Miss California's Breast Implants Funded By Pageant: CONFIRMED

Friday morning a Miss California Pageant official confirmed previous reports that controversial contestant Carrie Prejean received free breast implants, organized and paid for by the pageant, weeks before the Miss USA competition.

In an interview on "The Early Show," Keith Lewis, the co-Director of the Miss California Pageant, admitted to helping Prejean get the boob job.

"We assisted when Carrie came to us and voiced the interest in having the procedure done," Lewis told "Early Show" co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez.

"We want to put her in the best possible confidence in order to present herself in the best possible light on a national stage."

Full transcript is below:

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ, CO-ANCHOR: A question we're going to put to Keith Lewis, the co-director of the Miss California organization, who joins us this morning from Los Angeles. Good morning to you, Mr. Lewis.


RODRIGUEZ: First of all, can you settle this once and for all? Did you pay for or help pay for Miss California's breast implants?

LEWIS: We assisted when Carrie came to us and voiced the interest in having the procedure done, yes.


LEWIS: Well, you know, first off, it's not something that we endorse, nor is it something that we suggest. But when we meet with the titleholder when she's crowned Miss California, we put to her a litany of questions about how she feels about herself, what she feels she needs to work on, what she may need to change, what is good, what is not good. We want to put her in the best possible confidence in order to present herself in the best possible light on a national stage.

RODRIGUEZ: Why is the best possible confidence involve getting breast implants? Why does that improve her odds of winning? Why in that meeting don't you discourage her from going that route, rather than help her to pay for breast implants?

LEWIS: Well, we would never encourage her to go that route, but...

RODRIGUEZ: But why not discourage her?

LEWIS: ... it's a personal choice. Well, I think that it's about how a woman feels about herself. In terms of, for me, it's not a personal choice that I would recommend. But at the same time, I know so many women that have done the procedure and feel better about themselves and the way they present themselves.

And I think that's the question is, whether or not, when you're looking at that procedure as an option, am I going to feel better about myself? It's not about one night. It isn't about one night of competition. And doing a procedure like that for one night of competition would be foolish. But...

RODRIGUEZ: But don't the judges look at proportion when they're judging the swimsuits? Wouldn't she have a better chance of winning if she were more proportioned?

LEWIS: Well, of course she does. But there's plenty of ways of getting to more proportion without doing breast implants.

RODRIGUEZ: Well, but if...

LEWIS: Many of the girls use chicken cutlets.

RODRIGUEZ: ... if you have a flat chest, what are you supposed to do?

LEWIS: You use chicken cutlets. You use tape. You use anything that you can to enhance the line. There's lots of tricks of the trade.

It's just a matter of whether or not you want to go to that next level.

RODRIGUEZ: I wonder if you should change the rules and maybe not judge it so much on proportion.

LEWIS: Well, it's a beauty pageant, and the swimsuit competition is part of that beauty pageant. So, I agree with you, I think that we have to look at the way that we perceive real women and whether that needs to be changed in the media.

But you see it in television. You see it in advertising. It may be part of this pageantry, as well. But I think it's prevailing to everywhere, not just in one area.

RODRIGUEZ: It is, and that is unfortunate. Keith Lewis, thanks for your time.

LEWIS: You're so welcome.

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