ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What Happened to Real World/Road Rules Tonya Cooley?

Updated on July 7, 2016
Tonya Cooley in Real World Chicago Cast, second row far left
Tonya Cooley in Real World Chicago Cast, second row far left | Source

Tonya Poll

What do you remember most about Tonya?

See results

What happened to Real World/Road Rules Tonya Cooley? What is she up to in 2015?

She made a great cast member on both Real World Chicago and Real World/Road Rules Challenge shows. A lot of cast members on these shows do things that are a little ill-advised, but they are also young at the time of taping. Tonya was great for the cameras, athletic, and brought drama to the show. I personally always liked her.

Tonya Cooley in 2015

Where is Tonya now in 2015? Tonya got married to Adam Esch in 2005 but got divorced in 2009. It is rumored she is working at a restaurant in Washington state, with a normal job for a living, like most of us. A few years ago MTV settled with her out of court for an assault/rape allegation. She has been through some tough things these past few years.

I like to think about Tonya in her early years of MTV.

Where it all started ...

Tonya was cast on Real World: Chicago, which aired in 2002. She had those blonde-haired, blue-eyed good American looks. When we first heard of Tonya, we learned that she spent some of her teen years in foster care. She got through her troubles and earned a bachelor's degree in nursing in her early 20s. Her goal at the time was to work with premature babies for a career.

But Let's Look Back on Some of Tonya's Crazy Real World/Road Rules Days:

  • Fights with Theo, Aneesa, and Cara on the Real World Chicago, which aired in 2002. She was also sent to the hospital a number of times for her kidney stones. In addition, she was in a relationship with a boyfriend whom she was always on the phone with, and this irritated her castmates. I remember thinking how pretty and all-American she looked on the show, even if she was a bit dramatic. (She was also on the show with Kyle Brandt, the guy who went on to play Philip Kiriakis on Days of Our Lives.)

Tonya's Last Challenge, $14.99

Remembering The Real World as 9/11 Unfolded (above)

In the video above, Tonya and her Real World Chicago castmates come together and watch 9/11 unfold on TV, and then hold a vigil outside their apartment. I don't think those castmembers will ever forget that year of their lives.

A Young Tonya Cooley. Tonya Cooley, where is she now?
A Young Tonya Cooley. Tonya Cooley, where is she now? | Source

Tonya Cooley, Real World/Road Rules Challenges

  • On the Real World/Road Rules Challenges, she was a great competitor and quite athletic. The two incidents that are most memorable are when she threw Beth's clothes in the pool for tattling to Robin about someone Tonya slept with. Then on The Ruins (the season she had the lawsuit for), Tonya appeared drunk occasionally and was sent home for slapping Veronica Portillo. Although Veronica was the one hit, castmembers acted angry towards Veronica because they said she was fueling the fire. Tonya didn't have a right to hit her nonetheless. I was worried for Tonya on The Ruins season.

Tonya earned a little infamy on her time at MTV, but I can't think of anyone, including myself, who hasn't made some mistakes in their 20s and 30s.

Good luck to Tonya, whether you're working in the actual real world or onto your next Hollywood gig!

YouTube Video


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)