Williams originally made history on September 17, , when she became the first Black woman to win the Miss America crown. She attended Syracuse University and studied musical theater. In , while working a summer job as a receptionist at a modeling agency in Mt. After Williams became Miss America, the photographer sold the pictures to Penthouse without her knowledge.
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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. The title had never been a dream of hers, as TIME attested just after she won the competition. She wants to be a star. While the exposure she got was not the type she wanted, she became a star on her own terms, as a Grammy-nominated singer and an actress with prominent roles in Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives , among others.
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Vanessa Williams born March 18, is an American actress, singer, and fashion designer. She initially gained recognition as the first African American winner of the Miss America title when she was crowned Miss America in September Several weeks before the end of her reign, however, a scandal arose when Penthouse magazine bought and published unauthorized  nude photographs of Williams. Williams was pressured to relinquish her title, and was succeeded by the first runner-up, Miss New Jersey , Suzette Charles.
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. She went on to have a successful singing and acting career and has written a memoir.