All Articles Tagged "Vanessa Williams"
Many of us become mortified when we think about the idea of asking a man out. But when it comes to Vanessa Williams, it certainly worked out for her. Big time. Last year, Williams married Jim Skrip after she asked him out on a dare while they both were vacationing, separately, in Egypt.
She shared the story during a recent sit down with Wendy Williams.
“I was on vacation with Sasha, who’s the same age as little Kev. And this was in 2012, after she finished studying Greece and Egypt. So I said, at the end of the year, I’m going to take you to Egypt so you can go to the pyramids and I can take you to the Nile. So we did our tour and we jumped on the Nile cruise. And we were going to our last site and our tour guide said, ‘I sat next to this guy he’s traveling alone and he’s single. You should go talk to him.’ I said, ‘C’mon…” So I went up to him and he was wearing on a Buffalo Sabers t-shirt. And I said, ‘Are you from Buffalo?’ And he said, ‘Yeah.’ And I said, “My mom grew up in Buffalo and my brother’s a big Bills fan.’ We started talking football and stuff, collected our bags and stuff.”
Then Wendy wanted to know if he recognized her as the Vanessa Williams.
“He knew who was but he never would approach me because he’s a gentleman. He saw me with my daughter so he never would approach me.
Then my tour guide kind of dared me. Well, ask him out tonight. I said, ‘C’mon it’s my last night. He’s already on his bus how am I going to get in contact with him?’ She said, ‘Hold on a sec.’ So she calls his tour guide and the tour guide said, ‘Here, the phone’s for you.’ I said, ‘I know it’s my last night and I know we just met but can you have dinner with me at my hotel?’ And he came with me and we had a beautiful 3-hour dinner.”
She explained that her daughter Sasha was totally cool with it. The two dated for three years before Skrip proposed.
Then she spoke to Wendy where she talks about her decision to return to Miss America pageant and her nude photo scandal versus celebrities who take and share the photos today.
“Well the difference is, the betrayal like Erin Andrews and mine, since there was no release, again that was a betrayal. When it’s a choice, that’s another thing. When you use it as a vehicle to get attention, that’s another thing. Apples and oranges.”
You can check out Williams talking about her husband, her new show “Satan’s Sisters” and her new clothing line in the video below.
Toni Braxton’s Unbreak My Heart Lifetime biopic drew 3.6 million viewers, becoming the network’s most-watched film in a year. Did you enjoy it? Because we sure did. Narrated and executive produced by Toni Braxton (who sang her own music in the movie), Unbreak My Heart followed the success of Lifetime’s much talked about Aaliyah and Whitney Houston biopics. Whose life story would you love to see on screen next? From Missy Elliott’s comeback to Brandy’s interesting career and love live and Jennifer Hudson’s incredible story, here are some candidates we think Lifetime should consider.
Vanessa Williams made headlines as the first Black winner of Miss America, a title that she would later relinquish after a Penthouse scandal threatened her burgeoning career. But Williams bounced back and conquered virtually every sector of entertainment: the musical charts, Broadway, film, and television. If that doesn’t scream biopic, I don’t know what does.
I don’t know if the people behind the Miss America pageant owed Vanessa Williams an apology, but she definitely was owed something from them.
However, others don’t see it that way. In particular, Demetria Lucas D’Oyley, who penned a piece for The Root entitled, The Miss America Pageant Doesn’t Owe Vanessa Williams an Apology.
According to Lucas D’Oyley:
During last night’s pageant broadcast, Miss America CEO Sam Haskell III invited Williams to the stage and apologized to her and her mother, saying, “You have lived your life with grace and dignity. … 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 will always be.”
Knowing that I will likely be reamed for saying this, because Williams is a talented actress, singer and a beloved celebrity—especially in the black community—I’m saying it anyway: She deserved to be forced to resign, and the Miss America organization didn’t owe her an apology.
The organization’s reaction to Williams’ pictures wasn’t overblown in the ’80s, and those images should garner about a similar reaction today. The organization’s reaction also was not racist. (The fact that Williams’ replacement, Suzette Charles, was also black kinda kills that argument.)
Lucas D’Oyley said she came to this conclusion after seeing the racy pictures, which ran in Penthouse over 20 years ago, but are now available on the web. While she said she takes no issue with “sex between consenting adults,” she does believe that those images were not “in line with the mission of the organization” or “fit the position she held.”
