On This Day: Heidi Fleiss, Hollywood Madam

Tinseltown’s most notorious pimp was convicted of providing high-class ‘call girls’ to undercover police officers on 2nd December, 1994.


It followed a dramatic sting involving the LAPD, the Beverly Hills police department, the state alcoholic beverage control agency and the state attorney General's office. They seized her ‘little black book’ (actually a red Gucci diary) full of high-profile names, but the only celebrity client of hers that testified was Charlie Sheen.


In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly consider whether Fleiss’ own desire for profile was part of her undoing; explain how she had unseated ‘Madam Alex’ from the top of the tree; and reveal the role of Travellers Cheques in her most famous client’s downfall…


There was a surprising next chapter to Fleiss’ career - as a carer for parrots - which we discuss in today’s bonus bit, only available for supporters of the show.

Just click Subscribe in Apple Podcasts, or head over to Patreon.com/Retrospectors (top two tiers only) to hear it, and a weekly bit of bonus content every single week. By so doing, you’re also supporting our show - so, thanks!


Further Reading:

• ‘HEIDI FLEISS GUILTY OF PANDERING’ (The Washington Post, 1994): https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/1994/12/03/heidi-fleiss-guilty-of-pandering/d836cdbd-4461-47d2-9038-45842269c3c9/

• ‘Heidi Fleiss on Her Arrest, Macaw Cause and “Drug Addict” Ex Tom Sizemore’ (The Hollywood Reporter, 2018): https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/lifestyle/lifestyle-news/heidi-fleiss-her-arrest-macaw-cause-drug-addict-tom-sizemore-1117449/

• ‘Jurors in the Heidi Fleiss trial watch videotape of police arresting four alleged prostitutes’ (AP, 16 Nov 1994): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gO0mQUA0bVw


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The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill.

Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders. Edit Producer: Emma Corsham.

Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2021.


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