Heidi Fleiss

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Heidi Fleiss
Heidifleiss.jpg
Fleiss in 2006
BornHeidi Lynne Fleiss
(1965-12-30) December 30, 1965 (age 48)
Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California, US
ResidencePahrump, Nevada, US
NationalityAmerican
OccupationMadam, television personality
TelevisionHeidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam
Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew
Celebrity Big Brother
Partner(s)Dennis Hof
 
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Heidi Fleiss
Heidifleiss.jpg
Fleiss in 2006
BornHeidi Lynne Fleiss
(1965-12-30) December 30, 1965 (age 48)
Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California, US
ResidencePahrump, Nevada, US
NationalityAmerican
OccupationMadam, television personality
TelevisionHeidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam
Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew
Celebrity Big Brother
Partner(s)Dennis Hof
Fleiss with Dennis Hof and Ron Jeremy at the Adult Video Network Convention 2006 in Las Vegas

Heidi Lynne Fleiss (born December 30, 1965) is an American former madam, and also a columnist and television personality regularly featured in the 1990s in American media. She ran a prostitution ring based in Los Angeles, California, and is often referred to as the "Hollywood Madam".

Early life[edit]

Fleiss was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Her parents, Paul M. Fleiss and Elissa (née Ash), are divorced. Her parents adopted Elissa's sister's daughter, Kim, then adopted Paul's sister's daughter, Amy. Both were infants at the time. Heidi was born later the same year. Paul and Elissa then had Shana (born 1967), Jason (born 1968) and Jesse Fleiss (born 1977).[1][2] On December 28, 2009, 41-year-old Jason drowned in the sea off Hawaii.[3]

Work in prostitution and criminal charges[edit]

At the age of 22, Fleiss began managing a prostitution ring under Madam Alex after meeting the famous Madam 90210 in 1987 via film director boyfriend Ivan Nagy. Fleiss stated in 2002 in an interview with Larry King that her relationship with Alex was "a very intense relationship" and that she "was kind of like the daughter she loved and hated, so she was abusive and loving at the same time." In the same interview, Fleiss said she was a prostitute for a short period in order to learn all aspects of the business. At the time Heidi was learning to take over Alex's business, there was a labor shortage as most of Alex's prostitutes were approaching middle age and setting their sights on retiring from prostitution. Alex tasked Heidi with revitalizing the business by recruiting a new batch of young attractive women.[4]

By 1990, Fleiss parted with Alex and started her own prostitution ring. Fleiss has stated that she made her "first million [dollars] after only four months in the business" as a madam, and that on her slowest night she made $10,000.[5] By 1991 and 1992, she was so successful that she began rejecting girls to work for her. In June 1993, she was arrested for multiple charges, including attempted pandering.

Federal charges were filed in 1994, and Fleiss posted $1,000,000 bail. The state trial began the same year and Fleiss was convicted. In May 1996, her state conviction was overturned, and her appeal bond was set at $200,000.[6] Fleiss was convicted of federal charges of tax evasion in September 1996 and sentenced to seven years in prison.[7] Fleiss served 20 months at the Federal Correctional Institution, Dublin in California. She was released to a halfway house on November 19, 1998 and ordered to perform 370 hours of community service.[8] Fleiss was released from the halfway house in September 1999.

Fleiss' ring reportedly had numerous famous and wealthy clients. When questioned by British TV presenter Davina McCall about revealing the names of her clients, she replied, "It's not my style."[9]

Media appearances[edit]

In 1995, Nick Broomfield made a documentary about her prostitution ring called Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam. In 2004, a made-for-TV movie was produced called Call Me: The Rise and Fall of Heidi Fleiss, in which Fleiss was portrayed by actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler.

Fleiss and reality TV personality Victoria Sellers (a friend of Fleiss since their teens, although their relationship had hit the rocks during the period Sellers was interviewed for Broomfield's documentary)[10] hosted and produced an instructional DVD titled Sex Tips with Heidi Fleiss and Victoria Sellers in 2001. She is a periodic guest on Fox News programs and is currently[when?] featured in Maxim Magazine's "Ask Heidi" column.[citation needed]

In January 2010, Fleiss was the third housemate to enter the final Channel 4 series of Celebrity Big Brother in the UK;[11] she was the second to be evicted.[12] During her appearance on Big Brother, she stated that she does not want children, as she would be a poor mother, and would respond to an unplanned pregnancy by terminating it—her exact words were "Thank God for abortion!"—this comment elicited angry responses from viewers.[13] She did not return for the finale; Davina McCall said Fleiss had to look after some exotic birds. (The report of exotic birds is substantiated by Nye County declining to arrest Fleiss for growing pot.[14])

Business interests[edit]

In 2005, Fleiss announced plans to open a brothel in Pahrump, Nevada called "Heidi Fleiss' Stud Farm".[15][16] In 2007, Fleiss opened a laundromat called "Dirty Laundry" in Pahrump, as her plans for the brothel had been put on hold due to a "slight complication."[17] In 2009 she said that she had abandoned her plans to open such a brothel.[18] She opened a fashion boutique in Los Angeles after being released from prison.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

After completing treatment for substance abuse, Fleiss became engaged to Dennis Hof, owner of Nevada's Moonlite BunnyRanch.[19]

Fleiss is Jewish,[20] and has said that she is a vegetarian.[9]

She owns an ultralight flight park in Pahrump, FAA designation NV54.