Likewise, she writes:
Yes, Williams was barely legal when those pictures were taken. I read in a 1984 article in People magazine that she naively believed that the images would be in silhouette and her face would not be shown. Williams was a young girl who made a series of bad decisions. (She did two nude photo shoots, not one.) And the cost was being asked to step down as Miss America. It was a hard way to learn a necessary lesson about actions and consequences. There was no need for the Miss America organization to apologize for teaching it to her.
If you haven’t seen the pictures, you won’t see them here. But you are free to Google them. To be honest, they are pretty racy images, including one picture of a nude woman simulating oral sex on the “Save The Best For Last” singer. And I can certainly see how those images could raise an eyebrow or two.
But, I also don’t how I feel about framing Williams’s racy images as contrary to the mission of the Miss American organization. After all, the Miss America organization claims that it “represents the highest ideals” that a typical “American Girl might well emulate.” But many women, particularly feminists, have long taken issue with the beauty contest for a number of reasons, including the exploitation of women and their sexuality and reinforcing trite, Eurocentric beauty standards.
Matter of fact, it was in 1968 when hundreds of feminists stormed the boardwalk in Atlantic City to protest the Miss America pageant. According to this report by PBS:
One of the protest’s leading organizers was 27-year-old writer and editor Robin Morgan. In the group’s manifesto written to explain the protest of the Miss America Pageant, “No More Miss America!,” Morgan took direct aim at what she called “the degrading mindless-boob-girlie symbol” so prevalent in the media. Morgan attacked the “ludicrous ‘beauty’ standards we ourselves are conditioned to take seriously.” She also attacked the pageant’s beauty standards as racist. As of 1968, no African American woman had taken a place among the contest’s finalists.
Morgan went on to condemn “the unbeatable madonna-whore combination” and the mixed messages women were socialized to accept. “To win approval, we must be both sexy and wholesome, delicate but able to cope, demure yet titillatingly bitchy or should we say [ill-tempered] … Miss America and Playboy’s centerfolds are sisters under the skin.” In addition, in sending pageant contestants and winners to entertain troops in Vietnam, the women served as “death mascots” in an immoral war. Morgan asked, “Where else could one find such a perfect combination of American values — racism, militarism, capitalism — all packaged in one ‘ideal’ symbol, a woman.”
And more than 40 years later, not much has changed.
What’s interesting is that Williams was ultimately punished for exploiting her own body as opposed to letting the organization do it for her. Not to mention the pictures were published in Penthouse without her consent. She was a victim. And she was victimized again when the organization disassociated itself from her instead of having her back against the slut-shaming as well as racist comments.
Three decades after Vanessa Williams gave up her Miss America crown, the organization has issued a public apology for the way that they handled things way back when.
“I have been a close friend to this beautiful and talented lady for 32 years,” said Miss America CEO Sam Haskell during Sunday’s pageant. “You have lived your life in grace and dignity, and never was it more evident than during the events of 1984 when you resigned.”
Williams resigned from her position as Miss America 1983 and returned her crown after Penthouse magazine obtained nude photos her, which were photographed before she won the pageant, and published them without her consent. Though Williams made the decision to resign, many believed that the organization pressured her to do so.
“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,” Haskell continued, “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.”
Williams graciously accepted Haskell’s apology.
“Thank you so much, Sam,” she said. “So unexpected, but so beautiful. I did as best I could during my reign as Miss America in 1983 to 84.”
Black girls across the nation rejoiced in 1983, when Vanessa Williams was the first African American woman to win the Miss America pageant.
Later, their joy was dashed when Williams became the first woman to resign her crown after nude photos were printed in Penthouse magazine without her consent.
In an interview with People the next year, Williams described the experience and how she felt “betrayed and violated like I had been raped,” when the pictures finally surfaced.
She received very little support. But 32 years later, she’ll return to the stage as the head judge for the Miss America pageant.
But it’s not without a bit of controversy.
According to TMZ, executives for Miss America are preparing for the show in a bit of a panic.
Apparently, they invited Williams to judge the pageant under the impression that she would apologize to them for the nude photo scandal and she agreed to come back believing that they would apologize to her for their handling of it.
Sources told TMZ that Williams only agreed to appear because she was going to be the recipient of an apology and would be presented with a new crown.
But the discrepancy came to the light on Wednesday when the Miss America execs met with Williams. They said that they thought she would apologize first and then they would give her the crown.
As of yesterday, the two sides had yet to come to an agreement.
But since the organization has already released promotional videos featuring Williams’ image, it’s Miss America who’s feeling the most heat.
