Belfast Telegraph

Vanessa Williams receives apology from Miss America

Vanessa Williams returned to the Miss America stage yesterday, 31 years after she was forced to resign her crown.

The talented US star, who's enjoyed success as both an actress and singer, was crowned Miss America 1984.

However her win was mired with controversy, and she was forced to resign after nude photos of her surfaced. Last night the 52-year-old took to the stage once again, this time as a judge, and was offered an apology from current CEO Sam Haskell.

“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 organisation were involved then, on behalf of today’s organisation, I want to apologise to you and to your mother, Miss Helen Williams," Sam told Vanessa live on air.

"I want to apologise 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 broke barriers with her Miss America win, becoming the first black woman to take the title. However not everyone agreed with her crown, and she was plagued with hate mail and racist comments.

"I never imagined I'd be that depressed about being Miss America," Vanessa previously told People.

Things got even tougher a year later when naked photos of Vanessa found their way into Penthouse magazine.

"I'm just moving on, for there is nothing I can do to change that, so I just have to deal with it and move on," she said in a 1990 interview with Ebony magazine. "If situations arose where I could get revenge, I absolutely would. But at this point, success is the best revenge."

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