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Vanessa Williams' Penthouse Magazine Scandal to Be Adapted Into Series With Neil Meron Producing

Vanessa Williams' Penthouse Magazine Scandal to Be Adapted Into Series With Neil Meron Producing

Sony Pictures have optioned the rights to her story with Meron producing.

A new limited series following Vanessa Williams' personal view of the scandal that forced her to resign her MISS AMERICA crown in 1984 is in the works.

Deadline reports that Sony Pictures have optioned the rights to her story with Neil Meron producing.

Williams was the first woman of African-American descent to receive the MISS AMERICA title when she was crowned MISS AMERICA 1984 in 1983. However, a scandal arose the following year when, a few weeks prior to the end of her reign, Williams learned that Penthouse Magazine would be publishing unauthorized nude photographs of her in an upcoming issue.

Amid growing media controversy and scrutiny, Williams resigned as MISS AMERICA in July 1984 (under pressure from the MISS AMERICA Organization) and was replaced by first runner-up Miss New Jersey Suzette Charles. Thirty-two years later, MISS AMERICA CEO Sam Haskell offered her a public apology (during the MISS AMERICA 2016 pageant) for the events of 1984.

In one of the industry's most inpiring comeback stories, Williams was able to reclaim the course of her career and became an award-winning actor and singer.

"There are so many inaccurate and untrue accounts of the events surrounding this period in my life, and as a mother, and as a Black woman, it is important to me that my truth be told and be documented from my perspective," Williams stated. "This is not just a story about racy photos, it is about misogyny and racism and I want to shine a light on that for future generations."

The series will also be executive produced by Neil Meron and Mark Nicholson, along with involvement from Stephen Roseberry, Jon Carrasco, attorney Martin Singer, who has repped Williams for years, and Steve Glick.

"I am so grateful that Vanessa has entrusted Mark Nicholson and I to share her remarkable story of breaking barriers," Neil Meron said in a statement. "She faced a culture of discrimination and hate yet her indomitable integrity guided her to the many triumphs she has had during her remarkable career.

Vanessa Williams is one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in the entertainment industry. Her critically acclaimed work in film, television, recordings and the Broadway stage have earned her 4 Emmy nominations, 11 Grammy nominations, a Tony nomination, 3 SAG award nominations, 7 NAACP Image Awards, and 3 Satellite Awards.

Vanessa's Broadway credits include co-starring with Cicely Tyson in THE TRIP to Bountiful, After Midnight, and a special limited engagement in Hey, Look Me Over at New York City Center. She also recently starred in the revival of City of Angels on The West End in London. She was most recently seen on Broadway in POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive.

Her platinum single "Colors of the Wind,"from Disney's Pocahontas, won the Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe for Best Original Song. One of the world's most accomplished concert artists, she has appeared regularly with the most prestigious symphony orchestras in the world, including the National Symphony Orchestra at The Kennedy Center. Vanessa achieved a career pinnacle with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and her autobiography, You Have No Idea, co-written with her mother Helen Williams, was a New York Times Bestseller.

Vanessa is a strong advocate for equal rights and was honored with the Human Rights Campaign "Ally for Equality" Award for her humanitarian contributions. She has also embraced and supporting such organizations as Black Theatre United, The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, Special Olympics, Broadway Cares-Equity Fights AIDS and several others.

Neil Meron produced the recent Broadway productions Promises, Promises and How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. He also is the producer of NBC's live televised musicals, including Hairspray Live, Annie Live, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, Sound of Music Live, and The Wiz Live.

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