It took more than three decades, but on Sunday night, just before the new Miss America was crowned, the CEO of the Miss America brought Vanessa Williams onstage and gave her a long overdue apology. Back in 1984, Williams relinquished her Miss America title amid a nude photo scandal 10 months she had been crowned — the first black woman to win the distinction. Penthouse magazine obtained nude photos of Williams that were taken before she was named Miss America and she was pressured by many within the organization to resign, which she eventually did. On Sunday, Williams has returned to the Miss America operation as one of the judges. Moments before the new Miss America was crowned, CEO Sam Haskell summoned Williams to the stage and and apologized to her and her mother, saying, though none of the people at the organization today had anything to do with forcing her out, they still regret the way things turned out. “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 will always be,” Haskell said. Williams, her eyes filling with tears, thanked Haskell and give him a kiss as the audience erupted into an extended applause.
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