Miss America calls reports she's unhappy with job false

Thursday, February 14, 2002

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Reports of her unhappiness have been greatly exaggerated, reigning Miss America Katie Harman said Wednesday.

In an eight-page letter to pageant directors this month, Harman's parents had said the 21-year-old collegian was upset over unexpected fees, a lack of lucrative bookings and rude treatment of her parents.

But in a prepared statement issued Wednesday by the Miss America Organization, the former Miss Oregon said her new crown fits just fine.

"For the record, I love the job of Miss America and am 100 percent in support of the Miss America Organization," she said.

She backed out of a scheduled telephone interview with The Associated Press earlier Wednesday; she said she would answer questions at a Friday news conference.

The Feb. 3 letter was written by Glen and Darla Harman and sent to Robert Renneisen Jr., Miss America CEO, who provided a copy this week in response to a request.

They had complained that their daughter had been billed more than $2,200 for a post-crowning party at Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, been asked to pay for alterations to her clothes and was regularly "in trouble for things that are not her fault."

Renneisen said Harman's bookings had picked up after a post-Sept. 11 slump and that she is on pace to earn $250,000 or more in appearance fees during her reign. He also said alteration bills for 26 items were sent to Harman by mistake and the pageant has since paid them.

The letter was the latest in a series of lumps for the Miss America Organization.

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