LANCASTER, SC (WBTV/CN2) - A Lancaster, SC native lost her job as Miss Sprint Cup recently after graphic images of her surfaced from 5 years ago when she was in college, she says.
Paige Duke, who attended Lancaster High School, had a dream job as one of three Miss Sprint Cups.
(It was) "The perfect job. I loved my fans, I loved traveling the country," said Duke, who had been selected for a second year in the job.
But that all came to an end last week after a handful of a nude photos of her ended up on a racing website's message board – and then to the rest of the Web.
Duke, a former homecoming queen, learned of it when a friend called her.
Earlier story: Miss Sprint Cup loses job after racy photos surface
"He said he'd gotten an email with some pictures of me," Duke told CN2 in an interview." I said 'Are they me?' He said, 'They look like you'."
The photos were supposed to private, sent to her freshman boyfriend at Clemson more than 5 years ago, Duke said. Instead, they got her fired, she says.
"For something I did six years ago, for a private, intimate moment that I meant for only one person's eyes to see," said Duke, who at first had been most worried about breaking the news to her family.
Instead, the hardest news to cope with was that she lost her job.
"It was the worst day of my life. I thought the world was ending," Duke said. "I didn't know where to go. I was shocked.... I was hopeless."
Since then, a Facebook group has started to support her and some fans are also rallying around her.
But, the images are still out on the Internet and keep being posted on message boards.
"I don't just feel betrayed by him," Duke said. "I feel exploited. And I feel unfairly judged by the people on these boards that keep posting them."
Duke said she hopes this can be warning to young people now lightly experimenting with technology.
"Don't take something you don't want your grandmother to see," said Duke, who has attorneys trying to determine who leaked the 7 photos.
A member of the Miss Sprint Cup Organization told CN2 they wish Duke nothing but the best.
Duke, who is working at a local veterinarian's office, says she hopes to talk with young people at local schools about her situation in the near future.