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Fleiss charged with drug use, possession

Five months after her arrest in Pahrump, Heidi Fleiss has been formally charged with drug use and possession.

The Nye County district attorney’s office filed a two-count complaint against the former Hollywood madam Thursday afternoon.

She stands accused of unlawful use of methamphetamine and possession of the painkiller hydrocodone without a prescription.

Both charges are felonies and stem from a Feb. 7 traffic stop outside a plumbing supply store where Fleiss had gone to buy items for her home in Pahrump.

Reached for comment Thursday, Fleiss said her attorney would decide how the charges would be handled, but she admitted to having a drug problem.

She said she intends to enter private treatment for her addiction, perhaps as soon as next week.

It will be the third stint in rehab for the 42-year-old Fleiss. “I have a bit of a substance abuse problem,” she said.

The day after her arrest, Fleiss hinted that prescription painkillers might not be the only thing to turn up in her blood sample. She told the Review-Journal that she had recently returned from Los Angeles, where she partied with friends and did “some bad stuff.”

It took until now to formally charge her because prosecutors were waiting for test results from a blood sample taken from Fleiss at the time of her arrest.

The test showed Fleiss had methamphetamine in her system, prompting the additional felony count for use of a controlled substance.

Already famous for the high-priced prostitution ring she ran in Hollywood in the early 1990s, Fleiss made headlines again in late 2005 when she moved to Nye County and announced plans for a brothel for women called Heidi’s Stud Farm.

She has yet to apply for a county brothel license, but she did open a laundromat called Dirty Laundry in Pahrump last year.

Fleiss was in Los Angeles on Thursday and had not heard about the charges until the Review-Journal contacted her.

“And that’s all that’s in there? That’s a good day,” Fleiss joked when told which drugs she was accused of using.

After that, Fleiss’ tone grew serious as she spoke candidly about her drug use.

At first, she thought she had it under control, but “moderation means addiction,” she said.

Fleiss’ “disease of addiction,” as she called it, will soon hit the national airwaves.

On July 21, HBO will premiere a documentary that chronicles the first 10 months of her life in Pahrump, the town of about 39,000 people 60 miles west of Las Vegas.

“I’m not going to watch it because I know I look like a maniac at times,” she said.

In May, Fleiss revealed that she was slated to enter “treatment” as a paid participant in the VH-1 reality series “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.” Her appearance on the show eventually fell through, but at the time, she said she was doing it for the money.

“If they want to say I’m on heroin, I’ll be on heroin,” she said. “I think everybody needs a little rehab.”

Fleiss will be arraigned on the two felony counts in Pahrump Justice Court, but no date had been set Thursday.

At the time of her arrest in February, she also was booked for driving under the influence, but prosecutors decided not to charge her with that crime.

Contact reporter Henry Brean at hbrean@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0350.

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