In 1983, Vanessa Williams became the first black woman to ever be crowned Miss America, but 10 months into her reign, she was implicated in a scandal after �Penthouse” magazine published her nude girl-on-girl photos from 1982, and she was forced to forfeit her crown.
Yesterday, the Miss America CEO Sam Haskell took to the stage to make an official apology to Williams on live TV, and he said:
I have been a close friend to this beautiful and talented lady for 32 years. You have lived your life in grace and dignity and never was it more evident than during the events of 1984 when you resigned. Though none of us currently in the organization were involved then, on behalf of today’s organization, I want to apologize to you and to your mother, Miss Helen Williams. I want to apologize for anything that was said or done that made you feel any less than the Miss America you are and the Miss America you always will be.
Vanessa Williams accepted the apology. She said:
�I did the best that I could as my reign as Miss America, 1983 to 1984. On behalf of my family, my mother in particular, Brian Edwards, who orchestrated this entire thing to bring me back, and your leadership, your integrity, and you bringing this pageant back to what it ought to be. I love you, I love the girls, and I’m so honored to be back.”
Still, forcing Williams to resign may have been the best thing that happened to her because it obviously propelled her to work at becoming the best and shaming her detractors, because till today, Williams is the most successful Miss America of all times.
You can watch the brief clip here:
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