“I am going to prison, and for what? Sex. That’s it”
Heidi Lynne Fleiss seemed like so many other Jewish American Princesses but, unbeknown to many, she was the teenage lover of crooked financier Bernie Cornfeld (search the relalted post), almost 40 years her senior, and developed a taste for older men.
Her next lover was film producer Ivan Nagj and he introduced her to 60-year-old Elizabeth Adams, aka Madam Alex, a notorious purveyor of prostitutes to the rich and shameless. It was not long before Heidi was working for Madam Alex. Fleiss then took over as top dog in the escort business but soon began boasting of her activities, which forced the Los Angeles police department to act.
Her world came crashing down on 9 June 1993 when she was arrested at her Benedict Canyon home for running a high-priced call girl service. Four undercover policemen pretending to be Japanese businessmen had trapped Fleiss. On 9 August 1993 Fleiss was charged on five counts of pandering (procuring prostitutes) and one count of selling cocaine. On 28 July 1994 a federal grand jury added further charges of conspiracy, tax fraud and money laundering.
Fleiss said, “I am going to prison, and for what? Sex. That’s it. I would never hurt another human being. I’m a vegetarian because I can’t even think of hurting animals.” On 2 December 1994 Heidi was sentenced to three years in prison and a $1,500 fine.
In August 1995 the grand jury convicted her of eight counts of conspiracy, tax evasion and money laundering and she was sentenced to 300 hours of community service, a $400 fine and three years and one month in prison. Just before she was due to start her federal prison sentence Heidi tested positive for drugs and was sent to rehab until her transfer to the federal prison at Dublin, California, in September 1996.
She recalled, “It was a lesbian hell. Prison was a journey I had to take. I came away with a lot of things I was lacking: wisdom, compassion, honesty.” She was released in November 1998 and sent to a halfway house in Los Angeles. She was finally released in September 1999.
1270 Tower Grove Drive, Los Angeles, California, USA
Wednesday 9 June 1993
After prison Heidi Fleiss filed for bankruptcy with debts of $269,000. She also had plastic surgery on her face and breasts. In 2001 Fleiss and her friend and former co-worker Victoria Sellers, daughter of Peter, hosted and produced an instructional DVD titled Sex Tips with Heidi Fleiss and Victoria Sellers.
Fleiss moved to Pahrump, Nevada, where on 1 July 2007 she opened a laundrette called Dirty Laundry after her plans for a brothel hit a snag. On 7 February 2008 Fleiss was arrested in Nye County, Pahrump for illegal possession of prescription drugs, drink-driving and driving without a licence.