Tila Tequila may be considered a MySpace relic, but her influence in the 2000s is undeniable. What’s funny is that the singer, Playboy model, and reality TV fixture never actually produced anything of consequence. Being a famous face at any cost seemed to be her only goal—and it paid off! The pint-sized personality stayed relevant for years by attaching her name to one short-lived project after the other.
But her outrageous persona wasn’t embraced by everyone. In 2013, she finally crossed a line that led to her being blacklisted by mainstream outlets. Find out what happened to Tila Tequila and what she’s doing now that she’s out of the spotlight.
Tila Tequila First Gained Popularity In The Early 2000s
Tila Tequila was born Nguyen Thi Thiên Thanh on October 24, 1981. She was born to Vietnamese parents in Singapore but raised in Houston, Texas. Tila claims to have had a rough childhood, but her circumstances changed when she was discovered in a mall by a Playboy scout at 19.
She took off for Los Angeles and in 2002, she became Playboy’s Cybergirl of the Week. Tila was also the first Asian Cyber Girl of the Month and went on to pose in a number of pictorials for the magazine.
But the biggest boost to her profile came in 2003 when she joined MySpace. With a couple of risque songs and a handful of bikini pics posted to her page, she managed to attract over 30 million views. In 2006, Time magazine described her as the queen of the social media platform. She credited her approachability to her popularity. Tila was even known to call a new fan every day for a quick chat.
“There’s a million hot naked chicks on the Internet,” Tila told the magazine. “There’s a difference between those girls and me. Those chicks don’t talk back to you.”
Tila Tequila Is Best Known For ‘A Shot at Love’
In 2007, Tila made headlines when she starred in the new MTV reality competition A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila. The dating show was not just another version of The Bachelor. Instead, producers lined up 16 men and 16 women, leaving suitors in the dark about Tila’s bisexuality until the end of the first episode.
Despite criticism by conservative media outlets, the show ran for two seasons. It also spawned a number of spin-offs: That’s Amore!, A Double Shot at Love, and Double Shot at Love with DJ Pauly D and Vinny.
To no one’s surprise, it turns out the original reality series was anything but real. In 2007, a source revealed to Page Six that it was “all a sham.”
“She’s made out with some girls in her past, as all girls have, but she is not bi at all,” said the insider.
In 2018, Tila echoed the report with her own confession on YouTube. “As a matter of fact, I was never bisexual,” said said. “The truth comes out. I was never a lesbian, I was never gay. It was all gay for pay. When I was filming that reality show, I had a boyfriend for the entire two seasons.”
Tila Tequila Went Off The Deep End And Became An Alt-Right Supporter
Tila started 2010 with a re-birth, re-branding herself Miss Tila and recording new music. But she went down a dark path in 2013 when she began using her social media platforms to publish anti-semitic rants. In addition to a personal blog post titled, “Why I Sympathize With Hitler Part 1: True History Unveiled,” she claimed she was the Nazi leader reincarnated.
She also attacked a number of Jewish public figures. One tweet aimed at comedian Sarah Silverman read, “her (((People))) killed him. So glad I’m not on THAT team!” She also told conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, “Excuse me [Ben Shapiro] My council believes you should be gassed and sent back to Israel but since I’m the bigger man I won’t hurt you.”
Her words came back to haunt her in 2015 when she booted from the show Celebrity Big Brother. “Unfortunately, Channel 5 and [production company] Endemol did not know about the views and attitudes Tila had expressed in social media postings prior to her involvement in Celebrity Big Brother,” said a rep for U.K.’s Channel 5. “When they were brought to our attention, she was called to the Diary Room for a discussion with producers and was subsequently removed from the house.”
Tila doubled down on her alt-right leanings. In 2016, she attended a white nationalist event hosted by Nazi sympathizer Richard Spencer. “Seig [sic] heil,” she tweeted, adding a picture of her doing a Nazi salute. Twitter promptly shut down her account.
What Is Tila Tequila Doing Now In 2021?
Tila has re-branded herself again, this time as Tornado Thien. Although she hasn’t been active on Instagram since 2018, she posts regularly to her YouTube channel The Lord Your Righteousness.
That’s right—the former freewheeling bisexual babe became a born-again Evangelical Christian. When she’s not spouting fire-and-brimstone sermons or trying to convince us that the earth is flat, she’s a mom with primary physical custody of her 6-year-old daughter Isabella.
That’s not to say she’s given up on her singing aspirations. In 2019, she set up a GoFundMe to raise funds to record a gospel album. (Spoiler alert: she only raised a fraction of her $30,000 goal.)
Tila Tequila has definitely had a wild history, and her latest reincarnation doesn’t appear to be much of an improvement on her former persona. We’re inclined to echo Sarah Silverman after Tila attacked her on Twitter. “You deserve love,” the comedian told her.