Daily Express 17th August 1993
HOLLYWOOD and sex were made for each other. A perfect casting if ever there was one. Here in Macholand 90210, an abundance of lush acres squared off by palm-lined streets, inhabited by an intoxicating mix of ego and greed, the accessories of fame, power and wealth are available by the bucketful.
But where there's bucks, there's muck. And if ever that needed proving, Heidi Fleiss is about to do just that.
The 27-year-old woman accused of running a wild sex and drugs service to the stars goes on trial next month with, it is claimed, enough information to blow Hollywood sky high.
In Tinseltown, life is all about a certain perception. You are what you are seen to have.
Women are trinkets, pampered pieces that fit on the arm like a gold Rolex and which can also be changed as easily as the time.
It is a world which might not be comfortably acceptable in this post-feminist era, but it must be accepted to understand all the lurid layers and manic machinations of Heidiwood.
This is not just a phenomenon of the summer of 1993 but another graphic continuation of the other big business in Tinseltown.
Sex sells — on and off screen. Sin is also valuable box office. Put sex, sin, stars and scandal together and you have a "Jurassic Park" blockbuster.
Hollywood is behind the times. The film industry, despite a scattering of top executive positions given to women, is dominated by men. It is they who say which women work; where they work; when they work and how much they get paid for that work.
And it is mainly men who pay for sex. All deviations of sex.
Heidi Fleiss — at 27, past her own sell-by date — catered to the power-playing men.
She supplied, not "whores" or "hookers", but women who seemed, even to discerning eyes, to have stepped out of the stapled centrefold pages of Playboy and the gates of a Swiss finishing school at the same time.
PERCEPTION, as we said, is everything and these ladies were the promise of Oscar orgasms. "She had tawny skin and an ass like two volley balls," raved one client about the girl supplied by a Beverly Hills madam.
The jaded who play high-powered sex games here want excitement. You can go to clubs and restaurants around Beverly Hills and Hollywood, to Le Dome on Sunset Strip, or the Bistro Garden near the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel (where Julia Roberts filmed her hooker act for Pretty Woman), and they are there. You can see them in On The Rox, which for years was the hang-out of Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty and Ryan O'Neal.
You can also see "graduates" of the Hollywood and Beverly Hills madams on the arms of several of the cinema's leading men — their wives. Like many studio executives, some stars have married former pleasure girls.
One major leading lady of the moment used to be a prostitute.
Two American sit-com stars play sex games for which the pay-off is not money but vintage cars.
Here, everyone wants something from you. You give a little, you take a little but a change of status can alter the rules, meaning you give nothing and take a lot.
There is the legendary story of Marilyn Monroe who, when she finally believed she was a major star, announced she was never going to perform oral sex again.
When do you fall off the casting couch and into prostitution? To listen to people today, the Marilyn Monroe syndrome remains an essential part of showbusiness.
The Hollywood sex connection has gone on since the silent days when Charlie Chaplin was chasing very young girls and Errol Flynn was a buccaneer in the boudoir as well as on screen.
In the late Seventies, in the days of free love, there were many swinging parties in the Hollywood hills. One English actress and a blonde American star were regulars.
THEY would pick their men for the evening and then individually "sandwich" them.
Today, one is successful and the other a huge star. Producer Robert Evans, who says he was a "family friend" of Heidi Fleiss but did not buy sexual services from her stable of girls, was a legend in his own bedtime in the Seventies.
Evans, former husband of Ali MacGraw and, as boss of Paramount Studios, in charge of films such as The Godfather, Chinatown and Love Story, was a well-liked host. All his parties were love stories.
He would appear in costume, such as a cowboy for instance, for "opening" movie parties, which were always packed with dozens of Miss World look-alikes.
The women were not just stunning but bright and amusing. After being told that many were "professionals", I admit to feeling a little foolish.
They just looked too good, too elegant and too smart to be "on the game".
But, in time, I learned that sex climbs all the way up and down the Hollywood ladder.
"Just like they used to budget cocaine into movie book pool at Nicholson's home. Poianski fled America before being sentenced and has never returned. The girl went on to star in a popular American television show. But then nothing comes as a surprise in Hollywood. In days gone by, when producers, directors and stars would appear for late afternoon meetings, so would the girls.
IT WAS understood that pressured executives would slip,. off for an afternoon "quickie" in one of the cottages in the grounds of the Beverly Hills Hotel.
The Polo Lounge got its name from Hollywood mogul Darryl Zanuck, the co-founder of 20th Century Fox.
He was renowned for his afternoon "siestas" just as many of his colleagues were their "special auditions".
Today, only the technology has changed. Power players no longer leap off their horses but into their cars and on to their car phones to arrange to "do" lunch — literally.
Or, as one producer recently arranged, to have rooms booked and women on call to "oil the deal" with a famous actor who has a penchant for statuesque, black ladies.
There is a famous producer couple in Hollywood who regularly hire two girls to perform lesbian acts with the wife as the husband watches.
One top public relations man would have girls join him and his tennis professional in the Jacuzzi after Sunday morning matches.
He wanted the girls to watch him and the young man, who was his fancy of the moment.
Meanwhile, what new scandal might Heidi Fleiss reveal in a town with such a tradition of sin?
Back | Gallery | Star Talk | Home
Back to the top