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Fleiss Plans a Brothel to Serve Women

The former Hollywood madam and a partner hope to open 'Heidi's Stud Farm' in Nevada.

November 17, 2005|Shawn Hubler | Times Staff Writer

Former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss bid farewell to Los Angeles on Wednesday, and put out the word: She's looking for a few good men.

In a move bound to hearten aspiring Deuce Bigalows the world over, Fleiss said she is joining with a Nevada brothel owner to open the state's first house of prostitution in which men cater to women.

Fleiss, whose partner notified Nye County officials of the plan this week, said they will charge $250 an hour and call it "Heidi's Stud Farm."

"Women are more independent these days; they make more money and it's hard to meet people," Fleiss said as she packed for what she said would be a permanent move to Nevada.

"You wouldn't believe the number of women who've told me, 'Heidi, if you do this, I'll be the first one in line!' I mean, relationships are harder than dieting, you know what I mean?"

The daughter of a Los Feliz pediatrician, Fleiss became notorious in the 1990s for running a prostitution ring catering to show business people and international businessmen. She eventually was convicted on charges of money laundering, pandering and tax evasion. She was released in 1999, after serving 21 months in prison.

Fleiss -- who has capitalized on her notoriety as a madam -- has been exploring the possibility of opening a legitimate business near Las Vegas.

She soon turned to the oldest of trades again, which is legal in parts of Nevada. But she shied from buying an existing brothel when the going prices were too high. She then said she might build her own brothel on 60 acres she owns near Pahrump, but determined that it would be more profitable as housing.

Eventually, she made a deal with Joe Richards, who owns three Nevada brothels, in part to prove she would run a clean business. There's also the felony hitch. State law allows counties to refuse a brothel license to convicted felons. County Commissioner Candace Trummell said Wednesday that county attorneys were looking at the proposal, and it was unclear whether the plan would be approved.

Fleiss' Las Vegas attorney, Richard Schonfeld, said state law allows for some discretion, and her partner, a 30-year brothel operator, has said Fleiss' name would not be on the license. Her role would be more promotional, and her job title would be "hostess/madam," Richards added. Brothel employees, both men said, are typically subjected to a far lesser degree of legal scrutiny.

In a letter to the Nye County Liquor and Licensing Board, Richards also said the business would not be a new one. He and Fleiss would remodel and change the name of one of his existing bordellos, which is now a bar and a collection of trailers called the Cherry Patch about 20 miles north of Pahrump.

Fleiss added that she plans to swap the bordello's Western theme for a more Hollywood look, with waterfalls and palm trees. "It's gonna be like Leo DiCaprio in 'The Aviator,' " she said, "and I'm going to put out a casting call for about 20 guys -- I bet I get thousands of applicants."

Richards said in the letter that a male brothel would "address an ever-increasing fact of life," because "society is witnessing a unique evolution of the female gender reaching out for the same service we now offer male clients." In an interview, he elaborated: "Say a guy gets into an argument with his wife. What does he do? Lot of times, he goes out, gets a drink, goes to a place to be serviced. Now women can say, 'Hey, if you can do it, I can too.' "

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