Vanessa Williams takes the stage with Miss America CEO Sam Haskell III during the 2016 Miss America Competition held at Boardwalk Hall Arena on Sunday (September 13) in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The 52-year-old actress and entertainer was crowned Miss America back in 1983, but was forced to resign when photos of her with no clothes on leaked to the public. She came back as a judge to the organization over three decades later, and was offered an apology live on television.
“I have been a close friend to this beautiful and talented lady for 32 years. You have lived your life in grace and dignity and never was it more evident than during the events of 1984 when you resigned,” Sam said during the broadcast. “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.”
Miss Georgia Betty Cantrell was named the new Miss America at the end of the night!