Back in 1983, Vanessa Williams made history when she became the first Black woman crowned Miss America in the history of the pageant. This win put her on the map and eventually catapulted her into stardom, where she has since given us classics in movies (Soul Food, Johnson Family Vacation), TV (Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives), and music ("Save the Best for Last").
She married Los Angeles basketball star Rick Fox in 1999, which seemed like a marriage made in heaven, but the union unfortunately only lasted five years.
Well...the *marriage* only lasted five years, the actual friendship has lasted well over 20.
The two went on to have a daughter, Sasha, who is now 20 years old and an actress herself (they starred alongside each other in One Fine Christmas). And I guess you could say that we have Sasha to thank for introducing us to the co-parenting goal that is the two, because we are obsessed with how they navigate being her parents and the respect they show each other regularly. How they've managed to fly under the radar as one of our favorite former couples, I have no idea, but we are certainly here for it.
And although Fox filed for divorce from her, there's clearly no love lost as the two often shout each other out, thank each other on social media, and even appear together on season two of Ugly Betty and the BET series Twenties via Lena Waithe.
Additionally, Williams' (who! is! almost! 60!) social media is riddled with photos of the two, in Badu-esque fashion, spotlighting the good times in exchange for their daughter. She writes on a photo of the two:
"Happy Father's Day @imrickafox Thanks for 18 years of this little one @sashafoxyy"
"It all started with love 18 years ago @sashafoxyy. We are so proud of our baby, thanks @imrickafox"
And Fox often returning the favor:
"#HerLastProm ~ Graduation around the corner. So proud of you @sashafoxyy ~ #PreAdulting at University coming up next. Thank you MOM @vanessawilliamsofficial"
We stan a healthy co-parenting partnership!
And even though they don't address their former marriage very often outside of their own accords, Williams once penned a letter to Glamour detailing what caused their marriage to go astray, saying:
"My second husband was six years younger than I was: When we got married, I was 36. At the time I worried about being too old, even though I was still very young. He was in the NBA, which is basically another kind of show business, though it was high profile in a way I hadn't experienced before. We had a different set of issues from those of my first marriage, mostly because we weren't on the same coast for most of it: He was on the road or out in Los Angeles, and after our daughter was born, I was on the East Coast, raising four children and flying across the country every two weeks."
Today, Williams is remarried and living her best life, even re-enacting our favorite Soul Food scene for a nostalgic win. And Rick, is doing the same, often taking part in Peloton challenges, nurturing his businesses, and being a great dad. We're just happy they were able to find their own balances, for the sake of their own livelihoods.
Healthy co-parenting for the win!
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Featured image by Vanessa Williams/Instagram