Home Biography Truths About Vanessa Villanueva and Her Life as Chris Pérez’s Ex-wife

Truths About Vanessa Villanueva and Her Life as Chris Pérez’s Ex-wife

Vanessa Villanueva is an American actress and businesswoman who received massive public attention following the announcement of her marriage to guitarist Chris Pérez on October 20, 2001.

Now she is generally known as Chris Pérez’s ex-wife and in some quarters, her involvement in the movies Memphis Rising: Elvis Returns and Forgotten Memories has gained her some recognition.

Before these, she was practically unknown while Chris Pérez was already famous for his music and his tragic love story with Selena Quintanilla (Queen of Tejano music) of the band group Selena y Los Dinos.

The fates of Vanessa Villanueva, Chris Pérez, and Selena Quintanilla all seem to be intertwined in a tragic yet resounding journey that echoes the power of love. So who is Vanessa Villanueva?

Profile Summary of Vanessa Villanueva 

  • Full Name: Vanessa Villanueva (Vanessa Soliz)
  • Year of Birth: 1971
  • Age: 51 years old
  • Place of Birth: Corpus Christi, Texas, USA Nationality: American
  • Ethnicity: Mexican
  • Education: University of California, Los Angeles
  • Profession: Actress, entrepreneur
  • Relationship Status: Married
  • Spouse: Henry Soliz
  • Ex-husband: Christopher Gilbert Pérez
  • Children: 2 (Cassie and Noah Pérez)

Vanessa Villanueva’s Parents Are Mexican Immigrants To The United States

Not much is known about Vanessa Villanueva’s parents and/or siblings, but her parents moved to the U.S from Mexico in search of greener pastures.

Vanessa was born in the U.S in 1971 (day and month unknown) and went to the University of California, Los Angeles later on in life. She had a brief stint in the movie industry, working behind the scenes and also in front of the camera. Her rise to fame came with Chris Pérez.


Vanessa Villanueva’s acting career saw her acting as the unit electrician in the 2011 movie Memphis Rising: Elvis Returns and as Gaby Valdez in the 2015 series Forgotten Memories. The former movie imagines the drama and intrigues that ensue when Elvis returns from another galaxy and tries to live a normal life, while the latter is a fotonovela on the treatment and prevention of dementia.

Away from Hollywood, Vanessa is now a businesswoman as she runs a nail salon/private spa called V’s Day Spa located on 605 8th avenue, Portland Texas, USA.

Her Involvement with Chris Pérez 

Christopher Gilbert Pérez, who is now 52 years old (born 14th August 1969) came into the band Selena y Los Dinos in 1990 as a guitarist. He immediately took a liking to the band’s vocalist, Selena Quintanilla, and after two years of working together, the two became involved in a secret relationship.

It was secret because Selena’s father and manager Abraham Quintanilla was not in support of the relationship as he wanted his daughter to focus on her music career. Taking matters into their own hands, the two lovebirds eloped and got married in 1992. Selena’s family later came round and accepted Chris as part of the family.

Three years later, on 31st March 1995, the budding marriage came to an abrupt end when Selena was shot in the back and killed by her former friend and fan club president, Yolanda Saldívar. Yolanda had embezzled money from the fan club and boutiques owned by Selena.

Chris, devastated by this loss, took to alcohol and drugs as a way to numb the pain. He carried with him this guilt that he had failed to protect Selena. He had had his misgivings about Yolanda and on several occasions when Selena had met with Yoland, Chris had gone with her. Unfortunately on the day she died, Selena had gone to meet Yolanda in a motel without Chris.

Vanessa Villanueva Married Chris Pérez in 2001

Chris Pérez was still grieving when he was introduced to Vanessa Villanueva by a mutual friend, John Garza, in 1998. John Garza was then the lead singer in Chris Pérez’s band. Vanessa became instrumental in helping Chris out of his depressive state. The pair dated for three years before tying the knot on 26 October 2001.

Their first child, a daughter named Cassie Gabrielle Pérez was born in 1998, even before they got married. Their second child, a son named Noah Pérez was born on 5th April 2005. The marriage however only lasted for 7 years as the couple got divorced in 2008.

It appears that Vanessa was still willing to work on the marriage but Chris was still haunted by the tragic loss of his love Selena. Chris even affirmed that he had gotten married with the hope that it will help him forget about Selena. Chris’ addiction to alcohol and drugs and subsequent lack of attention to his family has also been fingered as the major cause of the breakup.

And just as Vanessa Villanueva came to the limelight with her marriage to Chris Pérez, she faded into the background with their divorce. While Vanessa got a huge chunk of Chris’ assets as alimony, Chris went on pursuing his music career, finally dedicating his time to the Chris Pérez Project in hope of keeping Selena Quintanilla’s memories alive. In early 2018, he was rumored to be engaged with singer and songwriter Melissa Jimenez.

Meet Vanessa and Chris’s Two Children

After their parents’ divorce, Vanessa Villanueva and Chris Pérez’s kids stayed with their mother. However, Chris was/is still a big part of their lives. Cassie’s Instagram page features several funny videos of her and him.

Cassie Gabrielle Pérez

  • Full Name: Cassie Gabrielle Pérez
  • Date of Birth: 23rd December 1998
  • Place of Birth: San Antonio, Texas, the United States of America
  • Age: 23 years old
  • Education: Paul Mitchell and Del Mar College
  • Occupation: Phlebotomist

Cassie Gabrielle Pérez lives in San Antonio, Texas, and works as a medical aesthetician at Massage Envy. She had studied medical aesthetics at Paul Mitchell and completed her academics at Del Mar College. She has a boyfriend named Mark Munoz, whom she started dating in 2017. Her aspiration is to work in the fashion and beauty industry. And just like her mom, she also wished to open a spa in the future.

Noah Pérez

  • Full Name: Noah Pérez
  • Date of Birth: April 2005
  • Place of Birth: San Antonio, Texas, the United States of America
  • Age: 16 years old
  • Education: N/A
  • Medical Condition: Down Syndrome

Noah Pérez was born with Down’s Syndrome, and although Vanessa knew of this when pregnant with him, she refused to have a late abortion. It is a medical condition that is seen in some individuals all over the world. It occurs when someone is born with an extra Chromosome 21 which is also known as Trisomy 21.

The condition can affect an individual’s cognitive ability as well as physical growth and the extent to which this is prevalent differs between people. For some, it is mild while for others it can be anything from moderate to severe. Down syndrome also poses significant health problems to the individual.

Be that as it may, Noah has been resilient and is determined to live a happy life irrespective of his medical condition. Noah loves music and is deeply loved by his family, going by the pictures on social media.

What is Vanessa Villanueva up to Currently?

Vanessa currently lives outside the spheres of the public gaze. In 2012, she started a relationship with bike enthusiast Henry Soliz and on 17 February 2018, the two got married. Currently, they both live in Portland, Texas. Henry Soliz worked at the Corpus Christi Army Depot as of August 2020.

In an interview with HollywoodMask, Vanessa said she regretted removing her ovaries years ago because she was fearful of developing cancer (among other issues). Despite this regret, she is happy with her lot in life, saying: “I own a business that’s THRIVING, I have so many wonderful friends that love me and food in my pantry…I could go on and on counting my blessings”.