She began acting at age eight, and performed original songs at her 6th grade talent show.
Her birth name is Vanessa Sally Ortiz.
From 1989 until 1993 she was married to Corey Feldman. In 2002 she welcomed a son with actor Brian Austin Green. She married Carmine Giovinazzo in July 2010, the couple divorced in 2013. She became engaged again in 2015 but decided to keep the identity of her fiancee private.
She starred in the TV show Beverly Hills, 90210 with Jennie Garth.