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Shayla LaVeaux was brought up by a single mom, and was a rebellious child, having taken cocaine, dropping out of school and stripping at parties by age 15. Commenting on this, she says, "I put my mom through hell. Then again it's just a product of what you're brought up in. She did the best that she could and I did the best that I could." About her childhood, Shayla states on her website "I did not have the stereotypical horrible childhood/home experiences of so many girls in the adult business. I am very much the product of a happy, loving home. My sisters and I are best friends and I see my parents regularly."
LaVeaux enjoyed immediate success, winning Adult Video News's Best New Actress award in 1994 from not only The Adult Video News, but from Adam Film World, and The X-Rated Critics Organization as well. Only Ginger Lynn and Barbara Dare had accomplished this before Shayla, and they did it with powerful companies behind them.
She was voted into the AVN Hall of Fame in 2002. In August 2008 it was reported that LaVeaux will make an appearance in the upcoming film Seasoned Players 6.