On Sunday evening actress Vanessa Williams will return to the Miss America pageant for the first time since she won the crown in 1984.
Back in 1984 after nude photos of Vanessa surfaced she was forced to give up her crown.
In a press release, Sam Haskell, executive chairman and CEO of the Miss America Organization, explained that his friendship with Vanessa is what led him to invite her back as a judge.
“I have been friends with Vanessa for 32 years,” he told The Associated Press. “When the photos were published, there were people urging her to fight, but close supporters knew if she lost that fight that she would be completely removed from the history books. Instead of pursuing what would surely have been a long and stressful legal battle, Vanessa decided to resign and focus on her career. Vanessa and her family were hurt during the aftermath of the resignation, and that saddened me.
“Vanessa’s career speaks for itself, with all the success that she has had. “When I became chairman of Miss America, one of the first calls I made was to Vanessa, to try to find a way to get her to come back. Her return as a huge success is a way for us all to move forward and put the past behind us. It’s truly an honor to welcome her back to the Miss America Pageant.”