It might have been the lowest point in her life, as she told People inbut the scandal miss led Vanessa Williams to resign her post as Miss America also busty turkey woman her up for one of the americas comebacks in entertainment history. But they did leave nude studio, partly because she was identifiable: TIME reported that the photographer was paid more than Penthouse had ever paid for a photo spread before.
Playboymeanwhile, took the moral high ground: The statement that Williams ultimately made was that she was more than a racy photo spread — and more than Miss America.
Vanessa Williams Finally Gets Apology From Miss America CEO Over Nude Photo Scandal
The title had never been a dream of hers, as TIME attested just after she won the competition. She wants to be a star. While the exposure she got was not the type she wanted, she became a star on her own terms, as a Grammy-nominated singer and an actress with prominent roles in Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewivesamong others. She presumed karma would pick up where legal action left off.
Read more fromhere in the TIME archives: There She Goes, Miss America.