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Real Life Opera: The Banker, the Beauty Queen and the Scorned Wife

January 26, 1996 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) _ Miss New York State Helen Goldsby began the week defending her crown and ended it defending her virtue.

Pageant officials recently moved to dethrone the Juilliard-trained opera singer because she will be too busy working as a Broadway understudy.

Now she has been named as the homewrecking ``other woman″ in a divorce case, giving the pageant people further grounds to remove her.

``Her contract stipulates that she will not commit any acts of moral turpitude ... and that she be a role model for younger people,″ state pageant spokeswoman Joan Jones said. ``How do you think it affects it?″

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Think two words: Vanessa Williams.

The real-life operatic plot began when state pageant officials stripped Goldsby of her crown after she took a job as an understudy in the Broadway play ``Master Class″ and could not make public appearances.

The tall, 25-year-old beauty refused to go quietly.

The crown is still hers, she insisted at a news conference Tuesday where her lawyer, Dominic Barbara, said he would file a $2 million breach-of-contract lawsuit. As of Friday, he had not.

Goldsby said she didn’t perform her duties as Miss New York because ``there are no duties.″ She said she took the understudy role because she had no money and couldn’t pay her rent.

Nonsense, said pageant officials, who have already arranged to crown runner-up Sunita Paramsothy in a special ceremony next month.

There were no appearances because Goldsby ``was unavailable to go, refused to go, or could not be found,″ said Leonard Horn, chief executive of the Miss America Pageant, the umbrella group for all state pageants.

Goldsby’s monetary woes may interest Audrey Adams-Maillian, who said in divorce papers that her husband, Wall Street financier W. Brian Maillian, has been having an affair with, and supporting, Goldsby for months.

Adams-Maillian said her husband _ the 46-year-old head of an investment banking firm _ spent their 14th wedding anniversary with Goldsby at a hotel in Los Angeles and rang in the new year with her in Jamaica.

Adams-Maillian also tracked them to hotels in New York, Washington and Florida, and to Goldsby’s apartment in Brooklyn.

Ira Garr, Adams-Maillian’s lawyer, said the affair began in July, two months before Goldsby sang a Puccini aria at the Miss America Pageant as a pageant finalist and one of the winners of the talent competition.

Adams-Maillian is asking for a divorce on grounds of adultery and cruelty, and wants custody of the couple’s 10-year-old daughter.

Maillian had no comment.

Goldsby’s lawyer said Friday he had not seen the divorce petition but insisted it would have no effect on Goldsby’s breach-of-contract suit: ``There is no doubt my client has both an innocent mind and innocent soul.″