The scandal erupted when nude photos of her posed for a year before the Miss pageant came to light.
Famous musician and actress Vanessa Williams became the first black Miss America in history at the age of 20, but also the first to have to give up her title due to a scandal. The scandal arose when Vanessa’s nude photos, for which she posed a year before the Miss pageant, came to light.
Those photos were taken by Tom Chiapel, at a time when Vanessa was working for him as an assistant and makeup artist. He wanted to take photos of the silhouettes of the two models, so Vanessa posed naked with another girl. This is how the photos of the simulated lesbian relationship were created. Vanessa never signed permission for those photos to be published. Still, Chiapel offered them to the newspaper. Playboy owner Hugh Hefner turned down the offer because it was clear that the photos did not have Vanessa’s approval and would cause her embarrassment, as the current Miss America.
However, Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione published photos in the September 1984 issue, which brought him about $ 14 million in earnings. Under pressure from scandals and the media, on July 23, 1984, Vanessa relinquished the title of Miss America. She was replaced by her former first companion Suzette Charles, also a black woman. Vanessa filed a lawsuit against Chiapel and Guccione the same year, seeking half a billion dollars in damages. However, she dropped the lawsuit the following year. It was only after that scandal that Vanessa made a significant music and film career.