Heidi Fleiss cleans up her act
SEX is the commodity that Heidi Fleiss says she knows best, but for now she is settling for fabric softener.
Fleiss, whose Los Angeles prostitution ring served wealthy denizens of Hollywood and high finance, is hoping to open a brothel in Nye County, one of several in Nevada that permit prostitution.
Her brothel, she says, will have a twist: at the provisionally named Stud Farm she will have only male prostitutes, serving a female customer base.
The woman once known as the Hollywood Madame has been running a coin-operated launderette in Pahrump, 60 miles west of Las Vegas and near her home in Crystal, where she hopes to build the brothel. She also plans to take over a massage parlour attached to a strip club. But there have been complications.
After being released from prison in 1999 - after serving 20 months of a three-year sentence for tax evasion, money laundering and prostitution - she sold Hollywood Madame jogging trousers.
Now she is concentrating on the washing. "I tried to pick a business that fit with the demographics of the community," Fleiss said about Dirty Laundry, a casino-themed enterprise which features panels from slot machines in its decor.
At Pahrump's border, there are housing developments, a strip club and a few casinos. Not far down the main drag is a row of shops including a jeweller, a loan business and Dirty Laundry, where fluff and fold costs a competitive 65 cents a pound and horse blankets are strictly forbidden.
The business opened last summer but, as profitable as Fleiss says it has become, she still longs to open her Stud Farm - if she can get a licence.
"I really do know the sex business better than anyone," she said. "I'm not saying that to be arrogant."
Fleiss bought the land in Crystal. She visited brothels across the state to study best prostitution practises. She picked an architect.
But Fleiss then introduced a would-be business partner, Joe Richards, owner of brothels in Crystal and the strip club in Pahrump, to a former county commissioner who just happened to be a co-operating witness in an FBI inquiry into corruption.
Richards was indicted last year on fraud charges in connection to his effort to build a new brothel. He has pleaded not guilty and has filed a motion for dismissal. His trial is scheduled for May.
Although Fleiss is not a defendant in the case, she says she gave testimony to a grand jury and feels compelled to hold off for now on her plans to open the brothel.
But whether or not she will get a licence from Nye County remains to be seen. The licensing board may refuse if an applicant has been convicted of a felony or a crime involving "moral turpitude".
Meanwhile she is stuck with the spin cycle.
Born on December 30, 1965, in Los Angeles.
In 1995, Fleiss was caught running a prostitution ring for the super-rich, including Charlie Sheen. She served 20 months of a three-year sentence.
Her father, Paul Fleiss, was convicted for money laundering.
In 2001 she produced a DVD, Sex Tips, with Victoria Sellers – Peter Sellers and Britt Ekland’s daughter.
In 2003 she opened a shop on Hollywood Boulevard selling personalised clothing and lingerie.
Reportedly sold the rights to her life story to Paramount Pictures.
In the same year her former boyfriend, Tom Sizemore, was convicted of domestic violence.
In 2005, Fleiss moved to Nye County, Nevada, to run a launderette and announced plans to open Heidi’s Stud Farm.
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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