What the Selling Sunset cast members’ lives were like before the show
From modelling careers to learning English as a second language
Selling Sunset is pretty much all about the cast and their lives, but they haven’t all been glamorous and rich since day one – before the show they lived very differently. The women on the show may have become household names now, but they all came from very different beginnings.
From modelling careers, a Playboy bunny and cracking the entertainment industry, to moving to America to pursue their dreams. Here’s exactly what the lives of the cast of Selling Sunset were like, before they found fame on the Netflix show.
Chrishell has spoken a lot about her life before joining the cast of Selling Sunset. Chrishell was born in Draffenville, Kentucky, and was homeless a few times at different ages growing up, with the longest stint being while she was in the seventh grade. She was also homeless for “quite a bit” in the tenth grade.
Later in her life, Chrishell was living in a trailer park. Someone on social media tried to use this as a derogatory insult to her, and Chrishell replied: “I am from a trailer park. In fact, when I lived in a trailer park, that meant we were doing better than usual. I got mocked my whole life for that – now I stand proud for all the kids that do the best with what they are dealt.”
Chrishell was born Terrina Chrishell Stause, but is more commonly known by her middle name Chrishell, which originated from the day of her birth. Her mother was getting help with her car at a Shell station and the attendant there was called Chris. Chrishell’s mother went into labor and Chris helped, an ambulance was called and Chrishell was born in hospital.
Chrishell earned herself a degree in Theater from Murray State University in Kentucky back in 2003. Before joining Selling Sunset, Chrishell was a famous soap actress. One of her best known roles is as Amanda Dillon in the soap opera All My Children from 2005 to 2011 and as Jordan Ridgeway on Days of Our Lives.
Former model Heather was born in Anaheim, California, in 1987. She has worked for The Oppenheim Group for about six years. Before becoming a realtor, Heather began her career as a professional model at the age of 18 and has done shoots for Playboy. Heather also used to be a pilates teacher and has had some minor TV and film roles.
According to IMDb, her first ever job was as a server in a pizza restaurant. In June 2008 Heather attended a Playboy casting call and was featured the next year. She has also worked as a swimwear, glamour and lingerie model.
Mary was born in 1980, and is currently 41-years-old. She attended Ball State University in Indiana, and has previously lived in New York and London working in real estate. She’s worked for The Oppenheim Group for 10 years and in season five was promoted to Vice President. She has close friends with fellow Selling Sunset cast member Amanza Smith for years and also dated Jason Oppenheim before the show started. She and Jason dated in 2014, for just under a year, and they lived together.
According to her LinkedIn, Mary was a realtor at another real estate agency in California from 2008-2011. Mary has been married twice before she married current husband Romain, who we first met when she started the show in season one. She revealed in season one her first husband died, saying: “I’ve been married twice before. My first husband passed away and my second husband, it just didn’t work out. It wasn’t the right relationship.” Mary has a son called Austin from her previous marriage.
Christine Quinn was born in Dallas in 1988 and moved to LA to pursue a modelling and acting career. She has had a very impressive career, having started in the entertainment and fashion industry before settling into her career in real estate.
Before becoming a realtor, Christine worked in fashion and entertainment and was even featured in magazines such as Vogue. She then went travelling for two years, and while she was away she discovered a love of architecture and design and decided to pursue a career as an agent.
Christine also has a talent for singing, an old video of her sat at home in her comfies singing on YouTube has resurfaced. It’s a YouTube upload from her friend, Lindsey Jan, and it was uploaded in 2013. The title of the video says it’s by Lindsey and Christine Bently – which apparently is her last name, but she stopped going by it when she joined The Oppenheim Group.
If Instagram is anything to go by, before the show went big, Christine had a very good relationship with all the other girls in the Selling Sunset cast. They used to post loads of photos together and go out to events together, but now Christine pretty much never appears in pictures with her co-stars.
Davina was born and raised in Germany and went to the International School in Hamburg where she learned to speak English. She studied Advertising at Pepperdine University in Malibu and got her real estate license in January 2006.
