She is barely two months into her sentence on felony drug charges in Nye County, and already Heidi Fleiss is preparing to flee the country.
Don’t bother calling the federal marshals, though. The former Hollywood madam has permission to go.
In a short hearing Tuesday in Pahrump, District Judge John Davis cleared Fleiss to travel to London early next year for a paid appearance on a reality television show.
Fleiss said she has signed on to bunk with a bunch of other B-listers for the final season of Britain’s “Celebrity Big Brother.”
She plans to leave for London in early January, assuming she can find a caretaker for her menagerie of about 25 exotic birds in Pahrump.
“I’m dreading it,” Fleiss said. “I just don’t want to go away for a month and leave my birds.”
So why do it then?
Simple, Fleiss said: The job pays $10,000 a day, so she will make $300,000 for a month’s work. “I need the money. How could I say no?”
Fleiss’ travel plans drew no opposition from prosecutors, probation officials or the judge.
“No one objected to it, so why should I object?” Davis said.
This will be Fleiss’ second appearance on a reality show, unless you count all of the times her real life has landed her on television.
Fleiss, now 43, once ran a Los Angeles prostitution ring that catered to wealthy clients, some of them elite members of the movie industry.
She was convicted of money laundering, tax evasion and attempted pandering and served 21 months in a California prison before being released in 1999.
She moved to Pahrump in late 2005 and now owns a coin-op laundromat there called Dirty Laundry.
In July, she pleaded guilty to unlawful use of methamphetamine and possession of the painkiller hydrocodone without a prescription. The charges stemmed from a Feb. 7, 2008, traffic stop outside a Pahrump plumbing supply store.
She was found with methamphetamine in her blood and six hydrocodone pills in her purse.
By the time Fleiss was sentenced in September to three years of probation, she had completed drug counseling, albeit as a cast member of the VH-1 reality show “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew,” which is set to air early next year.
Fleiss said she remains clean and sober, but staying away from drugs is a constant struggle for her.
“I must have some deep-seated issues — stuff Dr. Drew didn’t find,” she said with a laugh.
Contact reporter Henry Brean at email@example.com or 702-383-0350.