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Kari Ann Peniche

Kari Ann Peniche attending the Benchwarmer Valentines Party at Area, Hollywood, California, February 12, 2008.
Birth name Kari Ann Peniche
Date of birth March 20, 1984 (1984-03-20) (age 25)
Place of birth San Diego, California
Height 5'4"
Hair color brown,blond highlights
Eye color brown

Kari Ann Peniche (pronounced Pe-nee-che)[1] (born March 20, 1984) is a beauty queen and entertainer from Fairview, Oregon. She has held the Miss Oregon Teen USA and Miss United States Teen titles. She was stripped of the latter title after appearing nude in the November 2004 issue of Playboy magazine.

Peniche lived in San Diego before moving to Houston and then Oregon with her mother. She first attended a modeling class at age 12, and modeled in South Korea at ages 16 and 18. Since her Playboy pictorial, she has launched a fashion business, and has appeared on television and in movies. She has been the subject of several celebrity gossip stories, including a brief engagement to singer Aaron Carter, a quarrel with singer Mindy McCready, and the leak of a controversial home video including actors Eric Dane and Rebecca Gayheart. She is also well known to television audiences for her appearances on the first season of Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew, the third season of Celebrity Rehab, and a brief appearance on the third season of Sober House.


Early life and modeling career

Peniche was born in San Diego, California on March 20, 1984. Her father was a professional musician and songwriter from the Yucatan, Mexico. Her mother, Lee Ann Rosenbarger, is a business consultant; Peniche has two younger brothers, and grew up speaking Spanish with her father's family. After their parents divorced, the three children stayed with their mother, who was strict about schoolwork.[2]

She attended a modeling class when she was 12. After moving the family briefly to Houston, Texas, Peniche's mother remarried and moved them to a home on Blue Lake in Fairview, Oregon. At age 16 Peniche won a six week contract to model in Korea. She returned for another six week stint when she was 18.[2]

Peniche attended Portland Lutheran High School in Gresham, Oregon, where she was a cheerleader.[3] She graduated in 2001, and later attended Portland State University.[2] and UCLA.[4] In an interview with Steppin' Out magazine, Peniche said that she was sexually abused as a minor.[5]


Peniche won the Miss Oregon Teen USA 2002[6] title in November 2001. She competed in the Miss Teen USA 2002 pageant but did not place.[7] At the end of her reign she crowned Tami Farrell as the new Miss Oregon Teen USA. The following year she represented Oregon in the Miss United States Teen pageant, which she won.[6] She was crowned November 10, 2003 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.[2] Peniche was considered an unconventional pageant winner, for her fashion and career choices.[2]

She was later stripped of her Miss United States Teen title after appearing nude in Playboy magazine.[8] Peniche claimed that there was nothing in her contract about not doing nude shoots, and since the issue did not hit stands until after her reign had ended, she did not think there would be an issue.

Peniche has gone on to host Xtreem, a Seattle-based cable television program featuring local bands and extreme sports, and the Boom Boom Huck Jam event.[2] She acted in Small Change, an independent movie filmed in Seattle,[2] and has appeared in other movies and TV shows.[9][citation needed] She also launched a line of bikinis called "Strung Out" at Portland Fashion Week.[10][11][12]

Personal life

In September 2006 Aaron Carter, then 18 years old, proposed to Peniche while they were onstage in Las Vegas, Nevada. They had known each other five days. Peniche, who had previously dated his older brother Nick, agreed. The engagement was broken off six days later.[13][14]

On August 17, 2009, a home video was posted on the website Gawker that showed Peniche with married couple and actors Eric Dane and Rebecca Gayheart. All three are naked, though the video does not contain any sexual acts.[5] Though it is unknown how the video was made public, it had been stored on a hard drive that was the subject of a dispute between Peniche and McCready during their time on Celebrity Rehab.[8]

