Meet Leeann Tweeden: From Playboy Model to Sports Broadcaster

May 29, 2023

Public figures often reside at the intersection of adoration, critique, and influence. This is particularly true when it comes to Leeann Tweeden, a name that has grown to represent much more than just a face in the crowd.

Tweeden, a model-turned-sports-presenter, has been a compelling presence in the sports industry, lighting up screens and airwaves, while also making a mark beyond her professional pursuits. This article aims to unfurl the intricate curtain of Tweeden’s life, offering a panoramic view of her journey and the ripples she has created in her wake.

This article digs deep into Tweeden’s life, tracing her career trajectory, and examining her contributions to the media industry. We will chart her evolution from a young model to a respected sports broadcaster, and dissect the influence she has exerted on the media landscape.

Who is Leeann Tweeden?

Leeann Tweeden
IMAGO / Icon Sportswire

Born on June 13, 1973, in Manassas, Virginia, Leeann Velez Tweeden is best known for her successful stints in modeling, television hosting, and radio broadcasting. A vibrant mix of Spanish, Filipino, and Norwegian ancestry, her diverse cultural roots imbued her with a global perspective that would later influence her career trajectory.

From gracing the covers of popular magazines such as Playboy to broadcasting sports matches, and then moving behind the microphone to host her radio show, Tweeden has constantly reinvented herself, pushing boundaries and breaking new ground.

Beyond her many-sided media career, Tweeden has also used her platform to advocate for causes close to her heart, proving herself to be a powerful voice in arenas outside the realm of sports and entertainment.

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Leeann Tweeden’s Modeling Career

lady sports presenters
Instagram: @leeanntweeden

Tweeden’s entry into the modeling world was no fairytale—it was a result of determination and grit. Initially working as a hostess at a Colorado Springs Hooters, her big break came when she won the Venus International Model Search in 1992. This victory catapulted her into the modeling industry, leading to an opportunity to feature in Playboy magazine, which brought her into the public spotlight.

Her first Playboy cover shoot in August 1996 was part of a fitness model pictorial, and she made a stunning return in December 2011, at the age of 38. Tweeden shone as the cover girl for the March 2007 issue of FHM and earned a place among ‘The Top Hooters Girls of all time’ during Hooters’ 25th-anniversary celebration in 2008.

As she graced the cover of Playboy and other notable magazines, Leeann Tweeden quickly gained recognition. Her persona – one of beauty and intelligence – resonated with audiences, marking her early rise to prominence. Tweeden also regularly played the role of a fitness model for the TV show Fitness Beach.

The transition from Modeling to Sports Broadcasting

After making a name for herself in the modeling world, Tweeden ventured into the realm of television. She was a correspondent for Fox Sports Networks’ The Best Damn Sports Show Period for six years.

In 2008, Leeann Tweeden added a new feather to her cap by becoming the third hostess of NBC’s late-night series, Poker After Dark. She broadened her portfolio with appearances on the political talk series, Hannity, in 2011 and 2012, and consistently contributed to the ‘Great American Panel’ and Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld.

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She also captivated audiences with her pre-and post-game coverage for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Fox Sports West and UFC Tonight on Fox Sports 1. Currently, she shares her insights and experience as a co-host on Dr. Drew Midday Live, aired on Los Angeles’ Radio 790 KABC.

Her Achievements

Throughout her career, Leeann Tweeden has gathered numerous accolades and left a persistent mark on the media industry. From being named one of FHM’s top 100 Sexiest Women in the World on multiple occasions, to her impactful stint on the radio, her accomplishments are proof of her talent and hard work.

Leeann Tweeden’s Life Outside Sports Broadcasting

The story of Leeann Tweeden
IMAGO / piemags

Beyond her career in the sports industry, Tweeden has also used her platform for advocacy. A strong supporter of the troops, she has embarked on sixteen USO tours, bringing comfort and entertainment to U.S. military personnel stationed overseas.

Leeann Tweeden’s contributions extend beyond her professional pursuits. She has used her visibility to raise awareness on issues such as sexual harassment, becoming a prominent voice in the #MeToo movement. She also participates in charity poker tournaments to raise funds for various causes.

Through her advocacy work and societal contributions, Tweeden has made a significant impact. Whether by standing up for victims of sexual harassment or bringing smiles to the faces of U.S. troops stationed abroad, she has leveraged her fame to make a positive difference.

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Leeann Tweeden and Al Franken Controversy

In 2017, the spotlight turned towards Leeann Tweeden, a distinguished Playboy cover model, following her striking accusations against Al Franken – a man known both for his comedic talent and political pursuits.

This incident traced back to 2006 during a USO tour in the Middle East, where Franken and Tweeden crossed paths. Tweeden narrated how Franken, with unsettling intensity, pushed her to rehearse an on-screen kiss that was part of their script.

As if this were not shocking enough, a photograph surfaced later, capturing Franken in the act of violating a sleeping Tweeden. Franken, in response to the uproar, presented an apology which Tweeden graciously accepted.


Who is Leeann Tweeden?

Leeann Velez Tweeden is an American radio broadcaster, model, and sports commentator. She’s well-known for her career in modeling, television, and sports.

How did Leeann Tweeden start her modeling career?

Tweeden’s career kick-started in the modeling industry after she won the Venus International Model Search in 1992. This led her to feature in Playboy magazine.

What TV shows has Leeann Tweeden hosted?

Leeann Tweeden was a correspondent for Fox Sports Networks’ “The Best Damn Sports Show Period” for six years.

What did Leeann Tweeden accuse Al Franken of?

In 2017, Leeann Tweeden accused Al Franken, a former U.S. Senator from Minnesota and comedian, of forcibly kissing her and groping her without her consent during a 2006 USO Tour. Tweeden also released a photo taken on the flight home from the tour.

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