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Last night a new Miss America was crowned, and Vanessa Williams was on hand for the occasion. It’s been 32 years since Williams set foot on the Atlantic City stage, and became the first black woman to win the crown. But within 10 months, Williams resigned are nude photos were released in Playboy.

At the top of the show last night, Williams was joined on stage by Miss America’s CEO Sam Haskell. According to Haskell, he’s been friends with Williams for over 30 years, and he had something to say to her.


“I have been a close friend to this beautiful and talented lady for 32 years,” Haskell told Williams. “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,” Haskell said. “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.”

Although the crowd and contestants applauded, one can’t think that the whole apology was staged.

Williams did accept it, with teary eyes. But it’s not like she wasn’t going to.

“Thank you so much, Sam. So unexpected and so beautiful,” Williams stated.

“I did the best that I could as my reign as Miss America, 1983 to 1984,” Williams continued. “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.”

So, with the apology and it being accepted, I for one think that Williams deserves her crown back. That would make it complete.

Image Credits: Getty Images

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  • BSuga

    I suppose the crown is with the winner up Suzette Charles who is Black ( & white) who is often ignored.

  • paintgurl40

    I remember when this happened. Everyone pretty much wrote her off and instead she became a successful woman. I always admired her for that. They could’ve kept their apology.

  • [email protected]

    The country back then
    was much more prudish on this issue. Vanessa Williams was gracious then and she
    is gracious now. Yes, she never relinquished her crown. She resigned back then. Afterwards, she has been a great actress and she sang songs too. I wish even more blessings for the Sister.

  • Mary Burrell

    They literally tried to destroy her