06/11/2009 at 08:00 AM EDT
Learning she was stripped of her title
, former Miss California USA Carrie Prejean blames the issue of same-sex marriage – and her opposition to it – for her ouster.
"None of this would be happening right now if I just said, 'Yeah, gays should get married. You're right, Perez Hilton.' " Prejean, 22, told Access Hollywood
's Billy Bush after he'd informed Prejean live on his radio show that she'd been dethroned. "That's the first that I've heard of it, Billy," she responded.
During the pageant in April, judge Hilton asked Prejean her opinion of gay marriage. She replied that it is her belief marriage should be exclusively between a man and a woman – a response that sparked controversy, especially when her strong anti-gay-marriage activism was revealed, as were topless photos from her past and the news that she had undergone breast enhancements.
Still, last month Miss USA co-owner Donald Trump announced
Prejean could keep her crown. That changed Wednesday.
"To me she was the sweetest thing. Everyone else, she treated like s---," Trump told TMZ
The biggest professional hurdle for the beauty queen, apparently, was making good on her commitments to the pageant, said officials. She was fired, Miss California USA executive director Keith Lewis said in a statement, "based solely on contract violations including Ms. Prejean's unwillingness to make appearances on behalf of the Miss California USA Organization."
Disputing that claim, Prejean told Bush: "I've tried to reach out to them, and I've done several appearances and I'm gonna be presenting at the Special Olympics this weekend as an honorary guest. I mean, I've been cooperating with them. I don't see why this is happening."