PHILADELPHIA – The Miss Universe Organization says a former contestant should be made to pay for her “defamatory” claims that this year’s Miss USA pageant was a sham.

The New York-based organization made a filing with a dispute resolution company over the former Miss Pennsylvania USA’s assertion that another contestant spotted the list of finalists on a planning sheet hours before the event was even held last Sunday, its lawyer Scott Balber said Friday.

A statement from the organization said it was seeking compensation for her “ongoing defamatory statements,” but Balber wouldn’t say how much money the Miss Universe Organization was seeking.

The pageant also released a statement from Miss Florida USA — the contestant who Sheena Monnin claims saw the list — in which she disputes Monnin’s version of the events that prompted her to step down.

Monnin gave up her crown Monday, claiming in a Facebook post that the pageant had been rigged, with the top five finishers selected before the show was broadcast Sunday night from Las Vegas. Pageant organizers immediately denied Monnin’s allegation and claimed she had actually stepped down because she disagreed with the pageant’s decision to allow transgender contestants.

Monnin told NBC’s “Today” show on Friday she was standing by her claim that Miss Florida USA told her she’d seen a list of finalists Sunday morning.

“I know what I heard, and I know what I in turn witnessed come true based on what the contestant said she saw,” Monnin said.

Monnin claimed Miss Florida USA Karina Brez named the top five contestants in the same order they were called during the broadcast.

“That’s just too coincidental to not be true,” she said.

But a statement released Friday by Brez says she was making a joke about a list of contestants she saw. “The list I saw didn’t even have the eventual winner on it,” the statement read.

This year’s Miss USA winner was Miss Rhode Island USA Olivia Culpo, 20, of Cranston.

In the “Today” interview, Monnin did not deny that the transgender contestant issue played a role in her resignation.

Last Bee Gee pays tribute to brother Robin

THAME, England – Surviving Bee Gee Barry Gibb lamented the loss of his brother, telling mourners Friday that he’d miss Robin Gibb’s “magnificent mind and his beautiful heart.”

He said Robin’s death from cancer last month at age 62 means he would now be reunited with his twin brother, Maurice, who died in 2003.

“They were both beautiful,” Barry Gibb said. “And now they’re together.”

Many mourners at St. Mary’s Church wept as Robin’s coffin was brought into the church while the Bee Gees classic “How Deep is Your Love” was played.

Robin’s widow, Dwina, and his elderly mother, Barbara, were close behind.

Barbara Gibb, 91, has outlived three of her four sons. Singer Andy Gibb, who had a solo career, died in 1988.

Crowds of mourners lined the streets of the southern English town as a glass-sided horse-drawn carriage pulled the coffin to the church.

Police investigate killing of rapper Lil Phat

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. – Police have identified the man who was fatally shot outside a suburban Atlanta hospital as a rapper known as Lil Phat.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the rapper — whose real name was Melvin Vernell III, 19, of Sandy Springs — was killed Thursday night.

Sandy Springs police spokesman Capt. Steve Rose said Friday that police are looking for two men seen fleeing the scene. The victim was found in a car in a parking deck next to the hospital. A motive was not known.

Lil Phat was featured in rapper Webbie’s 2007 song, “Independent.” The song praised a woman’s independent nature.

— From news service reports