Tila Tequila Bio: Real name, career, fame, net worth, personal life & controversies

This biography of Tila Tequila or Nguyen Thi Thien Thanh will shed more light on her life, an American and social media personality. We will provide detailed information about her early life, rise to social media popularity, chequered career and various controversies.

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We will also reveal some facts about the celebrity that you may not know before. Before we go into the details, see the next section for a summary of important facts about Tila Tequila.

10 facts about Tila Tequila

  1. Tila Tequila’s real name is Nguyen Thi Thien Thanh. She was born in Singapore on 24th October 1981. She will be 39 years old on her 2020 birthday.
  2. Tila Tequila got her nickname because she was allergic to alcohol while growing up. She has other nicknames and monikers like, Tila Nguyen, Miss Tila and Tornado Thien.
  3. In 2006, Time Magazine recognised her as the ‘Queen’ of Myspace. She popularised people adding friends they do not know personally on social networks.
  4. Tila Tequila starred in an adult movie in which she won the 2015 AVN Award for Best Celebrity Sex Tape for her role in it.
  5. She recorded two EPs, Sex (2007) and Welcome to the Dark Side (2010).
  6. In 2007, Tila Tequila came out as bisexual and later came out as a lesbian in 2008.
  7. She is a vocal N*zi-sympathiser and is well known for her anti-Semitic statements.
  8. In 2018, she made a YouTube video to confess that she was neither bisexual nor a lesbian.
  9. Tila Tequila is not married and she has two daughters namely, Isabella (2014) and Anabelle (2018).
  10. In March 2012, Tequila checked into rehab after attempting suicide by pill overdose. She completed her treatment in April 2012.

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Tila Tequila real name and nationality

Tila Tequila’s real name is Nguyen Thi Thien Thanh although she goes by many nicknames. Tila Tequila’s present nationality is the USA. However, she was born in Singapore as Nguyen Thi Thien Thanh on 24th October 1981. Her family was originally Vietnamese boat people who were refugees. They fled from Vietnam during the war in 1975. She was the youngest of three children. She has an elder brother and a younger brother.

Tila Tequila spent most of her childhood in Houston, Texas, where her family had relocated to when she was just one year old. They later moved into a gated community in Texas. However, the family moved again when Nguyen was just eight years old.

Nguyen Thi Thien Thanh got the nickname ‘Tila Tequila’ from her friends because she was allergic to alcohol and developed skin reactions if she took it.

In an autobiographical memoir she released, Tila Tequila mentioned that her family was plagued with issues. She also stated that changing environments too often during childhood affected her negatively.

These problems led her to discover poetry as a means to express herself. During this phase of her life, Nguyen ran away for some months to Queens, New York City, at the age of 16. While in Queens, she revealed that she witnessed a drive-by shooting. She also mentioned that she got pregnant the following year but lost the child to a miscarriage.

Tila Tequila returned to Houston, Texas, and graduated from Alief Hastings High School in 2000. At the age of 19, Tequila left Texas for California to pursue a career as a model.

Tila Tequila Biography: Early career (2001 – 2005)

A Playboy scout had met Nguyen, who is popularly known as Tequila, when she was 19. The scout offered her a chance to model nude for the magazine. This offer influenced her decision to move to Southern California, although she also revealed that troubled early years were also part of what informed her decision.

Nguyen, or Tila Tequila as you may know her, was featured as Playboy’s Cyber Girl of the week on 22nd April 2002, making her the first Asian Cyber Girl of the Month. The Cyber Girl collections feature on Playboy’s paid website, the Playboy Cyber Club. She also did some other photoshoots for Playboy.

When she turned 20, Tila Tequila started pursuing her interest in rock music, but she failed to find a band that would let her join them. This led her to create one called Beyond Betty Jean. Nguyen was the singer and songwriter of the band but it eventually broke up. She did not give up on music immediately, instead, she started working on improving her vocal skills, writing and recording songs.

She joined another band called Jealousy and became their lead singer, they released a few songs online before breaking up as well.

