Hollywood Madam to open Nevada 'stud farm'
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former "Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss, whose previous career running a call-girl ring landed her in prison, is returning to the world's oldest profession -- to open a Nevada brothel catering to women.
Fleiss said on Thursday she has struck a deal with a licensed brothel owner in Nevada, where prostitution is legal, to turn one of his three establishments, the Cherry Patch, into a glitzy new bordello that she will rename Heidi Fleiss' Stud Farm.
She plans to remodel the building, located outside the town of Pahrump, Nevada, west of Las Vegas near the California border, with skylights, marble tiling, palm trees and waterfalls, and hopes to reopen the business within two months.
Fleiss said she is taking applications from men seeking to work in what she says will be the world's first licensed brothel catering exclusively to female clients.
"The Hollywood Madam is looking for a few good men out there," she told Reuters in a telephone interview in the midst of her move from Los Angeles to Nevada. "It's going to be an oasis in the desert."
Fleiss said she is aiming for an initial stable of about 20 male prostitutes who would charge $250 an hour -- far less, she said, then the fees paid by clients of the call-girl ring she ran a decade ago.
"Prostitution and modeling are the only businesses where women make more money than men," she said, adding that her "studs" would split their earnings 50/50 with her, but "keep all their tips."
Fleiss acknowledged that her biggest potential obstacle is her 1995 conviction on federal charges of tax evasion and money laundering, stemming from her prostitution service catering to the rich and famous. She ultimately served 21 months in prison and was released in November 1998.
Nevada state law allows counties to deny a brothel license to convicted felons, although Fleiss said she knows of several bordello owners with criminal records. She also said her plan was to operate her "stud farm" under an existing license.
"There's still a little bit of legalities that we're working through, but it's going to be OK," she said.
Her Las Vegas-based lawyer, Richard Schonfeld, said Fleiss will not be an owner or licensee of the establishment but merely an employee with the title of "madam/hostess."
She must first obtain a work card from the county sheriff's department, a process that requires far less scrutiny than applying for a business license, Schonfeld said.
"She just wants to be employed there and go through the regular steps that any employee at a brothel has to go through," he said. "She going to lend her name and her charm to the business."
Representatives of the Nye County Commission could not immediately be reached for comment. Commission chairwoman Candice Trummell told the Los Angeles Times that county attorneys were reviewing the proposed business and it was unclear whether it would be approved.
Assuming the brothel opens as planned, Fleiss said she is certain there will be plenty of demand for its services.
"Women make more money these days, they're calling the shots, they're more powerful. And let's face it, it's hard to meet someone," she said.
"And then you've got the situation with the old husband leaving his wife for the younger girl, and the lady sitting at home crying. Well, now she has a place to go, and say, 'Right back at you, buddy, and on your credit card."'
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