Vanessa Minnillo was born on 9th November 1980 at Clark Air Force Base in the Pampanga, Philippines, Minnillo’s mother was a Philippino native who married Minnillo’s father, a USAF aircrew member, while he was stationed at Clark. The couple separated when the youngster was only six, with her mother gaining custody of her and her older adopted brother, Vince.
After the mother remarried another serviceman, the family moved to Turkey. It was the last time that Minnillo and her brother would live with their mother, as she returned her children to their father in Charleston, SC, following Saddam Hussein’s invasion of neighboring Kuwait. The young girl spent the rest of her childhood in Charleston with her father and stepmother, remaining understandably estranged.
Minnillo decided on a change of plans. Instead of going directly to college, she opted to move to Los Angeles in search of the ubiquitous fame and fortune. Her camera-friendly face got her small jobs as host on Fox Sports and a short stint on the soap opera “The Bold and The Beautiful” (CBS 1987- ). In 2003, she began her all important relationship with MTV, following an appearance on “Beach House 2003.
One “ET” assignment in particular put her on the non-MTV radar – donning a fat suit under the pretense of shining a spotlight on what overweight people go through each day out on the street. Minnillo, who was apparently unaware of the cruelty of others, was said to have felt shocked and horrified when people sneered at her or simply ignored her. In an ironic twist, that same year Maxim magazine named Minnillo #62 on their Hot 100 List.