In 2003, Fleiss accused her ex-boyfriend, actor Tom Sizemore, of domestic violence. Sizemore was convicted by a California jury of domestic violence, making criminal threats, and making obscene phone calls.[21]

Fleiss eventually moved to Pahrump, Nevada,[22] where she came to live in solitude in Death Valley[23] while caring for 25 parrots.[24] Dr. Drew Pinsky, who treated Fleiss for substance abuse, performed brain scans on her that showed significant frontal lobe dysfunction, which Pinsky surmised was behind her inability to empathize with people, and her affinity for doing so with birds.[25] She had developed a particular closeness to a macaw called Dalton who later died.[26]

In 2009, Fleiss was treated for substance abuse at the Pasadena Recovery Center, which was filmed for the third season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. One of her fellow patients was Sizemore, against whom her prior restraining order had lapsed. Both Fleiss and Sizemore consented to appear together on the show before filming began,[25] and their reunion, depicted in the third episode, was amicable,[27] though Fleiss subsequently expressed mixed feelings about his presence there.[28] During the filming of the program, Fleiss left the center and was involved in an accident with her SUV near her home in Nevada. She subsequently returned to rehab.[23]

Filmography[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1995The Doom GenerationLiquor store Clerkfilm debut
2004Alien 51EveldaLead role
2009Porndogs: The Adventures of SadieFluffy(voice)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hubler, Shawn (April 9, 1995). "Did father know best?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 20, 2010. 
  2. ^ California Birth Index 1905–1995
  3. ^ Heidi Fleiss's secret heartache over drowning death of brother days before entering Celebrity Big Brother house
  4. ^ Interview with Larry King
  5. ^ "In Defense Of Prostitution"; by Heidi Fleiss as told to Nadya Labi | Million dollars [in] four months
  6. ^ "Conviction Quashed In Heidi Fleiss Case". The New York Times. May 30, 1996. 
  7. ^ "Heidi Fleiss Given 37-Month Sentence". The New York Times. January 8, 1997. 
  8. ^ "Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss Placed in Halfway House". Los Angeles Times. November 20, 1998. 
  9. ^ a b Jill Smolowe (December 19, 1994). "A High Price to Pay". Time. Retrieved July 22, 2007. 
  10. ^ Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam (1995)
  11. ^ "Celebrity Big Brother 2010 contestants unveiled". BBC News Online. January 3, 2010. Retrieved January 3, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Katia Ivanova and Heidi Fleiss evicted from Celebrity Big Brother". Daily Mirror. January 15, 2010. Retrieved January 15, 2010. 
  13. ^ Celebrity Big Brother viewers turn on Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss as she rants: 'Thank God for abortion'
  14. ^ "Marijuana plants found at 'Hollywood Madam' Heidi Fleiss' Nevada home". CNN. 14 August 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013. 
  15. ^ George Knapp (May 26, 2005). "I-Team Exclusive Interview With Heidi Fleiss". KLAS-TV. Retrieved February 8, 2008. 
  16. ^ "Heidi Fleiss eager again to do what she does best". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. June 19, 2005. Retrieved February 8, 2008. 
  17. ^ Pat Lalama (July 2, 2007). "Heidi Fleiss Opens 'Dirty' Laundromat". Fox News Channel. Retrieved February 8, 2008. 
  18. ^ Heidi Fleiss gives up on plan for brothel for women Las Vegas Review-Journal, February 10, 2009
  19. ^ "Fleiss to Marry Brothel Boss". contactmusic.com. June 25, 2009. Retrieved July 28, 2009. 
  20. ^ Ariel Levy (February 2008). "The Once and Future Madam". Elle. Retrieved February 7, 2012. 
  21. ^ Stephen M. Silverman (August 18, 2003). "Sizemore Convicted of Abusing Fleiss". People.com. Retrieved July 28, 2009. 
  22. ^ Knapp, George. "Famous Hollywood Madam Moves to Nevada", Las Vegas Now; Accessed January 30, 2010
  23. ^ a b Video of Celebrity Rehabe Episode 3.8 ("Acting Out") at VH1.com
  24. ^ Brean, Henry. "More Dirty Laundry", Las Vegas Review-Journal July 1, 2007
  25. ^ a b Margy Rochlin (February 1, 2010). "Addicted to Rehab". TV Guide Online. Retrieved January 30, 2010. 
  26. ^ Heidi Fleiss: Would-Be Madam Of Crystal. SBS TV, December 21, 2010
  27. ^ Video of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, Episode 3.4 ("New Patients") at VH1.com
  28. ^ Video of Celebrity Rehab Episode 3.5 ("Loss") at VH1.com

Further reading[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

Books by Heidi Fleiss.

External links[edit]