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Nguyen appeared as a contestant on Surviving Nugent, a reality TV show where the contestants had to perform stunts and tasks for Ted Nugent, a rock star. Later, she became a popular face on the import racing scene, a subculture of modifying imported Japanese cars. She appeared on the cover of Import Tuner Magazine, at car shows and in the Street Racing Syndicate video game.

After getting kicked off Friendster, a social networking site in 2003, Nguyen joined Myspace. At the time, Friendster and Myspace were the biggest social networking sites. The websites predate such sites as Facebook, Twitter and the rest of extant social media platforms.

As a Time magazine article in 2006 will later confirm, Nguyen or Tila Tequila changed the social networking site scene. Before she joined Myspace, people were only interested in connecting with those they know. But she made it important for people to want as many friends on the site as possible.

The above-referenced article said of her:

“Pre-Tila, your MySpace friends were mostly people you actually knew. Post-Tila, the biggest game on the site became Who Has the Most Friends, period, whoever they might be.”

Nguyen allegedly had over 3.1 million Myspace friends at the time.

Tila Tequila Biography: Career (2006 – 2009)


Nguyen hosted most of Fuse TV’s dance show titled, Pants-Off Dance-Off. The show premiered on 18th April 2006. The same month, will.i.am announced that the Will.I.Am Music Group, a record label under A&M Records, had signed her.

Cover of I Love U by Tila Tequila
Cover of I Love U by Tila Tequila

However, when she released her first official single, I Love U, in February 2007, she did so independently, dropping the song on iTunes. She shot a video for the song as well.


In March 2007, The Saturday Team, a record label, released Tila Tequila’s EP titled Sex. Reports came months later that The Saturday Team and a distributor, Icon Music Entertainment Services, were suing Nguyen. They alleged that she had reneged on a contract that had to do with the Sex EP. She claimed via Myspace that the music company had released the EP without her authorisation. In the end, she lost in court and The Saturday Team won the right to make the EP available for sale digitally. Listen to the Sex Ep below.


Nguyen released her second official single titled Stripper Friends in October 2007. She also released a video for it in March 2008, on iTunes. The song did not get enough attention.

By April 2008, she dropped another single titled Paralyze along with a video on iTunes. Then she released an EP titled I Love U Remixes in the same month and made it available for digital music retailers.

Films and TV shows

Amidst her music career, Nguyen made cameo appearances on the 2007 TV show The War At Home and the 2007 film I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.

She began filming her own reality show by May of the same month.

Nguyen’s reality show aired on MTV on 9th October 2007 and was titled A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila. It involved 16 straight men and 16 lesbians competing for Nguyen’s love. The show had a bisexual theme because she was to reveal that she was actually bisexual at the end of the first season.

A Christian conservative group running The Christian Post, an American Evangelical online newspaper, criticised the show and MTV for agreeing to air it. Nguyen also wrote a reply to the criticising journal. She mentioned that she had “made amends with God” and that the publication had no right to bash the gay community.

The show soon became popular and drew additional interest from Asian media as well. It had three seasons and ended in 2008 with Kristy Morgan emerging as the winner of the season finale. However, Morgan declined her “shot at love”.


On 2nd December 2008, Nguyen released an instructional self-help book on hooking up and socialising. The book is titled Hooking Up with Tila Tequila: A Guide to Love, Fame, Happiness, Success, and Being the Life of the Party.

The book was published by Scribner after the publishing house signed a deal with her.

Career (2010 – 2014)


In 2010, Nguyen seemed to have outgrown the nickname Tila Tequila as she picked up a new moniker, Miss Tila. She also created a record label called Little Miss Trendsetter and released a single under it titled I F__ed the DJ. Additionally, she dropped an edited version of the song I Love My DJ as well.

Both editions failed and got lots of negative reviews. She went on to drop an EP titled Welcome to the Darkside. While this EP got positive reviews, it still did not make many sales. Yet, Nguyen decided to go on a tour to promote the Welcome to the Darkside EP.

