Douglas Thmopson - Author and International Journalist


A Tradition of Sin
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A Tradition of Sin

Daily Express 17th August 1993

HEIDI FLEISS'S good times really began, as they did for so many girls over the past 25 years, with British financier Bernie Cornfeld who, at one time, was involved in land deals with the actor Tony Curtis.

Eight years ago, the then 19-year-old Fleiss went to a Cornfeld party in Beverly Hills and, like so many before her, stayed — for four years.

I remember visiting Cornfeld at his Grey-stoke Mansion — around the corner from rival Lothario Hugh Hefner's giant bunny hutch — in Holmby Hills when he had 16 girls staying with him.

Our appointment was for noon. The girls through around 1 pm and I talked to them until Cornfeld appeared a couple of hours later.

All the girls were attractive, but they were night owls — their pale features were like headlights in the land of the tanned and the athletic.

Partying was, they said, their passport to Hollywood opportunity.
Cornfeld, who had been involved with Dallas star Victoria Principal — she has never spoken about this period in her life — happily said that girls turned up for parties and just never went home.

"They find it fun. It's a place for them to stay in Hollywood while they are trying to get started in acting."

Another place was the Playboy mansion Hefner's wife Kimberly abruptly put an end to Heidi Fleiss's "recruiting" drive there.

When you went to those parties there were always "chorus lines of gorgeous girls. During the evening, some would drift off to appear some time later.
You would also see the same faces — well, they looked the same — around the Hollywood nightclubs.

A favourite afternoon spot was the Polo Lounge, at the Beverly Hills Hotel, which is at present being renovated by its new owner, the Sultan of Brunei.

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