Nearly a month after being fired for having nude pictures appear on the Internet, the former Miss Sprint Cup, Paige Duke, has landed a new gig with Minnesota-based hunting and fishing supply company, Kruger Farms.
The 24-year-old Duke was dismissed as an ambassador for NASCAR's top series after the racy pictures she had taken in college with an ex-boyfriend surfaced on the Web.
Despite the new opportunity with Kruger Farms, Duke is still struggling to come to terms with the disappointing end to her days with NASCAR, according to SceneDaily.com.
"I feel like the victim in this case," Duke told SceneDaily. "It's hard to accept being fired for something that you didn't mean to happen."
But Duke said she does understand the decision by Sprint to fire her due to a morality clause that was in her contract.
"Ultimately, I know I took the pictures and I shouldn't have ever taken them in the first place," she said. "I couldn't be the face of a Fortune 500 company with these pictures out there. So I understood why they had to let me go."
Duke said that 95 percent of the response she has received has been supportive.
"A bunch of people on Twitter started saying, 'I shared your story with my 13-year-old daughter, or, I sent your story to my daughter in college. Thank you for sharing your story. I know it took a lot of courage. But now I can use your story in hopes that my daughter will learn a lesson from you,' " she said.
While the unfortunate experience appears to have provided many opportunities for her, Duke insists that this was never what she wanted.
"It's a blessing with what doors have opened now, but I wish they wouldn't have come this way," she said.
In fact, she hopes to eventually work with NASCAR again in the future.
"I feel like they're my family," she said, "I miss everyone."
However, she is realistic, and is ready to try greener pastures. She said that Kruger Farms plans to use her in a hunting and fishing show if they can find a sponsor and sell the concept to a TV network. Preliminary filming was scheduled to start this week in Minnesota.
"I'm so excited to be working with KrugerFarms.com," she wrote in an email to Fox Charlotte. " ... I feel this is such a natural step in my life."
Duke said that telling her story has served as "therapy" for her and described how the week after her firing in early July was the lowest point in her life.
"Going public with it is probably what helped me the most," Duke told SceneDaily. "I thought the world had ended. I wondered, 'Where am I ever gonna get another job with these pictures out there? Who is gonna want to hire me?' I loved my job. I loved traveling everywhere, meeting all the fans and loved everything about it. And it was just gone -- just like that -- immediately terminated. I was lost and I felt hopeless."
While Duke is clearly not over the loss of her job with Sprint, she intends to move on with her life and eventually try to put this in the past.
"I'm thankful I had the opportunity and thankful for the people that I met," she said. "I'm not bitter about it."