Vanessa Williams could have easily written a memoir at several points over the last 30 years.
Instead, Williams, starring on the final season of ABC’s “Desperate Housewives,” opted to wait until now. Not only has she finally written a tell-all memoir, she co-wrote it with her mom, Helen Williams. The result, “You Have No Idea: A Famous Daughter, Her No-Nonsense Mother and How They Survived Pageants, Hollywood, Love, Loss (and Each Other)” (Gotham Books, $28), hit stores last month.
Writing the book with her mother, she said, offers a more compelling look at her life. After an initial meeting to discuss what they planned to cover, mother and daughter went their separate ways to write. There were things they learned about each other from being writing partners. Helen Williams, for example, learned that her daughter had an abortion as a senior in high school, something she suspected, she said, but could never be sure. Vanessa Williams said she gained insight into her mother’s personality by reading about the feelings her mother had as a child, when she felt unloved and mistreated.
“We were both surprised by different aspects,” the daughter said.