More: I am a huge fan of Desperate Housewives, so I have to ask, is your character, Renee, making it down the aisle?
Vanessa Williams: Not down the aisle per se, but we did just finish our last table read and shot the first scene of the last episode. I will say, I am getting fitted for a wedding gown in this particular scene.
More: What about her BFF, Lynette? Are she and her estranged husband Tom getting back together?
VW: I can’t tell you that! What I can tell you is Lynette will be wearing a purple bridesmaid’s dress and be my maid of honor.
More: There is a rumor going around that someone is moving off Wisteria Lane. Dish—who is it?
VW: Are you kidding me? If I told you that I would never work again! I will say, we just did our first read-through and it is good. The fans will get their money’s worth and like what they see.
More: Once this curtain goes down, another one goes up. Tell me about your new TV series, 666 Park Avenue.
VW: It is only a pilot and I can’t really talk about it unless it gets picked up. Let’s hope ABC likes it.
More: You have a new memoir, You Have No Idea. Why pen a book that reveals some well-hidden secrets you have kept locked up for years?
VW: I named it You Have No Idea because most people have misconceptions about me. Having spent the past six years on television, I have developed a tremendously wide audience. Some of those people had no idea who I was before I appeared on Ugly Betty or Desperate Housewives. When I sang on Desperate Housewives recently I had people coming up to me who said, “You can sing?” Then, when people discover I was once Miss America, they think I was in beauty pageants my whole life and that I was part of Toddlers and Tiaras.
More: Why write the book with your mom?
VW: So they know about the huge influence she has had on me. She also has a huge, dynamic personality and always has something to say.
More: If you had to sum up what this book is about, what would you say?
VW: This book reflects on my 29-year career. It is a body of work I can discuss, and the book also gives me the opportunity talk about my childhood, and to redefine the way people think about me.
More: What has been the biggest misconception people have of you?
VW: The biggest misconception, which has been a part of my history, is that when you have a beauty queen title in front of your name it tends to negate any kind of talent you have. The biggest misconception people have of me is not knowing all of the musical theater training I had done before getting the crown. I had training as a dancer, an actor, and I also had two parents who were teachers and made education a priority.
More: You have come forward with a very painful memory from your childhood. What was it like to relive being sexually molested?
VW: When you are 10 years old you don’t understand how awful something like this really is. It was abuse. It was inappropriate and it should never have happened. The reason I included it was because when I was structuring the book I included a story about a meeting I had with my attorneys over those photos that cost me the Miss America crown. I remember my attorney asking me, “Have you ever been with a woman?” I responded by saying, “When I was 10 years old I was molested by a woman.” I guess I included it because it was a pivotal point in my life, and as a mother of four my number-one priority is to protect my children.
More: And at the time this incident occurred your mom didn’t know?
VW: Unfortunately, my own mother couldn’t protect me because she didn’t know.