Vanessa Williams will return to the Miss America pageant some 32 years after becoming the first African-American winner, and then forced to resign because of nude photography scandal.
Williams, 52, won the Miss America crown in 1983 but gave up the title 10 months later when explicit nude photos of her were published in Penthouse magazine, according to Us Weekly. She bounced back to be nominated for a Tony award, three Emmy awards, and 11 individual Grammys as a singer, during her professional career, according to Playbill.com.
“Vanessa Williams made history by becoming the first African-American to win the competition when she was crowned Miss America … and she went on to conquer the worlds of music, Broadway, television, and film,” said Sam Haskell, executive chairman and chief executive officer of the Miss America. “It is a great honor to welcome her back to the competition as our head judge.”
The competition, which will be held at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City will also feature fellow celebrity judges Brett Eldredge, Taya Kyle, Danica McKellar, Kevin O’Leary, Amy Purdy and Zendaya, according to Miss America.
Williams married for a third time to Jim Skrip during a private ceremony in July, according to E! News. She first talked about her engagement to Skrip last September on the “Queen Latifah Show.
She had been married before to former NBA star Rick Fox and Ramon Hervey ll.
Williams’ most recent starring television roles have been on “Desperate Housewives” from 2010 to 2012 and “Ugly Betty” from 2006 to 2010.