Miss America '77 says divorce is being held up by a cat fight

  • Article by: C.J. , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 9, 2011 - 7:47 PM
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TOM WALLACE � twallace@startribune - 0107#108073_swanson0129 Former Miss America/Miss Minnesota Dorothy Benham emceed the nicole Swanson public gown show Saturday. Other former Miss Minnesotas were in the audience and participated in Q&A.Nicole Swanson, Miss Minnesota, who is using her talent as a viola and passion for music as a platform in her run for Miss America. she competes Jan. 29 on Las Vegas. Nicole tried on her outfits in which she will compete in at the pageant. After the show the 2 get together for a photo opt.

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A pet cat is reportedly dragging out Miss America 1977 Dorothy Benham's divorce from a Bloomington lawyer.

Benham had been trying to keep her divorce from attorney Paul Shoemaker quiet because Miss Minnesota 1976 is embarrassed a third marriage has ended this way.

But the Tigger the cat situation has got Benham's tongue wagging.

"My youngest living at home are 16 and 17," Benham told me Monday, "and they have known him [Shoemaker] since they were 3 and 4. Now he's trying to keep their cat. I'd be divorced already, and now he's thrown this in the mix.

"My children are absolutely beside themselves. I bought this cat because another cat of ours was run over. My youngest son, who was like 9, said, Mommy, I've never had a pet of my own. So we went to the Humane Society and were there for about two hours and Richard picked out the cat that he wanted. I paid for it. It was a gift from me to my son.

"So my estranged husband is fighting us over the cat. Even last night [Sunday] my daughter, Maddie, was pleading with him, Why are you trying to take our cat? I have already removed our other animal; I have a dog, too, but he [Shoemaker] hates the dog [Precious]."

Benham currently has the cat.

Tuesday I left Shoemaker a voice mail and wrote him an e-mail asking if he would be so kind as to call and tell me what role the cat is playing in his divorce from Benham.

"You are misinformed," Shoemaker responded via e-mail Wednesday.

Please, tell me more, I asked Shoemaker in another e-mail to which he has not yet responded.

Benham's friend Nancy Nelson, the AM 950 show host, told me: "It's interesting how certain things just break the camel's back."

Cancel 'Kardashians'?

There's a petition asking E! to drop "Keeping Up With The Kardashians."

If I am reading the www.gopetition.com correctly, it had attracted a meager 2,574 signatures as of 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

"Dear E! Online, We are respectfully requesting that your network find other shows to air. 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians' is just not viewing that we, the public, would like to see from your network. With recent events, let us be heard, enough is enough," reads the petition started, it looks, by a Cyndy Snider on Nov. 2.

Snider must have had Nov. 1 in her office pool predicting the day the marriage between Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian would collapse.

My tipster on this was " Julie Savage but I prefer being a true 'Yee Haw, Minnesotan,' and not draw attention to myself," she e-mailed Wednesday.

How will Kris get portrayed?

After the scales of reconciliation fall from Kris Humphries' eyes, will he file a fraud lawsuit against Kim Kardashian?

The NBAer might be spurred in that direction if he's portrayed as the bad guy in her reality TV shows, when he did nothing wrong (that I know of), while there is Internet chatter about Kardashian being in the company of her ex-boyfriend, NFLer Reggie Bush, in the days before Kim filed for divorce from Kris.

'CCO story still has legs

While animators have mined for laughs WCCO-TV's embarrassing ducks vs. dogs report of last week, the station has yet to air a retraction on the matter.

"The station still has no comment on the story," WCCO spokeswoman Kiki Rosatti told me Wednesday. All content related to the story has been deleted from the station's website.

Broadcast insiders expect the disciplinary ax to fall on reporter James Schugel and possibly others who signed off on his I-Team report about a meat market in NYC's Chinatown buying, ah, products from a Minnesota puppy mill.

The misinformation in the story is thought to have occurred when Schugel was talking over the phone about the consumption of "dogs" to a meat market employee who was apparently saying "ducks."

Meanwhile, the hits just keep on coming for Schugel, with the "Taiwanese Animation" team taking a cleaver to the story with its own report. You can watch it via www.startribune.com/a787.

C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or cj@startribune.com. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on Fox 9 Thursday mornings.

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