PAHRUMP, Nev. – Former "Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss is being accused of trashing a house she rented and filled with exotic birds for more than two years in rural Nevada.
Fleiss' former landlord, Christiana MacKnight, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal for a Monday report that Fleiss left more than $40,000 in damage when she and her birds moved in March from the two-bedroom house in Pahrump, about 60 miles west of Las Vegas.
"I just want my house fixed," said MacKnight, a former exotic dancer and lingerie shop owner who said Fleiss moved in to the house in December 2005. "I can't afford to fix it to re-rent it. It's just a mess."
MacKnight said Fleiss signed a lease prohibiting pets, but filled the home with up to 25 parrots, macaws and other birds that chewed shelves, cabinets and doors. She said Fleiss left wood and water damage in a sun room she built on the back of the house and filled with perches, ropes, toys and a plastic pond for the birds.
Fleiss, 42, denied she and her birds caused the damage, and accused MacKnight of trying to get money to renovate a house that wasn't in good repair when she moved in.
"She's acting like I moved into a house that was a palace and trashed it, vandalized it," Fleiss said. "It's not true."
Fleiss moved to Nevada in late 2005, promising to open a legal brothel featuring male prostitutes serving female customers. That project has not materialized. Fleiss operates a coin-operated laundry, called Dirty Laundry, in Pahrump.
Fleiss was arrested Feb. 7 by Nye County sheriff's deputies outside a Pahrump hardware store on allegations she possessed dangerous drugs without a prescription, was driving under the influence and drove without a license.
She has yet to be formally charged in that case. She told the Review-Journal she and her parrots now live in a mobile home on 10 acres she owns about a mile from MacKnight's house.
Fleiss once ran a high-priced Los Angeles prostitution ring providing models-turned-prostitutes to wealthy clients. She was released from a California state prison in 1999 after serving 21 months for money laundering, tax evasion and attempted pandering.