have never had the title taken from her. “I would first like everyone to know that I am innocent,” she said. “All these false allegations have taken me completely by surprise.”

Davila represented Miami Beach in the July 16 pageant. She was dethroned six days later.

Davila lost her title after, pageant officials said, she used a professional makeup artist for the event, a violation of the rules.

Not true, said Davila. “I have faced many challenges in my life, but nothing like this,” she said. “I am honest, hardworking, who was raised on ideals and principles.”

At issue is an Instagram photo Davila posted showing someone doing her makeup, but her attorney, Richard Wolfe, said the image was taken well in advance of the pageant.

He has filed a $15 million lawsuit naming, among others, the event’s organizers. “She was unjustly stripped of her crown, and it is our job to get it back for her,” he said.

“I’m going to point to something that is the essence of my case,” Wolfe said as he pointed a pen at the lower left-hand corner of a blown-up printout of the photograph. “Right down here, ‘July 9th.’ What is July 9th? That is the date my client had this gentleman do her hair and makeup because she was at a professional shoot. Not during the pageant but a week before.”

“I am putting all of my faith in my attorney and the legal system to prove my innocence and save my reputation,” said Davila.

Wolfe said he wants a judge to step in and rule in his client’s favor so she can reclaim her crown.

The pageant’s organizers have not returned 7News’ calls for comment.

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