If this looks familiar to you, kudos for recognizing one of the greatest moments in pop culture history. Alexis Neiers was one of the stars of Pretty Wild, an E! reality TV series that ran for one season in 2010. After the pilot was filmed in 2009, Alexis was arrested in connection with the “Bling Ring” burglaries in Los Angeles, where a group of troubled teens broke into the homes of celebrities and stole up to $3 million worth of items.
And that, as you may know, has recently been turned into a movie aptly called The Bling Ring, which I actually paid money to see last weekend. To be honest, I only knew the basics of the Bling Ring burglaries, that they snuck into the homes of Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom, Audrina Patridge, etc. But the movie gave a lot more insight into what these kids did at least based on accounts from a Vanity Fair article and the Pretty Wild show.
In fact, the writer of the Vanity Fair article (and consequent book) is Nancy Jo Sales, the woman Alexis is leaving a message for in the above gif. Titled The Suspects Wore Louboutins, director Sofia Coppola rewrote the article into a screenplay almost verbatim, and let me tell you – it’s scary.
These kids – kids – had no fear. No fear and pure stupidity. The way they broke into the celebs’ houses was by looking online to make sure they were out of town, and then found their addresses online. It really doesn’t take a genius to do that. But these teens broke into the houses, then went back multiple times, stealing more and more every time. Then they would wear the Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Herve Leger, Louboutins out in public, post pix on Facebook, and talk about stealing their stuff to people at parties. I don’t steal, but if I did, I would make damn sure there was absolutely no way it could be traced back to me.
The whole movie was fascinating, letting you into a world where these kids who thought they were indestructible let their obsession with pop culture reach the next level. I mean in the movie (and the article), the ringleader, Rachel Lee (named Rebecca Ahn in the film) is being questioned by the police in jail about breaking into Lindsay Lohan’s house. This was the excerpt from the VF article, which is pretty much exactly how it played out on screen:
“During the warrant service,” says the L.A.P.D. report, “Lee asked several officers if they would release her if she told them where ‘everything is.’”
“Hypothetically,” Lee allegedly said, “let’s say I might know where this property is located and who has it, how could that help me?”
“It is clear that Lee felt that she successfully removed all items of stolen property from the residence,” the report goes on. “However, when Lee saw” that cops had found a coat allegedly belonging to Lindsay Lohan and some topless pictures of Paris Hilton (stolen from Hilton’s unlocked safe) on the premises, “her mood instantly changed from being calm and collected to instantly becoming nearly hysterical, physically ill, and gagging as though she were about to vomit.
“Lee asked Detective [Leanne] Hoffman,” of the L.A.P.D., “if she had spoken to the victims. Hoffman replied that she had spoken to all of the victims. Lee became excited and asked, ‘What did Lindsay say?’”
Meanwhile, Alexis was enjoying her newfound ‘fame’ thanks to her E! reality show with her former Playboy playmate mom, best friend Tess, and her little sister Gabby. Listen guys, the entire series (aka one season) is on Netflix right now, and I highly suggest you watch it. Just for sociology purposes. As evidence by the show, these people actually exist. I mean after watching Pretty Wild, it’s hard to believe Alexis wasn’t arrested for something else sooner.
In fact, Alexis later revealed that she was completely high when she filmed the show, and was even living in a Best Western, panhandling for drugs, and was on a $10,000/week drug habit. HELLO?! (In case you’re wondering, Alexis is now sober, married to some guy in his 40s, and gave birth to her first child in April. How’s your love life going?)
If I learned anything from Pretty Wild/The Bling Ring, it’s that if I even have kids and raise them here in LA, I will make sure they don’t become these teens, who took their fame obsession to an unhealthy place that landed them in jail (Here’s info on the real people if you want to know where they are now). But like history, it’s doomed to repeat itself, so for the sake of my hypothetical future children and yours, see this movie. Or read the article. Either way, educate yourself. It’s a scary world out there y’all.