Vanessa Williams got an apology from Miss America 32 years after they pressured her to resign in 1984.


In 1983, Williams was the first African American to win Miss America, but she was pressured to resign in 1984 following a nude photo scandal, which involved Penthouse magazine publishing unauthorized, nude photos of Williams taken in 1982.

Instead of shunning Miss America for their treatment of her, Williams took to the Miss America stage once more and performed Amy Grant‘s “Oh How the Years Go By” while headlines of her scandal were projected on a screen behind her.

After Williams’ performance, Miss America‘s CEO Sam Haskell apologized to Williams live on Sunday saying, “On behalf of today’s organization I want to apologize for anything that was said or done that made you feel any less the Miss America you are and the Miss America you always will be.”


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Williams was pleasantly surprised, and responded, “So unexpected but so beautiful. I did the best that I could as my reign as Miss America 1983 to ’84. 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.”

She then acted as leading judge at the competition which crowned Betty Cantrell, Miss Georgia, as the new Miss America.

Since winning Miss America in 1983, Williams has become one of the most successful pageant winners of all time, working as both a singer and actress.

Post pageant smooches from outgoing #MissAmerica @RealKiraKazantsev after crowning new @MissAmerica

A photo posted by Vanessa Williams (@vwofficial) on

Featured in photo: Williams, left, Cantrell, right.


Watch Vanessa William’s uInterview On The Miss America Scandal:

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