CNN When nude photos of a celebrity surface nowadays, it's often rumored that the star may have "leaked" them. Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. 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.
Vanessa Lynn Williams born March 18, is an American singer, actress, and fashion designer. She initially gained recognition as the first woman of African-American descent to receive the Miss America title when she was crowned Miss America in However, a scandal arose the following year when, a few weeks prior to the end of her reign, Williams learned that Penthouse magazine would be publishing now "iconic" unauthorized nude photographs of her in an upcoming issue. Williams rebounded from the scandal with a successful career as a singer and actress. In , she released her debut studio album The Right Stuff whose title single saw moderate success before " Dreamin' " peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot singles chart in the United States in With her second and third studio albums, The Comfort Zone and The Sweetest Days , she saw continued commercial success and received multiple Grammy Award nominations—this included her number-one hit in early and signature song , " Save the Best for Last ", which she performed live at the Grammy Awards ceremonies. Her paternal great-great grandfather was William A.
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. She was told the photos she took in would be in silhouette and never published. The past just came up and kicked me. I felt betrayed and violated, like I had been raped.
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.