Starting in November 2009, Peniche appeared as a patient on the VH1 television show Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew, a documentary series about the treatment process for sexual addiction (filmed in April 2009) at the Pasadena Recovery Center (PRC). Peniche described herself as having hundreds of lovers, but being unable to emotionally connect with anyone or have any kind of relationship. Peniche's participation in the treatment program was marred by her aggressive and erratic behavior; verbally abusing the staff and other patients, refusing to participate in group discussions or obey rules, and voicing various bizarre or paranoid ideations, such as that people were laughing at her when they clearly weren't and smiling uncontrollably even when she was angry or discussing very sad topics. Dr. Pinsky, the treating physician, became suspicious that she was using illicit substances such as methamphetamine or had been prior to being admitted, and the staff psychiatrist diagnosed her as having Borderline Personality Disorder. It was indicated that both conditions require treatment before any treatment can be done for sexual addiction.[15] Eventually, her behavior became so disruptive to the program that Dr. Pinsky was forced to discharge her involuntarily. Pinsky offered her an alternative program at a psychiatric hospital nearby, but she refused.[16][17] Her reaction to this perceived rejection was severe: she resorting to verbally abusing staff members and making suicidal gestures. A PE Team had to be summoned with the police for a possible involuntary psychiatric hold, but this was determined to be unnecessary. Peniche left the Pasadena Recovery Center, but threw a bottle of water at resident technician Shelley Sprague as she exited the program.

Later, during production of the third season of Celebrity Rehab, Peniche contacted Pinsky, asking for help. Pinsky explains that her aggressive behavior during Sex Rehab was derived from drugs she smuggled in a teddy bear, and which were difficult to detect during drug testing because of the medication Peniche took for attention deficit disorder. Pinsky went to her residence, where Peniche showed him the crystal meth she was using. She was shown returning to the Pasadena Recovery Center (PRC) at the end of that season's fourth episode. Executive producer John Irwin says her behavior had changed by her second appearance, though she did punch a camera man at one point.[18][19][20][21] Peniche argued with fellow PRC patient Mindy McCready over money and an accusation over a stolen hard drive containing the nude video featuring Peniche, Eric Dane and Rebecca Gayheart.[22] Peniche joined the cast of Sober House, but was later told to leave in the second episode after physically assaulting one of the cameramen and becoming physically and verbally abusive to Sober House manager Jennifer Gimenez.


  1. ^ "Rebecca Gayheart's 'Naked Tape' Co-Star Speaks Out". UGO. August 21, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Briggs, Kara (December 22, 2003). "Fairview teen has dream past national pageant crown". The Oregonian. 
  3. ^ Crawford, Libby (June 4, 2002). "Miss Teen USA State Pageants 2002 Nebraska to Oregon". Turn For The Judges. Archived from the original on June 9, 2002. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  4. ^ Finn, Natalie (August 22, 2009). "Kari Ann Peniche "Just Had a Lot of Fun" With Eric & Rebecca". E! Online. 
  5. ^ a b Marikar, Sheila (August 18, 2009). "Eric Dane and Rebecca Gayheart's 'Naked' Tape: Who's Who". ABC News. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  6. ^ a b Stine, Mara (November 20, 2007). "Local women compete for Miss Oregon titles". The Outlook. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  7. ^ "Eric Dane, Rebecca Gayheart Lawyer Says Leaked Video Not A Sex Tape". August 18, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  8. ^ a b Pesce, Nicole Lyn (August 18, 2009). "Kari Ann Peniche accuses singer Mindy McCready of stealing Eric Dane and Rebecca Gayheart nude video". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  9. ^ Kari Ann Peniche on IMDB
  10. ^ "Portland Fashion Week: Closing Night Finale". Press release. October 21, 2008. 
  11. ^ Strung Out Girl by Peniche
  12. ^ Skinner, Marjorie (October 17, 2008). "Portland Fashion Week: The Last Day". The Portland Mercury. 
  13. ^ "People etc.". The Columbian. December 20, 2006. 
  14. ^ "Kari Ann Peniche And 6 Days Engagement Story". September 27, 2006. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  15. ^ "Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew". VH1. November 9, 2009. Retrieved 11 December 2009. 
  16. ^ "Full Episode". Retrieved 15 December 2009. 
  17. ^ "Teen Queen Peniche Booted from 'Celebrity Rehab'". Radar. April 25, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  18. ^ Rochlin, Margy (February 1, 2010), "Addicted to Rehab", TV Guide: 34-35 
  19. ^ Press release
  20. ^ "Going to rehab". Chicago Tribune. June 2, 2009. 
  21. ^ Serpe, Gina (August 18, 2009). "Who the Heck Is Kari Ann Peniche and How Did She Wind Up Naked With McSteamy?". E!. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  22. ^ Raymond, Kitty (August 20, 2009). "Scoop: Robert Pattinson says he's single". The San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 

External links

Preceded by
Sarah Warner
Miss Teen USA
Succeeded by
Tami Farrell

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