Before she was a real estate agent, Davina was a model and worked in the entertainment industry. She was signed to the Ford Model Agency for over a decade and lived in London, Milan and New York over her career. Davina has done campaigns for brands including Forever 21, Aveeno and Neutrogena. Before she was on Selling Sunset she was also a series regular on Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing.
Amanza was in Indiana. She studied Interior Design at Indiana State University and now has two children. Before joining The Oppenheim Group as a real estate agent, Amanza used to work as an interior designer and home stager. Amanza has been a successful model and worked in entertainment – she was even an NFL cheerleader for the Indiana Colts.
One of Amanza’s modelling jobs was being a briefcase model for Deal or No Deal and she has also featured in various magazines and TV adverts. In 2010, Amanza married former NFL player Ralph Brown. The pair had two children together, daughter Noah and son Braker. Amanza and Ralph divorced two years after marrying, shortly after the birth of their second child, and they split custody of the children. However, Ralph has since gone off radar and Amanza now has full custody of their children.
Maya was born in 1982 and grew up in Israel. She lived in Eilat, and was inspired to work in real estate because her family invested in homes. In an interview with The Jewish Chronicle, Maya described her upbringing as happy but not “a very luxurious” one. She moved to Amsterdam when she was 20 to be a model and then worked in Spain, Singapore and Malaysia. Aged 22 she moved to LA and got her job at The Oppenheim Group.
Maya now splits her time between Miami and LA. In LA, she works for The Oppenheim Group, but when she’s in Miami she works for Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Maya is married, and according to reports, her husband used to live with her in LA but moved to Miami after securing a new dream job. They used to be long distance before starting a family together.
Emma is 30 and was born in Boston, Massachusetts. She started her career as a model and became Miss COED in 2015. COED is a news, entertainment, sports, and lifestyle website, and Miss COED is nationwide competition to find confident college students who are involved in their universities and social media. Previous winners include three Playboy Playmates.
Emma started working in business aged just 14, when she began investing. She was reportedly helping to finance her family’s business by the age of 17. “I took all my modelling money, all my babysitting money, all my ice cream money – I worked at every store, I loved working – and I started investing in the stock market and health care,” Emma told Nylon. “I self-taught myself just by reading and learning, and that’s how I got into investing.”
Emma’s mother was a famous swimmer in their home town, and Emma has said this inspired her to take up the sport. In the show, Emma says she was a swimmer during her school years, and was so good she qualified for the Olympics. However, this has been claimed as being a lie, with one website claiming it was “unable to find anything even close” to supporting Emma’s story. Emma apparently cannot be traced on any competition databases, and local coaches don’t know who she is. Awkward. Emma later gave up swimming aged 16 to pursue modelling in Paris.
Vanessa is 44, and was raised in Mexico City. She was born in 1978. Before starting her career in real estate she starred in Mexican TV, beginning her acting career early in life performing in a variety of TV shows and soap operas. Her works, including El Señor de los Cielos, Una Maid en Manhattan, and Eva Luna, have been televised in over 120 countries. On October 2nd 2017, Vanessa posted that she has become an American citizen.
Chelsea is 29, from London and has worked as a realtor for five years. She is British-Nigerian and says she was inspired by her parents to have a successful career. Her mother Elizabeth has worked as Chief People Officer at Emerson and her father, Segun Adefioye, is an accomplished architect and property developer. According to her LinkedIn, she joined The Oppenheim Group in July 2021 after working for her previous brokerage for just under three years.
Chelsea is clearly very, very smart – because she has a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s. She attended the University of Buckingham between 2011 and 2013 and achieved a degree in Business Economics and Economics, before heading to the University of Dundee from 2014 to 2015 where she got a Master’s in International Oil and Gas Management. Prior to her career in real estate, Chelsea Lazkani had a much more corporate job, as a business strategist and solar analyst with companies in the oil and gas industry.
Chelsea has been married to businessman Jeff Lazkani since 2017, after they met on Tinder when Chelsea moved to America. They have two children together, Maddox and Melia.
Season five of Selling Sunset is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.