At the age of only 27, in a place that sells sin and big dreams, the doctor’s daughter managed the improbable: she achieved overnight notoriety. Last summer, criminal charges laid against Heidi Fleiss revealed a ring of prostitution that caught some of Hollywood’s biggest names in its net of rumor and innuendo. Soon infamous for her “black books”—actually red-covered Gucci notebooks—Fleiss seemed to revel in the attention. She gave interviews to magazines, appeared on talk shows and even opened a store called Heidi Wear. But last week, when Fleiss appeared in court on charges of violating bail—she has tested positive for drugs six times since August—media coverage was muted. The spotlight fell instead on preparations for the more sensational O. J. Simpson
murder trial, set to begin in the same Los Angeles courthouse on Sept 26. For Fleiss, that may have been a good Fleiss: drug
thing. Tired-looking in her -
prison garb, she was ordered to enter a drug treatment centre. And, for a moment, the alleged madam seemed childlike. “I want to go home,” she groaned.
But there may not be much time to relax in her $2-million Benedict Canyon home. Although her trial on five state charges of pandering and one of possessing narcotics—she has pleaded not guilty—was to begin the same day as Simpson’s, the Fleiss trial was delayed last week until mid-October. Her lawyer, Donald Marks, said Fleiss needs more time for drug treatment. If convicted, she could
face a maximum sentence of 12 years. More daunting are a separate set of federal ^ charges scheduled for trial lat| er this year. According to I those allegations, Fleiss and 5 her father, Paul Fleiss, 60, a treatment Los Angeles-area pediatrician, - evaded taxes by hiding hundreds of thousands of dollars in profits from her prostitution ring. On those charges, the maximum sentence for Fleiss is 188 years in prison and a $7.4-million fine.
Whatever her fate, there will be more opportunities to catch up on Fleiss’s not-so-brilliant career. Former boyfriend Ivan Nagy, 55, for one, has sold his story to TV for $135,000. When it comes to making money, as Fleiss herself has said, “people will do anything.”
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