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Miss New Jersey USA Ashley Harder gives up crown due to pregnancy

UPI News Service, 01/15/2007 

Miss New Jersey USA Ashley Harder said she turned in her crown because she is pregnant.

The state's first runner-up, Erin Abrahamson, will compete as Miss New Jersey in the Miss USA Pageant in March, the Philadelphia Daily News said.

Harder, 20, told the Miss Universe Organization, which oversees the competition. It's against the rules of Miss USA to compete while pregnant.

Harder said she and boyfriend Gregg D'Antonio, 28, are expecting their baby during the summer.

Harder's announcement is the third to shock the Miss USA organization has taken in recent weeks. Last month, Miss Nevada Katie Rees was dethroned after photos of her exposing her breasts and kissing another girl appeared on gossip Web sites. Miss USA Tara Conner last month entered rehab at Caron Foundation in Wernersville, Pa., after admitting to underage drinking, following reports about her alleged drug and alcohol abuse and sexual indiscretions.

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Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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