Things didn’t turn out well for her during the tour. At one of her stops in August 2010 at a music festival themed Gathering of the Juggalos, spectators threw rocks and bottles at her and she had to leave the stage.

Tila Tequila adult movie (Tila Tequila controversial tape)

In August 2010, a sex tape of Tila Tequila leaked. She was featured in a lesbian threesome scene. According to reports, she had tried to buy the video from the adult film production company, Vivid Entertainment, before it was leaked but the parties could not agree on terms.

With the video making rounds, Tila Tequila opted to star in a adult video. Daily Telegraph reports that she likely made lots of money from the deal as she posted on Twitter about buying a new Lamborghini. Her Wikipedia page claims that she won the 2015 AVN Award for Best Celebrity Sex Tape for her role in the video.

(2015 – present)

Nguyen mentioned that she was working on new music in May 2015. By June she revealed that the name of the song will be Drunk Dialing and she posted a snippet of it on her Instagram page.

Tequila and her management said that the song, Drunk Dialing, will be released on 4th December 2015.

It turned out that she was only featured on the song by Yak Boy Fresh


In August 2015, Tila Tequila was a contestant on the Celebrity Big Brother TV show. But Nguyen was evicted from the competition after one day because viewers complained about her controversial statements from two years back.

According to a Billboard report, the controversial post that got Tila Tequila evicted from the show involved her, “posing in a sexy getup in front of Auschwitz with a N*zi band around her arm, hat on her head and gun in her hand.”

She was also known for making anti-Semitic statements and is considered a N*zi-sympathiser.

Tila Tequila at the Celebrity Big Brother TV show in 2015 before her eviction.

Tila Tequila websites and online businesses

Tila Tequila started a website called TilasHotSpot.com in 2001 and used it to share information, quotes, blog and pictures. The website required a monthly fee and was only accessible to verified adults. She later changed the website and its content removed the age restriction and used it to promote her career, business and to share personal information.

Only the premium membership required payment and this gave access to videos, non-nude pictures, photo galleries and chat sessions. It soon became a sort of social networking site. The website is no longer functional.

Delving into the fashion space, Nguyen started TilaFashion.com and sold a custom line of men and women’s clothes. That website is also no longer functional and is available for sale at the time of writing.

She created another website in 2006 TilaZone.com that features content that users can use on Myspace and other social networking sites. The website, like the ones she created before it, is no longer functional and is also available for sale at the time of writing.

Working with Joe Francis, creator of the Girls Gone Wild franchise, Nguyen started a dating site TilaHotSpotDating.com. It had a free membership with basic access and paid membership for exclusive content. It is no longer functioning now.

However, when she created the MissTilaOMG.com website in 2010, she started redirecting visitors of the old TilasHotSpot.com to this new page. She created it to serve as a celebrity blog site but it later became her personal blog by 2012.

She started an artwork sales business online in 2018 and she uses the name, Tornado Thien.

Additionally, she sells e-liquid for vaporizers.

Is Tila Tequila lesbian?

When the first season of A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila ended, Bobby Banhart who won that season had allegedly dated her. Their relationship ended by January 2008 according to Tequila’s statement but Banhart denied ever being in a relationship with her.

Later, Tila Tequila came out as a lesbian (this was as opposed to her initial stance of being bisexual).

In 2009, Tila Tequila was involved in a police case after her ex-boyfriend, Shawne Merriman, was arrested for allegedly choking and restraining her.

Following the arrest in September 2009, Tequila’s office did not press charges against Merriman until November when she sued him for $1.5 million. However, Merriman countersued her for trademark infringement and he was awarded a judgement of $2 million.

In December 2009, Tequila claimed that she was engaged to Casey Johnson, daughter of Robert Wood “Woody” Johnson IV. She was even photographed with a diamond ring but Johnson died in January 2010 from diabetes complications.

See alsoDiabetes: Prevention and treatment

In March 2012, Tequila checked into rehab after attempting suicide by pill overdose. She was hospitalised for brain aneurysm and completed her rehab treatment in April 2012.

