Saturday, May 8, 2010

HBO's Heidi Fleiss: The Would-Be Madam Of Crystal

I really didn't know much the infamous Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss until recently. The other night I watched the HBO documentary "Heidi Fliess: The Would-Be Madam Of Crystal." The documentary shows Fleiss during her efforts in 2006 to create a brothel for women in Nevada where prostitution is legal. The name of the brother was going to be called the "Stud Farm." She buys land and a house in a small town called "Crystal" located in Death Valley after moving there from Los Angeles. During the first segment of the documentary she has a homeless guy who works for her but she fires him after they go out to the desert one night to collect rocks. He forgot to bring the flashlight and they get into an argument. He goes back to Los Angeles to live. She runs into several roadblocks when she applies for a license from the city and county where she was trying to establish the brothel. Even a local saloon owner is against her and states that Fleiss is going about everything the wrong way. Also, the president of the Nevada Brothel Association speaks out against her and says that she is bringing negative attention to the brother industry in the state with her notoriety. She evens became a witness in an FBI investigation after being brief business partners with another brother owner who was being watched by the Feds.

The documentary also shows portions of interviews with Fleiss where she talks about her past as a Hollywood Madam and her time served in prison for federal charges when she was convicted in 1996. Lately, she can be seen on VH1's Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. She admits on the documentary that she addiction problem to crystal meth but was currently sober from the drug. Probably one of the more interesting parts of the documentary is where Fleiss befriends an elderly neighbor who loves and collects exotic birds. The sickly woman who is on oxygen lives in a trailer next door to her property and has about 20 or 30 birds in cages surrounded by her in the bedroom and the living room. Fleiss falls in love with one particular bird and eventually learns to love all the birds. When the elderly neighbors dies, the woman leaves all the birds to Fleiss. At times, it seems that she is overwhelm with her new duties with keeping all the birds. Even her brother-in-law comes over from Los Angeles to build an extra room on her house for the birds. She finally gives up the idea of building the brothel after hitting the roadblocks and buys a laundry mat in the small town and calls it "Dirty Laundry."

I found Fleiss to be a highly intelligent woman from a well to do family who learned to hustle at young age. Besides making millions as a former madam, Fleiss has also made a lot of money from her notoriety by writing books, being portrayed in movies and documentaries and appearing on reality shows. I really liked this particular HBO documentary and I highly recommend it if you want to be introduced her and perhaps seen a kinder, softer gentle side of Fleiss instead of the Heidi Fleiss most of us have heard about, read about or seen on the national news.

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