Vanessa Williams dazzles at Broadway opening of Evita after making shocking revelation that she was molested as a child
07:28 GMT, 6 April 2012
She just laid bare one of her deepest darkest secrets, which she has been holding onto for years.
And after shockingly revealing she was molested as child, Vanessa Williams has stepped out for the first time tonight.
The 49-year-old, who wrote about the disturbing incident in her new memoir You Have No Idea, dazzled at opening night of Evita on Broadway in New York.
Dazzling: Vanessa Williams dazzled at the Broadway opening of Evita in New York City tonight
The former Miss America looked great in a sparkling bronze top, which she paired with a leopard print miniskirt and blazer with chain detailing.
She accessorised with a pair of perspex and gold strappy stilettos.
Vanessa was joined by a whole host of stars who came out to support the production.
Dressed-to-the-nines: The former Miss America looked great in a
sparkling bronze top, which she paired with a leopard print miniskirt
and white blazer with chain detailing
Smash star Debra Messing went for a conservative look for her evening attire slipping into a chocolate-coloured shift dress.
Comedian Kathy Griffith added some shine by slipping into a metallic teal pencil skirt paired with a embellished black sleeveless top.
Other attendees included Six Feet Under star Patricia Clarkson, Lost actress Maggie Grace and TV host Barabara Walters.
Star power: Smash star Debra Messing and TV host Barbara Walters also attended the event
Vanessa revealed in her memoir that at just 10-years old an 18-year-old woman abused her and she says what happened to her didn’t resonate with her until much later.
She explained to People magazine: ‘Family friends who had a daughter invited me to visit their friends in California with them. The family we stayed in had two kids.’
Describing her attacker she said: ‘Susan, who was 18, smoked, drove a car and was the epitome of cool. [My friend] Nancy and I slept in the den. One night Susan crept in.’
Colour co-ordinated: Six Feet Under star Patricia Clarkson looked great in a little black dress and red shoes
‘She told me to lie down on the rug. I was confused. Are we going to play a game As I tried to make sense of it, Susan pulled down the bloomers of my cotton baby-doll pajamas. “What are you doing” I asked. “Don’t worry – it’ll feel good”’
She continued: ‘I lay there paralyzed. What was going on I didn’t speak. She kept at [the molestation] for I don’t know how long. She slid my bloomers back up and whispered: “Don’t tell anyone.”’
It wasn’t until years later that Vanessa began to comprehend what had happened to her that night.
Marvelous in metallic: Comedian Kathy Griffith added some shine
by slipping into a metallic teal pencil skirt paired with a embellished
black sleeveless top
Strapping: Ricky Martin looked dashing in his traditional tuxedo
She said: ‘For years I kept Susan’s visit to myself. I didn’t really understand until college. I was with my boyfriend and it hit me and I blurted out: “Oh my god – I was molested.”’
While what had happened to her didn’t resonate at the time – she began to change her behaviour, she started to rebel.
Vanessa began to smoke marijuana, she didn’t comply with her curfew and at High School she had an abortion.
Elegant: Actresses Josefina Scaglione, Sierra Boggess and Maggie Grace all looked gorgeous in their gowns
Revelations: Vanessa made shocking revelations in her new memoir
Before finding fame as TV star the
Grammy-nominated singer enjoyed success in beauty pageants and the star
speaks out about the process in her memoir, which she has written with
her mother Helen.
Speaking about being crowned Miss America in 1983 she said: 'I had no emotion. I wasn't happy. I wasn't excited. I wasn't there. I just smiled and waved.'
Williams was the first black Miss America she suffered from a backlash.
She noted: 'Some [people] didn't think I was black enough.'
Before adding: 'My mother received death threats.'
If that wasn't enough nude photos taken two years earlier ended up surfacing and meant she was stripped of her title.
But Vanessa has learnt from her experiences and says she was always honest with her children, Melanie, 24, Jillian,22, Devin, 19 and Sasha 11.
She explained: 'It was part of my journey that led me to them and to where I am today.'