Larry King tangles with beauty queen

The beauty queen from California turned drama queen Wednesday night, nearly walking off the set during a seemingly innocuous interview with CNN's Larry King.

Carrie Prejean, who emerged as a national lightning rod after telling 2009 Miss USA pageant judge Perez Hilton she opposed same-sex marriage, scolded the veteran talk show host for asking why she settled her lawsuit against Miss California pageant officials.

"I'm not going to be able to talk about that," she told King, who persisted.

"I"m not asking what the settlement was, I'm asking why you agreed to settle," said the 75-year-old interviewer.

That elicited an icy glare from Prejean, 22.

"Larry, you're being inappropriate, you really are," she said, flashing a frosty smile. "It was completely confidential and it was a confidential settlement."

King repeated the question and Prejean repeated her answer. Then, as a caller from Detroit asked Prejean what advice she'd give gay couples who want to marry, Prejean dramatically removed her microphone, though she remained on set.

An awkward silence followed as King asked his producer, "Is she leaving?" She wasn't. The befuddled host tried to resume contact with his still-smiling guest, who chatted with a handler, overheard in a frantic off-camera exchange.

King finally cut to commercial, then returned to lob some of his trademark softballs to Prejean, who agreed to complete the interview.

It's among many she's given this week to promote her book, "Still Standing." Prejean has reiterated claims that she's been "Palin-zed," alleging that, like the former Alaska governor, she's been unfairly attacked by the mainstream media for her conservative views.

Prejean was stripped of her crown in June, with pageant officials alleging breach of contract. She responded with a libel suit, saying she was discriminated against because of her religious beliefs. She suddenly dropped the suit after a homemade sex tape featuring Prejean, then 17, surfaced.

CNN, struggling in the ratings, might want to invite her back. The YouTube clip of her on-air confrontation with King is among the site's most popular today.

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