Vanna White has been an American pop culture staple for more than three decades, appearing as the well-known letter-turner on the ever-popular game show “Wheel of Fortune.”
And in a recent interview with Fox News, White, 60, dove into a variety of topics, including her TV success, her path to Hollywood — and one of her biggest regrets: taking photos that ended up in Playboy magazine.
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When asked about the photos that were published in the men’s magazine back in 1987, White offered up a candid explanation, telling Fox News that the images were actually taken a few years before their publication by a man who was not associated with Playboy.
It was a photoshoot that unfolded during a time in which White was newly in Hollywood and desperate for money.
“When I first moved to Hollywood, I was too embarrassed to ask my dad for rent money. I was young and I wanted to do it on my own,” she recalled. “So, I did these lingerie shots and from the moment I said I would do them, I thought, ‘I shouldn’t be doing this, but I’m not going to ask my dad for money, so I’m just going to do it!'”
White said it was after she landed her gig with “Wheel of Fortune” that Playboy founder Hugh Hefner purchased the photos and then decided to put her on the cover of the magazine.
“He’s the one who put me on the cover of the magazine,” she told Fox News. “I didn’t do it for Playboy. I did not want them on there, but it happened.”
White, who filed two lawsuits — a $5.2 million complaint against Playboy and a federal lawsuit against Hefner — later dropped the lawsuits, and instead went on TV to try and apologize to the public, as The Washington Post reported.
“I remember going on ‘Johnny Carson’ and saying, ‘I’m so sorry, this is what happened.’ And this is a lesson that applies today: Never do anything that you don’t want to do,” White told Fox. “Listen to your instincts and follow it. I said, ‘I made a mistake, I’m sorry and I just hope I don’t lose my job over it.'”
In the end, White said she learned an important lesson and was fortunately able to keep her beloved job — a position she still holds decades later.
“I did something I shouldn’t have done,” she concluded.
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