Vanessa Williams should absolutely not, under no circumstances apologize for this incident. If you read her interview with People from 1984, she explicitly states that she was reassured time and time again that those pictures would never see the light of day. And since there are no documents proving that she provided her consent, she is the real victim in this situation. As such, she should never apologize for her own violation.
If anything, the fact that Miss America, an organization that claims to care about the rights of women, cannot support Williams in this incident, is pretty telling. They need to apologize for not supporting her as they should have when she was violated all those years ago.
Vanessa Williams will certainly remember this Independence Day for years to come.
According to People, Williams, 52, and her fiancé, Jim Skrip, quietly exchanged vows Saturday in front of family and friends.
The actress first confirmed her engagement back in September during an appearance on “The Queen Latifah Show.”
“I got engaged,” the beauty gushed to Latifah. “I have had a lot of good things happen … I just got engaged a couple of weeks ago. It has been a lot of blessings.”
In April, we were able to catch up with Williams, who gave us the scoop on her new beau and their unlikely first encounter on an Egypt-bound boat.
“I was on vacation with my daughter going to Egypt, cruising on the Nile. I wasn’t looking for anything,” said Williams, who had been divorced for ten years when her path crossed Skrip’s. “I found a hometown guy from my mom’s town in Buffalo, New York and started a conversation.”
The “Royal Pains” actress was also sure to encourage women in their 50s who still hope to find love.
“There’s always hope. You never know what you’ll find and where you’ll find it,” she said. “Don’t ever lose hope. I’m 52, and now I’ve got a new beginning. It happens when you’re not looking for it! Just trust and believe.”
This is Williams’ third marriage. She has four children from her previous marriages to actor Rick Foxx and Ramon Hervey II.
We recently had the opportunity to speak with actress, singer, and former Miss America Vanessa Williams. The ageless beauty spoke about her involvement with the organization, Dress for Success, which helps disadvantaged women make better lives for themselves through career development tools, donating professional attire for interviews and work, and offering a network of support to help women accomplish great things. Williams is taking part in the non-profit organization’s newest campaign, Success is Calling and talked with us about why such programs are essential.
But Williams also spilled some tea on what’s next for her career (she could be heading to Fox, and who knows if an opportunity to guest star on Empire could happen?!), black women slowly but surely taking over TV, and her love life. Williams, now 52, got engaged to fiancé Jim Skrip last year and wants other women to know that they should never give up hope on finding love. Check out what ‘Nessa had to say!
Her Involvement With Dress For Success And The New Campaign, Success Is Calling
I’ve been working with Dress for Success for many years, not only giving my suits and gently used handbags to the organization, but helping to tell their message. For women who have had some misfortune and disadvantages in their life, Dress for Success allows them to get tools, which includes the apparel, but also the skills to be employed. Dress for Success has teamed up Tracfone. They started a campaign called Success is Calling, and it’s helping women to have great interview skills over the phone. About 92 percent of HR managers say that skills over the phone are paramount to them when they hire someone. So women can go to Dress for Success, do the Success is Calling program, and when they complete the program, they will get a Tracfone smartphone for a year with the service. Hopefully, that will help open doors with all the skills that they learned and all the tools they also got to get jobs and get a new start.
Tips For Women Hoping To Ace Phone Interviews
The employer wants to know who you are. They want to know what your background is, and they want to be able to hear clearly what your message is and what you can do for them. So “um,””aw,” “I don’t know,” “uh” and “I guess” are not very powerful. You have to eliminate that and be clear, and also feel great about yourself. Hopefully, the clothes you get through Dress For Success will make you feel empowered, but you also have to tell your employer what you can do for their job and why you are right for the job. If they ask you about your children and where you come from, be able to have an interesting story and give them information that would say, “This person is unique, interesting, and sounds like they would fit in.”
If you want more information and tips for being fantastic on the phone and getting a job, you can go to the Success is Calling website. It has a whole list of tips you can get for your interview skills.
And if you just want to contribute to Dress for Success, you can go to Wal-Mart, purchase one of the Tracfone smartphones, and 20 percent of the proceeds will go to Dress for Success in April. There are many ways we all can win. Whether you want to help, whether you want to be part of the program or whether you just want to get the skills, you can go online.
Why These Programs Are So Important Right Now
Well, everyone needs a start, and everyone needs a break. A lot of kids are out of college, but a lot of women — I’m a mother of four, and I know what’s it’s like when you need to provide. As a mother, you also need to get a job to provide for your children. It’s always important to be able to have a resource that can help you look the part and give you tools to get the part.
