Vanessa Williams On Surviving Miss America Nude Photo Scandal

The actress/singer was forced to give up the crown in 1984 after nude photos of her surfaced.

Vanessa Williams said she was able to overcome a widely-publicized Miss America scandal early in her career due to her self-confidence.

“I think I was really centered in knowing I know who I am and I’ll get there, and once the dust settles, you’ll see,” the “Ugly Betty” alum told Page Six on Wednesday. “And also distancing [myself] from the two opposite symbols of Miss America and a scandalized beauty queen and me being a normal kid in the middle who was a junior in college.”

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In 1983, Williams became the first Black winner of the Miss America pageant, but the milestone was short lived when nude pictures of her surfaced towards the end of her reign. With Penthouse preparing to publish the black-and-white photos — which were taken prior to Williams’s involvement in the pageant — the Miss America Organization called upon Williams to resign. In July of 1984, Williams finally gave up the crown.

Despite the setback, Williams would go on to have a successful singing career with her hit “Save the Best for Last” and star in such movies as “Eraser,” “Light It Up” and “Soul Food.” She also had a role on “Desperate Housewives.”

With three adult daughters, Williams now realizes she dealt with a lot of hardship when she was their age.

“Having kids and seeing my kids at the age of 20 and realizing not only was I famous… but all the stuff I had to manage and accept and fight through,” she explained.

Williams also revealed to the outlet that she hopes to get back to London’s West End where she can continue performing in “City of Angels,” as it was shut down due to the pandemic.


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