Famous Hollywood Madam Moves to Nevada - 8 News NOW

George Knapp, Investigative Reporter

Famous Hollywood Madam Moves to Nevada

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Heidi Fleiss interviewed by the I-Team's George Knapp Heidi Fleiss interviewed by the I-Team's George Knapp

(May 26) --Nevada's legal brothel business has survived, in part, because it has always kept a low profile. But the industry could be thrust into the spotlight soon with the arrival of a new operator, none other than Heidi Fleiss, better known as the Hollywood Madam.

Fleiss has been working behind the scenes for several months to lay the groundwork for an elaborate new bordello somewhere in Nevada. She spoke exclusively with the I-Team's George Knapp about what she could bring to the table.

Heidi Fleiss says, "This is the one stop shop for all adults. Men can buy their films. Girls can get their toys."

Fleiss is once again in the sex business in Hollywood. This time, it's on the up and up. Earlier this year, she opened the Little Shop of Sex, which sells adult movies, some devices that can't be shown on television, and assorted clothing, including remnants of her "Heidi-Wear" lingerie line.

She launched her clothing line and a retail business as a way to keep herself out of trouble. "I had to do something right away or else I'd get in more trouble. This is back in 1993, so I opened a store."

Fleiss admits the sex shop is but a pit stop on her eventual return to the business she knows so well -- prostitution. At the age of 22, she began managing an illegal prostitution ring that catered to the richest and most powerful men in Hollywood. She just seemed to have a knack for it, and raked in millions. But Fleiss flaunted her success, talked too much, and made enemies of her former competitors. She was busted and spent 18 months in a federal prison.

"I'm a convicted felon, as everyone knows. I did run an illegal sex business here. I did take the oldest profession and do it. I did it better than anyone on earth and I will do it again. I will do it safely, legally, and will pay taxes and there will be no problems," said Fleiss.

If so, there's only one place in the U.S. where that could happen. "I am coming to Nevada and I am going to open up a brothel," she states.

Heidi's first foray into Nevada's legal bordello business came a few years ago when she hooked up with an Australian company that wanted to build a mega-brothel in Nye County. The plans fizzled but Fleiss was hooked.

Unlike Nevada's brothels, there isn't much about the former Hollywood Madam that's low key. Her trial was front-page news. She's published two best selling books, has been the subject of two movies and a documentary, sold a DVD of sex tips and would easily rank as the highest profile figure in Nevada's brothel industry.

To do that, she will probably have to convince potential rivals that her place would complement, not compete. Fleiss says, "The other brothel owners will benefit tremendously, because, look it, I have so many women trying to work for me, and you can only have so many. They will benefit from the fallout. I guarantee their numbers will quadruple."

She makes this boast based on her business plan. Fleiss will cater to the same mega-rich clientele that she served in Hollywood. She expects to set a minimum for walk-in customers, say $5,000. Customers who can't afford that would be expected to visit other bordellos in the neighborhood.

"I am coming like a social worker to make everyone happy. I'm not threatening to take anyone's territory or cornering the market. I'm just bringing more to the community."

She clearly has a business sense and has made a lot of money in all of her other ventures. Some Nevada brothel owners told us they're impressed by the homework she's done in preparing for a Nevada project. And others who work with Fleiss say every day is a learning experience.

Jessica Steindorff, a Little Shop of Sex employee, says, "It's learning. The way Heidi says -- whether you're selling shoes, cars, or porn, it's all business."

Heidi Fleiss concludes, "What am I gonna do? I'm not trained in any other profession. I don't have a college degree. I don't have any academic skills. I know this business better than anyone on earth, so why not take advantage of it?"

Fleiss has unique ideas to recruit her workers, and some intriguing ways to make her brothel stand out from all the rest. She also says her infamous black book of customers could be a key to her business, but she has some big hurdles still to overcome.

Contact I-Team Investigative Reporter George Knapp

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