After 32 years, the executive chairman of the Miss America pageant, Sam Haskell, apologized to Vanessa Williams for the way pageant organizers handled her nude photo controversy back in the early 1980s. Due to the scandal, Williams was forced to step down as Miss America and give up her crown.
The photos, which were posted in Penthouse magazine several months after Williams was crowned, featured the singer, model, and actress in various nude photos. The response from the old guard of the Miss America pageant was swift and fierce, and the first African American Miss America's image was tarnished.
On Sunday night (Sept. 13), however, all was forgiven and Haskell gave Williams, who returned to the pageant as a judge, the apology she has been waiting for.
"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. 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."
You can see video of the apology, below: