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In Sunday's paper: A shot of Tila Tequila

March 14, 2010 |  2:31 pm
SleepingReality TV star and tabloid mainstay Tila Tequila made headlines in January when her fiancee, 30-year-old Johnson & Johnson heiress Casey Johnson, died from diabetes complications.

The two had begun a relationship only a month earlier and quickly got engaged. Several gossip blogs deemed their relationship a publicity stunt, referencing a December video the two uploaded from bed -- clad in push-up bras as Tequila kissed Johnson and showed off the 17-carat engagement ring her new fiancée had given her -- as evidence.

In a story on the cover of Sunday’s Calendar section, Amy Kaufman goes inside Tequila’s world. Shortly after Johnson’s death, Kaufman visited the reality TV star’s Studio City home. After the jump, an excerpt:

Tequila paused the telling of her story as her young male assistant arrived with her dinner.

“Look,” she said, bouncing up to show him the one-piece pink fleece pajamas she wore. “I’m a Teletubby! If I have to poop, I just pull down this little flap in the back.” She demonstrated by yanking down the flap, and revealing her bare behind.

“Wake me up at 8:30,” she instructed her assistant before he left. “Oh, and look up my Red Bull contact and call him. I’m supposed to get free Red Bull and I’m out.”

Getprev Most of you probably remember Tequila as the star of the MTV reality show that ran for two seasons, the bisexual dating competition “A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila.” The series went on to become a pop culture touchstone after it debuted, at its high point attracting 6.2 million viewers, according to the Nielsen Co.

Dani Campbell, a firefighter from Florida who was the runner-up on the first season of the show, told Kaufman she was lured on to the program by the idea that she could date a former Maxim model.

“But some of the stuff on the show ended up being a little bit obscene and just crazy. It made you think, like, what is this person?” said Campbell. “She seemed like she needs that attention and the limelight.”

Indeed, Tequila seems to thrive on being in the spotlight. After the MTV show ended, Tequila has sold the drama of her own life: blogging and tweeting constantly, posting suggestive videos of herself online and posing for the paparazzi outside popular nightclubs. When Johnson died, Tequila’s online presence only increased -- she wrote online about her grief and posted videos of herself sobbing. Since, she’s announced she is pregnant and will retire from Hollywood to work behind the scenes as a record executive and manager.

In February, she quit Twitter. That is, until after this story went to print. On Thursday, she rejoined the social networking site.

Tequila insists she tired of the sexualized image of herself she established on the MTV show and would like to now be seen as a businesswoman. Read our story and visit our photo gallery to find out why she seems unable to stop perpetuating the drama of her own life.

-- Amy Kaufman

Photos: Tila Tequila was photographed in her home in one-piece pajamas in January. Earlier, she sat by the piano after playing a tribute song to her late fiancee, Casey Johnson. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin /  Los Angeles Times