Actress Vanessa Minnillo grew up as an army brat, living in Germany, Japan, Florida, Nevada, and California before her family settled in South Carolina. After her parents divorced when she was six, Minnillo lived with her mother and stepfather at the Air Force base in Turkey where he was stationed, before returning to the States when Saddam Hussein's forces invaded Kuwait. Thereafter, Minnillo began living with her father and stepmother in South Carolina, where she settled in and began competing in the pageant circuit. She won the Miss Teen USA pageant in 2000, and continued to model and host other pageants. In 2003, she became a host of MTV's Total Request Live, where she would continue to work until 2007. She also made headlines that year both for being seen on the arm of singer Nick Lachey, and for appearing in the movie Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.