In the early 80s Vanessa Williams made history twice in being crowned Miss America. When she won the prize in September , she was the first African-American woman to do so. By July she became the first Miss America to resign her crown, all over some nude photos from that were published in Penthouse without her consent. Thirty-two years later, she will return as head judge of the Miss America pageant. Multiple Grammy nominations, Broadway roles, films, a hit TV series , and an Academy Award—winning song later, Williams has made the most of the last 32 years. It is a great honor to welcome her back to the competition as our head judge.
Vanessa Williams Makes Peace with Old Nude Scandal, Returns to Judge Miss America Pageant
Miss America resigns over nude photos - HISTORY
I t might have been the lowest point in her life, as she told People in , but the scandal that led Vanessa Williams to resign her post as Miss America also set her up for one of the greatest comebacks in entertainment history. But they did leave the studio, partly because she was identifiable: photos of Miss America in compromising positions, some of them involving another nude woman, were worth their weight in gold. TIME reported that the photographer was paid more than Penthouse had ever paid for a photo spread before. The statement that Williams ultimately made was that she was more than a racy photo spread — and more than Miss America. The title had never been a dream of hers, as TIME attested just after she won the competition.
CNN When nude photos of a celebrity surface nowadays, it's often rumored that the star may have "leaked" them. Photos: Controversies surrounding beauty queens. Vanessa Williams stepped down in as the first black Miss America after nude photos of her appeared in Penthouse magazine. She went on to have a successful singing and acting career and has written a memoir. Hide Caption.
Williams originally made history on September 17, , when she became the first Black woman to win the Miss America crown. She attended Syracuse University and studied musical theater. In , while working a summer job as a receptionist at a modeling agency in Mt.