She is a mix of West African, Filipino and Native American ancestry. Gabrielle is the middle child in a Catholic family of three daughters.
When she was eight, she and her family moved to Pleasanton, California where she attended Foothill High School. Gabrielle was active in sports, including soccer, basketball and track.
In 1992, when she was 19, Gabrielle Union was raped at her part-time job. The assailant turned himself in and was sentenced to jail. Gabrielle is now an advocate for survivors of assault. She said therapy helped her determine who was in her life to encourage "survivorhood" and who was there to promote "victimhood."
Gabrielle Union went to the University of Nebraska before going to Cuesta College and then transferring to UCLA where she earned a degree in sociology. It was in Los Angeles where she worked as a model to pay off student loans.
She landed parts in "7th Heaven," "Smart Guy," "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," "10 Things I Hate About You" and "Love and Basketball," but it was probably her role in "Bring It On" that got her real notice.
Other roles followed, including parts in "City of Angels," "Deliver Us from Eva," "Bad Boys II," "Night Stalker," "Life," "Being Mary Jane," and "FlashForward," among others.
In an interview with Men's Health, she said, "If it's a choice between a man who gives flowers and a man who enjoys giving oral, most women would take the oral. And it's free. Oral sex is recession-proof." She added, "If both people can climax quickly, sex doesn't need to go on for 2 hours " at some point, 'Law & Order' is coming on! But it's terrible if a man is 2 minutes and you're nowhere close."
Gabrielle Union's earliest childhood memory is playing catch with her dad. When asked about her anonymity, she said, "I can go [out], but you go with an understanding that people are going to know who you are, and may or may not respect your privacy. The time when I most want privacy and my anonymity is do things like buying tampons" (kamwilliams.com).
Gabrielle Union tries to surround herself with positive people. "You don't get any points when you get to heaven for putting up with bullshit," (huffingtonpost.com).
Gabrielle Union has homes in the Los Angeles area and in Florida.