Kalasho provides documents to bolster his defense, though this isn't first time he has faced claims of fraud or ethics questions
By Miriam Raftery
Updated with comments from Tawfiq's attorney
June 7, 2017 (El Cajon) – A lawsuit has been filed against the Miss Middle East Beauty pageant USA Inc. and Ben (Bessmon) Kalasho, organizer of the pageant and an El Cajon City Councilman.
The suit, filed by pageant winner Zhala Tawfiq and first reported by the Reader, claims the pageant is fraudulent, that prize money was not paid, and that after she objected to giving up passwords to her social media accounts, photos of her face photoshopped onto someone else’s nude body were posted on an Instagram page named “Zhala_Tawfiq_Fanpage” with a post reading, “Leaked images of Miss Middle East Beauty Queen.” Soon after she was removed as pageant winner and the title was given to the runner-up.
Asked if he posted the photos, Kalasho told East County Magazine, “Absolutely not." He indicated Tawfiz was replaced due to not fulfilling terms of her contract.