Miss Florida USA proclaims innocence and sues pageant in bitter legal battle to win back crown
Miss Florida USA proclaims innocence and sues pageant in bitter legal battle to win back crown — Genesis Davila crowned Miss Florida USA during the live-televised pageant, July 16, 2016.
By Charles Jones
MIAMI, FL -– Miss Florida USA 2017, Genesis Davila, who was stripped of her crown by pageant officials was joined by her attorney Richard Wolfe during a press conference to declare her innocence and to announce a $15 million lawsuit against the pageant owners and executive producer Grant Gravitt.
Gravitt accused Davila, 24, of breaking pageant rules by getting her hair and make-up professionally done. He claimed the evidence was the posting of a photo on her social media.
Wolfe filed a lawsuit in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, asking a judge to issue an emergency injunction restoring her title. The attorney presented an enlarged photo of the Instagram post that Gravitt cited as a violation of pageant rules.
The photo Wolfe showed in a recent press conference was dated for July 9, 2016, eight days before the contest, according to the lawsuit. Wolfe said that Gravitt had cropped out the date on the Instagram post to falsely smear Davila’s name.
“This is the smoking gun,” said Wolfe. “No one is going to have their hair and makeup done nine days in advance of a pageant.”
Davila was crowned Miss Florida on July 16 after competing against 64 other women but she was dethroned six days later.
“I would first like everyone to know that I am innocent,” said Davila during the press conference. “All of these false allegations have taken me completely by surprise. I have faced many challenges in my life, but nothing like this. I am honest and a hard worker who was raised with ideals and principles. I am putting all of my faith in my attorney and the legal system to prove my innocence and save my reputation.”
According to the lawsuit, Gravitt also accused Davila of lying about her US citizenship forcing her to hire a lawyer to prove that she was indeed a citizen of the US.
Davila was born in Arroyo, Puerto Rico and is of Afro-Puerto Rican heritage. During her pageant career, she has competed in and earned several prestigious international titles.
Davila represented Arroyo at the Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2013 pageant, where she finished as First Runner-Up. As first runner up, she re-presented Puerto Rico at Miss Intercontinental 2012 in Germany where she finished as First Runner-Up and won the title of Miss North America Intercontinental.
Davila won Miss World Puerto Rico in 2014 and represented the country at the Miss World 2014 in London, making her the first woman of predominately African heritage to represent Puerto Rico at Miss World.