Ex-beauty queen sues United Airlines alleging malicious prosecution

- We first told you about Carmen Maria Montiel’s fateful flight from Houston to Colombia in the fall of 2015.

Montiel is a former Miss Venezuela, a finalist as Miss Universe and a TV anchor. Since she’s a public figure her 2013 United Airlines flight from Houston to Colombia made headlines.

“Beauty queen gets in drunken brawl over a pillow” the headlines screamed.

She says she can relate to Dr. David Dao who was forcibly removed from his United Airlines seat.

“For me it came very close to home and I know how Dr. Dao feels about the whole situation,”  Montiel said. “ I will be forever traumatized.”

It was much more serious for Montiel. She ended up with federal charges of interfering with a flight attendant and faced up to 20 years in prison.

During a three day federal trial jurors heard how a United Airlines flight attendant decided to have two other passengers forcibly remove the former beauty queen from her first class seat to coach.

That happened, she says, after her ex-husband kept telling the flight attendant she was bothering him.

Testimony in the trial revealed the flight attendant decided on his own to have Montiel arrested without consulting the captain. A jury found her not guilty.

In a statement United Airlines told us,” As this is a matter of active litigation we are unable to comment any further.”

The trial is currently scheduled for September.  

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