On Fantasy Life, Her New Pilot For Fox
I finished a pilot for Fox called Fantasy Life. It’s about fantasy football, which is a huge, huge craze. And it’s based on the book by Matthew Berry called Fantasy Life. Matthew Berry is the producer and writer, but Mitch Berry is the character, which is played by Kevin Connolly, who is famous from Entourage. I play his boss, the VP at Fox Sports Network. It’s a half-hour office comedy situated in the sports world. It was a lot of fun, and we’ll see in the fall if we get picked up or not.
If Her Singing Skills Will Land Her A Guest Role On “Empire”
Who knows? We’ll see what the Fox network has in store for me. I’m a big fan of Lee Daniels. I was so happy that he did something that was not done on television. They trusted him and trusted what he wanted to bring, and they didn’t mess with it too much. They let him do his thing and look at the results! I’m proud of Lee, I’m proud of everyone’s hard work, and it shows you what can happen when you dare to be different.
On Her Engagement, And Her Words Of Encouragement For Other Women Looking For Love
Well my words are, there’s always hope. You never know what you’ll find and where you’ll find it. I was on vacation with my daughter going to Egypt, cruising on the Nile. I wasn’t looking for anything. I’d been alone for a number of years and divorced for ten years at that time. I found a hometown guy from my mom’s town in Buffalo, New York and started a conversation. He happened to be traveling alone and happened to know who I was but wasn’t a super fan. He accepted me for who I was after a wonderful first three-hour date of talking about ourselves. We found out we had a lot of things in common. Three years later we’re getting married.
Don’t ever lose hope. There are a lot of good men out there — of course I found the best — who are available and ready to be in satisfying relationships as well. Don’t ever lose hope. I’m 52, and now I’ve got a new beginning. It happens when you’re not looking for it! Just trust and believe.
Her Thoughts On Women Killing It On Prime-time TV
When I grew up, there was Julia, which was Diahann Carroll. She was the one who paved the way. And then we saw her in Dynasty as Dominique Devereaux, again, paving the way as well. So, we’ve seen the door open up further and further not only for women of color, but for women in general. With Desperate Housewives, that was the first time you had a whole cast of women who were 40+ who people tuned in to see. It shows that women want to watch other women, and other people want to watch other women as well. That’s when the power comes. When the power and the numbers come, then the networks know that they have something. I’m sure the success that Fox has had with Empire, again, shows that strong women are great TV. I’m happy with Kerry Washington, Viola Davis–who has been phenomenal on Broadway for years but is finally getting her chance to bring it every week. It’s all fantastic, and I’m happy.
Vanessa Williams is over 50 and fabulous! The beautiful 51-year-old actress–who was recently nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special for her role in The Trip to Bountiful–continues to be an inspiration for many with her longstanding career in Hollywood. Between motherhood and managing her fruitful career the mother of four still continues to age gracefully. Williams shared some beauty tips with Essence.com:
“My first product is the star of my line, my anti-aging wrinkle fighter and my (until now) best kept secret. I’ve been using it for years and it’s made a huge difference in keeping my skin ageless. It’s called the Re-Start Skin Serum. It’s currently available on QVC.com. It includes Dermaxyl, which is a patented oligopeptide complex, Hyaluronic Filling Spheres and antioxidants Vitamin A, C, E and Retinol. These work in combination to oxygenate and moisturize the skin. They also help improve the visible signs of premature aging by smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.”
Beauty aside, Williams’ style is just as admirable. When you click continue, you’ll be able to few some of her most stylish looks in recent times.
Celebrity Glam Mom: Vanessa Williams
We can’t lie some of the handsome men on this list we wish we could have seen take it off as for these other stars who stripped and dropped it well…
Naked: 15 Stars Who Took It ALL Off
New Jack City came on VH1 recently, and I was engrossed in it as though I was watching the film for the very first time. I think a lot of people feel that way about the film, because it was just that entertaining. Watching it for the umpteenth time made me wonder: Where has the cast gone? Where are they now?
I did some digging, and here’s what they’re looking like and up to now:
Snipes played the hell out of drug kingpin Nino Brown, and we all know that the ’90s were good, if not great, to his career. But everything came to a halt when he spent three years in prison for tax evasion charges (starting in 2010). But since he was released earlier this year, he’s been back to work like he never left. He was just in the Expendables 3 and is about to be in the film, Chronicles of the Mayan Tunnel.