Heidi Fleiss, who achieved fame as the “Hollywood Madam” when she was accused in the mid-1990s of running a Los Angeles prostitution ring, has said she is moving out of a southern Nevada town where she has lived for about 15 years.
Fleiss told the Pahrump Valley Times she was angry that someone shot one of her cherished pet parrots with a pellet gun just before Christmas.
Fleiss told the paper she contacted Nye county animal control officers and kept as evidence a pellet that a veterinarian removed from the bird’s leg. She said she would pay up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of the shooter.
Fleiss said she had bought a property in Missouri, where she plans to relocate her exotic bird collection by the end of February.
Fleiss, 56, has lived for about 15 years in Pahrump, a high desert community about 60 miles west of Las Vegas.
Her pandering conviction was overturned in California, but she served 20 months of a federal prison sentence for a 1996 tax evasion conviction.
Ten years later, the Observer described her as “an active part of the star system”.
“At one time,” the paper reported, “somewhere between the trial of OJ Simpson and the moment when Monica Lewinsky handed over her soiled dress to Kenneth Starr, Heidi Fleiss was the subject of America’s biggest celebrity scandal.
“It was, she has always maintained, a triumph of hypocrisy. Why not go after the men? Why was it that she was sentenced to three years in prison while her client Charlie Sheen, who testified against her, was free to make a movie for $5m? Was it the money? (Fleiss claims that she made 10 grand cash on a bad day – a good day was commissions worth almost $100,000.) Was it the power? (Rumour had it that she was on the payroll of a major Hollywood studio.)
“Was it the fact that she wouldn’t snitch? (Her predecessor, Madam Alex, was a police informant, and traded knowledge for the right to remain in business.) [Fleiss] was in jail for longer than she was in business.”
After her time in jail, Fleiss moved to southern Nevada with a collection of parrots. She became a close friend of Dennis Hof, owner of several legal brothels and star of Cathouse, an adult reality series made by HBO.
Hof ran for the Nevada state legislature in 2018 as a Donald Trump-style Republican. He won the election – despite having been found dead a month earlier, after celebrating his 72nd birthday.
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