Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Mothers Against Drunk Driving Cuts Ties With Miss Teen USA Katie Blair Amid Allegations of Hard Partying

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

LOS ANGELES — The reigning Miss Teen USA's official biography says she loves hiking, water sports and apples — "only cold, red ones!"

But allegations of less innocent extracurricular activities — underage drinking and carousing with Miss USA Tara Conner — led the group Mothers Against Drunk Driving to sever ties with 18-year-old Katie Blair.

In a statement issued Wednesday, MADD said it was "disappointed" by news reports of hard partying between Blair and Conner, who on Tuesday tearfully admitted drinking at New York nightclubs as a minor.

"In the past, MADD has teamed with Miss Teen USA to raise awareness about the serious and often deadly consequences of underage drinking. However, we do not feel, at this time, that Ms. Blair can be an effective spokesperson on underage drinking and will not ask her to represent MADD in future initiatives," said Heidi Castle, a spokeswoman for the group.

Donald Trump — owner of the Miss Universe Organization, which includes Miss Teen USA and Miss USA — said Tuesday he would allow Conner to keep her crown if she settles down and enters alcohol rehab. The beauty queen turned 21 on Monday.

Miss Universe Organization spokeswoman Lark-Marie Anton said Blair's crown also was safe.

A message left for Blair's representative was not immediately returned.

Anton said the company respected "MADD's decision as much as we respect their work. We look forward to working with them in the future."

Blair's bio said the Billings, Mont., native was a role model for her 17-year-old brother, 11-year-old sister and 15-month-old sister:

"Being the oldest child means setting high standards of behavior, discipline, accomplishment and love for my siblings."