She was engaged with musician Thomas Paxton Whitaker in 2013 but they broke up after Whitaker ran into financial problems. In April 2014, Tequila confirmed that she was pregnant and she had her daughter, Isabella Monroe Nguyen in November 2014.

In March 2018, she uploaded a YouTube video where she said she was never bisexual nor homosexual. She said she had only lied to make her show, A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, more popular. She adds that she had a boyfriend during the period she was filming the show. See video below:


Tila Tequila who now goes by the name Tornado Thien had her second child, Anabelle, in September 2018.


Nguyen or Tequila, as she is popularly known, has attracted the anger of many with her vocal support of former German dictator, Adolf Hitler. In 2013, she had written an article on why she sympathised with Hitler. She also gave the excuse that he was just trying to help his country.

In the same year, she posted a controversial image of herself, posing in a sexy getup in front of Auschwitz with a N*zi band around her arm, hat on her head and gun in her hand. Following a mass outrage, Facebook blocked her and kicked her off the platform.

She made other controversial statements like Jewish-American political commentator Ben Shapiro should “be gassed and sent back to Israel”. Nguyen also said that she would gladly sacrifice her life for the destruction of all Jews and the preservation of the white race.

Tila Tequila considers herself the ‘Asian Hitler’ and says so herself in this article. In June 2016, she said Sarah Silverman and the Jews killed Jesus and mentioned that the comedian was next on a “celebrity sacrifice” list.

Tila Tequila wears Trump hat

Tequila is a vocal Donald Trump supporter and she attended a white supremacist alt-right National Policy Institute meeting celebrating Trump’s win. At the meeting, she posted pictures of herself doing the N*zi salute on Twitter and the platform suspended her account. She joined the Gab platform, a social media platform known for its many far-right users.

In 2016, Tila Tequila came out to say that she believes that the earth is flat and not round. In a YouTube confession uploaded in March 2018, she said that homosexuals are disgusted and associated with the devil.

Tila Tequila net worth

Tequila made a name for herself online and used it to push her businesses. We could not find a specific figure for Tequila’s net worth and there is different information online about this. For example, the blog Famous Births Deaths claims she was worth $1.5 million in 2019. On the other hand, Tuko blog claims Tila Tetula has a net worth of $500,000 during the same period. In the absence of a reliable source, we cannot give you a reliable net worth for Tila Tequila

Final thoughts…

The biography of Tila Tequila chronicles her hunt for fame and relevance. It tells the story of a woman who sought to make her way in life independently and it affected her working with structured authority. Apparently, she is now a famous person and one of the pioneers of the online celebrity class.

Her controversial aspect, however, casts her in a bad light and has put her on the receiving end of criticism.

Additional Tila Tequila information

Tila Tequila films and TV shows

  1. I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007)
  2. A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila (2008)
  3. Masterminds (2013)

Tila Tequila music


1. Sex (2007) tracklist
  • Intro
  • Sex
  • Little Brat
  • Rat Room
  • Summer Nightfalls
  • Lipstick Flavored Cherries

2. Welcome to the Darkside

  • Blue Dress
  • Get Me Off
  • Walking on Thin Ice


  1. I Love U (2007)
  2. Stripper Friends (2007)
  3. Paralyze (2008)
  4. I F__ed the DJ (2010)

Tila Tequila awards

  1. The Soup Award for Entertainer of the Year (2007)
  2. Spike Guys’ Choice Award for So Hot They’re Famous (2008)
  3. Bravo’s A-List Award for A-List Drama Queen (2008)
  4. AVN Awards for Best Celebrity Sex Tape (2008)
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About The Author


Obinna is a fiction writer from Lagos, Nigeria, and grew up loving comic book characters and superheroes. He watches lots of action films and writes entertainment and technology articles. He is also interested in science and how things work.

3 thoughts on “Tila Tequila Bio: Real name, career, fame, net worth, personal life & controversies”

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  3. This lady really chasing fame… She doesn’t sound like a likable person. I wonder if she has any real friends, maybe that’s why she keeps chasing clout.


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