The former Miss California, Carrie Prejean, has said she believes her stance against gay marriage was what lost her the crown, not her failure to carry out her duties.

Keith Lewis, executive director of Miss California USA , said on Wednesday she had been sacked for failing to attend engagements

But Prejean has today disputed this claim. Speaking to Matt Lauer on the Today show, she said: “I’m here talking to you because of the answer I gave on that stage. It’s a test to Americans’ tolerance. It needs to be a two-way street and it’s not. This is about me stating my beliefs about same-sex marriage, and that’s the reason why we’re here today.”

Donald Trump, owner of the Miss California USA organisation has backed up Keith Lewis’s comments, reiterating that Prejean’s lack of commitment to her new role had cost her the job.

Speaking of the executive director, Prejean added: “Keith Lewis, he has his own hidden agenda. He has his own personal agenda. He obviously doesn’t agree with the beliefs that I have. Therefore, I am here today dethroned as Miss California because of that.”

She has since been replaced by Tami Farrell, who was runner up in the original contest.

Interviewed on Larry King’s talk show, Farrell gave a more diplomatic response to the gay marriage question, but seemed unwilling to reveal her personal views: “Honestly I think it’s a personal decision and I think it’s a civil rights issue and it’s something that we should let each state decide.I think it’s silly with all this controversy right now that the world is looking to beauty queens for the answer, that’s my honest opinion.”