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“I Shouldn’t Have”: Vanna White Regrets Posing For Playboy 

Five years into her career, Wheel of Fortune hostess Vanna White appeared in Playboy’s May 1987 issueHer cover looked very cheeky as she posed, looking from behind while sitting on a windowsill, wearing only a long-sleeved shirt with her bottom bare and teasingly exposed. Then, for her inside spread, she was seminude in provocative positions. 

Needless to say, America was gasping for air when her Playboy issue hit the newsstands. It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say it left a big cultural impact. She went from a game show sweetheart image clad in a purple gown to a mature woman wearing more skin. 

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As one blogger put it, she was the one celebrity who appeared in the magazine that absolutely blew their mind because she was the last person they ever expected to see in it. 

However, that came to be one of her regrets decades later. “I did something I shouldn’t have done,” the 60-year-old star told Fox News for a Q&A in 2017. 

White explained that the photos weren’t made for Playboy. Those were actually from a risque lingerie shoot she did with a photographer named David Gurian back in 1982. 

RELATED: Jade Roper Expresses Regret Over Feeling Ashamed With Her ‘Playboy’ Shoot On ‘The Bachelor’

She accepted the project not because she wanted to do it but because she was too embarrassed to ask her dad for rent money. She left her hometown in South Carolina to pursue a career in Hollywood, and just like any young person, she wanted to do it on her own. 

Later that year, she got her big break after Merv Griffin hired her as the letter-turner on Wheel of Fortune. Soon enough, she was named by the Chicago Tribune “one of the hottest celebrities in the country.”

Her fame attracted attention, including Hugh Hefner, who bought her NSFW photos. She said, “He’s the one who put me on the cover of the magazine. I did not want them on there, but it happened.” 

So when it was announced, she filed a $5.2 million lawsuit against the magazine, claiming it would tarnish her “modest, wholesome, attractive, and innocent all-American girl” image. She also hoped that doing so would halt the publication. She also sued Hefner in federal court. 

As the story went on, Hefner told her that they would be putting her picture out as Miss May prior to the whole thing exploding. As his friend, she responded that it could ruin her career. He allegedly promised he wouldn’t run it, but he did so anyway. 

RELATED: Sexy & Sensual: Exploring Kylie Jenner’s NSFW ‘Playboy’ Cover from 2019

White ultimately dropped the lawsuit, citing in a statement that under the circumstances, the non-publication of the photos would be more damaging to her career. Instead, she publicly addressed the issue by going on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson. She apologized for the magazine photos and asked for forgiveness. 

According to the TV star, she was afraid that it would cost her her job. Fortunately for her, it didn’t. After she appealed her case, her magazine photos slipped into everyone’s subconscious. After all, there were far more celebrities who did far more revealing photoshoots.

The star learned the very important lesson never to do anything she thinks is wrong and to always listen to that little voice inside her head because she really wished she wouldn’t have done it. 

However, she did and had to face the consequences of her actions. That said, Vanna White was definitely very thankful to everyone who supported her and stayed by her side during the Playboy issue. 

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