Vanessa Williams suffered sexual abuse

Published: April 7, 2012

Model-turned-actor Vanessa Williams recalls the details of her abuse and its impact on her life. PHOTO: FILE

With her hilarious turns in shows like “Ugly Betty” and “Desperate Housewives”, model-turned-actor Vanessa Williams has built an acclaimed TV career on impeccable comedic timing. But the actor has now come forward with a secret that puts a sobering spin on her life. Williams reveals that she was molested as a 10-year-old, which she chronicles in her new memoir, You Have No Idea, according to

In the book, an excerpt of which has been taken in the latest issue of People, the actor recalls the details of the incident and reflects on the impact it’s had on her life.

Having been molested by an 18-year-old girl who was also a family friend, Williams kept the incident a secret for years but says its full impact only hit her when she was in college. After that trip, I felt something changed in me,” she writes. “I had always been defiant, but I became a bit more rebellious. I began to pull away from my parents.”

The star also discusses the nude photo scandal that led her to being dethroned as Miss America in 1984. But, she says, she’s always remained open and honest with her children about all the challenges she’s faced.

“When my kids have asked about Miss America, those photos or any other part of my life, I told them what I always tell them — the truth,” she explains. “After all, it was part of my journey that led me to them and to where I am today.”

After the shocking revelation, Williams stepped out for the first time at the opening night of “Evita” on Broadway in New York.


Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2012.

The Most Popular News of the day in your Inbox daily.

More in Life & Style