Ex-Miss Sprint Cup Paige Duke hopes others learn from her ‘mistake’
Paige Duke, the former Miss Sprint Cup who was fired from her job after nude pictures she took six years ago recently surfaced on websites, is willing to tell her story to just about anyone in an effort to teach young women the implications of having such photographs taken.
She also says she won’t be talking to, or posing for, Playboy or other adult magazines.
For the past 18 months, the 24-year-old Clemson graduate was one of three Miss Sprint Cup representatives, serving as a face in victory lane and as an ambassador of NASCAR and Sprint.
Once the photos, which Duke said she sent to her then-boyfriend, began appearing, Sprint officials informed her she would no longer be a part of the company’s program.
“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever been through,” Duke said in a phone interview Friday. “I just felt hopeless. I felt like I didn’t deserve anything good to happen to me. I was shocked.
“I didn’t know what I was going to do. I didn’t know who was going to hire me with these pictures out there. It was devastating. For about a week, it was really tough. I didn’t leave the house. Finally, I just decided that I had to make something good out of this. … I can’t let these people win. I can’t let it control my life.”
Duke said she wouldn’t let what happened dictate her next decision as well. The publicity and interest generated by the photos won’t change her stance against posing nude.
Playboy began following her on Twitter on Thursday.
“I won’t do any kind of nude photos,” she said. “It’s a morality thing, how I raised. I know I will have to answer to the Lord one day, and I don’t want to have to answer for something like that.
“That’s why I realize what I did was wrong six years ago. I shouldn’t have been doing that anyways for a boyfriend at the time. But I did make a mistake, and I’ve made my peace with it.”
She said posing for Playboy would be hypocritical.
“Last year, I was saying the one thing I wouldn’t do for a million dollars, I wouldn’t do Playboy – it would be the most embarrassing thing for the whole world to see me naked and for my grandparents to have to see it or hear about it,” Duke said.
“I still wouldn’t do it. That would completely take away any type of story I’m trying to teach other girls: Don’t take these pictures if you don’t want the world to see them.”
For Duke, the message comes too late. The photos, which she says she took when she was 18, began appearing on a message board on the Internet last week.
“I meant for it to be a private moment between my boyfriend and I,” Duke said. “I was in love with him. I was naive. I wanted to be the object of his desire. I felt like I had to compete with other girls, and I thought that was the way to do it.
“And I realize now how wrong it was. I realized that a few years ago even after we broke up. But I never thought this would come back and affect my job.” Scenedaily.com