The page sexually explicit photo layout of Miss Williams, the first black Miss America, features photos taken in early , several months before she won the contest, Penthouse spokesman Sy Presten said in New York. She appears totally nude and in love scenes with another woman. Miss America also will appear on the magazine's cover, which Presten said marks the magazine's 15th anniversary and will be on newstands at the beginning of August. Pageant officials learned of the photos Tuesday and Miss Williams confirmed to officials that she posed.
Miss America, Vanessa Williams, will appear nude in Penthouse - UPI Archives
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.
Vanessa Williams Makes Peace with Old Nude Scandal, Returns to Judge Miss America Pageant
Because my mind is in the past the mid-eighties and in the gutter the porn biz for reasons that will become clear, I've spent a lot of time thinking about the September issue of Penthouse. How to convey the magnitude of the frenzy? Maybe this does it. Peter Bloch, Penthouse 's then-executive editor: "It was the best-selling issue of Penthouse of all time.
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.