STYLE

Vanessa Williams Receives Apology From Miss America CEO Decades After Nude Photo Scandal

09/14/2015 03:48 EDT | Updated 09/14/2015 03:59 EDT

It's been 32 years since Vanessa Williams resigned her Miss America title due to a nude photo controversy, but it looks like the singer and actress has finally made peace with the organization.

The 52-year-old, who became the first African-American Miss America in 1984, was invited back by the organization as head judge of the competition, sitting alongside Zendaya, Brett Eldredge, snowboarding bronze medalist Amy Purdy and Taya Kyle, veteran activist and widow of US Navy SEAL Chris Kyle.

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"We are thrilled to welcome her 'home' as our head judge as she helps select the 95th Anniversary Miss America," Miss America Executive Chairman and CEO Sam Haskell, III told People.

Haskell also apologized publicly to Williams for the way his predecessors handled the debacle when nude photos were published in Penthouse magazine several months after she was crowned.

vanessa williams

"On behalf of today's organization, I want to apologize to you and to your mother, Miss Helen Williams," Haskell said. "I want to apologize for anything that was said or done that made you feel any less the Miss America that you are and the Miss America that you always will be."

Williams' response? "So unexpected but so beautiful. I love the girls and I'm so honoured to be back."

Vanessa also performed her song, "How The Years Go By" during the show.

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