Heidi Fleiss gives up on plan for brothel for women

Remember that thing Heidi Fleiss said she was going to do but never did?

Well, you can forget it now because she’s not doing it.

The Hollywood Madam turned Pahrump laundromat owner says she’s abandoning her plans to open a Nye County brothel catering to women. With its stable of men, Heidi’s Stud Farm would have been the first bordello of its kind in Nevada, where houses of prostitution are legal in most rural counties.

Fleiss first announced her plans in late 2005. A short time later she rented a house in Pahrump and teamed with her brother, Jesse, to buy 60 acres in the tiny nearby town of Crystal.

In the years since, Fleiss has talked about the project a lot — even agreed to let HBO shoot a documentary about it — but she never took the first step of submitting an application for a brothel license in Nye County.

Now it appears she never will.

“I think I’m going to put all my property up for sale in Crystal,” Fleiss said recently by phone from her house in Pahrump. “I don’t want to work so hard … and deal with all the nonsense in the sex business.”

Instead, she is focusing her attention on an alternative energy project she said is “perfect for Nevada.”

“That’s where the money is,” she said. “That’s the wave of the future.”

Fleiss declined to elaborate on her plans, but she said she has already explored the idea of a wind farm and discarded it as too expensive.

She also is talking about building her dream house, which she plans to pattern after Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House, a Mayan-inspired mansion built in 1924 on the hills overlooking Los Angeles.

Fleiss originally planned to build her version of the Ennis House on a 10-acre tract she recently bought on a hill overlooking Pahrump. Now she’s not so sure she even wants to stay in the town 60 miles west of Las Vegas.

“I do stick out like a sore thumb here,” Fleiss said.

She’s had a pretty bad run of luck there, too.

First she got mixed up in a federal wire fraud case against Nye County brothel owner Maynard “Joe” Richards and might be called to testify when the case goes to trial this spring.

Then a traffic stop in Pahrump a year ago led to drug use and possession charges for which she faces a preliminary hearing in May.

And last month, her former landlord made good on a promise to sue her for damage done to the woman’s house by Fleiss’ 25 pet parrots.

On the other hand, Fleiss said she has met “a lot of nice people in the community” and feels “really comfortable” there.

Plus, Pahrump is where she discovered the joy of pet ownership. “I fell in love with these beautiful birds,” she said. “They’ll probably keep me out of prison.”

Fleiss now lives in a double-wide trailer on her hillside property in Pahrump. She had the house fitted with elaborate perches on three sides, and her birds have the run of the place.

If she does stay in Nye County’s largest town, it will be because of the parrots. “My birds come first,” she said. “I’ll live wherever’s best for them.”

There’s one other thing Fleiss said she won’t part with: Dirty Laundry, the coin-operated laundromat she opened a year and a half ago in a busy Pahrump shopping center.

“I plan on opening more of them,” she said.

Of course, this is Heidi Fleiss talking. She always reserves the right to change her mind — about the laundromat, the Stud Farm or anything else.

“It’s always the times when things are really, really bad when there are the greatest opportunities,” she said. “Who knows what tomorrow brings?”

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

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