- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A woman stripped of her Miss Delaware title last month for being too old is suing state pageant officials and the Miss America organization.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, Amanda Longacre is seeking to be reinstated as Miss Delaware and to be allowed to compete in the Miss America pageant. She also is seeking $500,000 in damages for herself and $2.5 million for other contestants who she claims were recruited to compete in pageants before being told they were too old.

Officials say Miss America pageant rules require contestants to be between 17 and 24. Longacre turns 25 on Oct. 22, after this year’s national pageant.

The lawsuit alleges that one or more other contestants in the 2014 Miss Delaware pageant also were too old to compete under those rules.

“It is a lawsuit without merit and we will defend it vigorously,” said Sharon Pearce, president of the Miss America organization.

State pageant representatives did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment Wednesday.

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