The poker player known as Tila Tequila was born Thien Thanh Thi Nguyen on October 24th, 1981. She initially gained attention by posing for Playboy and later exploded onto the scene through her sexy MySpace page (over one million friends). She has since leveraged her popularity into a singing, modeling and acting career. Recently, Tila Tequila has also become involved with online poker and online casinos.
While Tila was born in Singapore, her family had originally migrated there from Vietnam following the Vietnam War. When she was only one year old, the family moved again – this time to a Buddhist community in the Houston suburb of Alief. The Nguyen family would leave the community when Tila was eight, moving elsewhere in
the Houston area.
While in middle school, Nguyen became a tomboy and was eventually sent to a boarding school for six months for her combative behavior before transferring to another school. While in high school, she used her sister’s identification card to enter nightclubs, where she began taking drugs and joined a gang.
In an interview with Import Tuner, Nguyen said she had been searching for a sense of identity: “I was really confused then, at first I thought I was black, then I thought I was Hispanic and joined a cholo gang”. Later, friends outside the gang briefly helped turn her life around. However, her past caught up with her, and she fled to Queens, New York at the age of 16.
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