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Another Beauty Queen

Bites the Dust

1/15/2007 2:16 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Ashley HarderIt has not been a good year for beauty queens. First, reigning Miss USA Tara Conner got called to The Donald's office and sent to rehab for a few "indiscretions," then Miss Nevada Katie Rees' crown was yanked after steamy photos of her surfaced on TMZ. Now Miss New Jersey Ashley Harder has resigned from her throne -- because she went and got herself knocked up!

The Philadelphia Daily News reports that the 20-year-old Harder has voluntarily stepped down, because it's against pageant rules to compete while pregnant. Not to mention how much tougher it is in heels. Harder, who was crowned in October, told the newspaper she's expecting her child in "late summer" and plans to marry her live-in boyfriend. As for Trump, a rep tells TMZ that he wishes the now former Miss New Jersey well.

The next Miss USA will be crowned on March 23 in Los Angeles. The winner of that competition goes on to compete in the Miss Universe pageant. Both pageants are owned by Donald Trump and NBC.

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