Vanessa Williams, along with her mother Helen Williams, have penned an extremely candid memoir called, “You Have No Idea.” As part of the promotion for the book the first African American to win Miss America taped an interview with Nightline and discussed some of the revealing details readers can expect.
Here is the clip as the 49-year-old mother of four, along with her mom, opened up about secrets she held for far too long:
Here are few of Williams’ quotes from that clip:
On being molested by an 18-year-old girl when she was only 10:
“It was definitely a choice, because it didn’t need to be [in the book]. It happened one night where she told me, ‘come over here,’… I didn’t know that it was wrong, but I knew that it wasn’t right because I wasn’t supposed to tell anybody.”
“I think I was highly sexualized because I was in fifth grade and I had this experience. Because it feels good, you’re like, OK, well this is supposed to be normal. That’s not normal for a 10-year-old to be seduced.”
On getting pregnant and having an abortion during high school:
“Being pregnant is the most frightening thing that happens in your life. I knew in high school that’s something that I was not prepared to do, or fight, or struggle with.”
On the racial backlash after becoming the first African American Miss America:
“[My mother] wouldn’t discuss them [death threats] with me, because she didn’t want me to be freaked out by them the entire year while I was doing my appearances.”
On the photo shoot that led to her Miss America crown being taken (the photos later appeared in Penthouse):
“I started out on top of a cab and ended up in a studded collar upstairs an hour later. That was my joke, saying, you know, ‘How could I go from this trusting, you know, photo shoot, to being in S&M clothing within the same shoot with a guy I didn’t know.'”
That’s a lot of baggage and weight to carry with you. I can only imagine how cathartic it was for both Vanessa and her mom as they worked on the book and the star unburdened herself from the weight of so many secrets.
Top Photo: Joseph Marzullo/Wenn.com