Video: Risky Business?

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updated 8/10/2005 3:51:23 PM ET 2005-08-10T19:51:23

Sex sells and no one knows that better then Heidi Fleiss. The Hollywood madam became a household name in the '90s when her high-priced hookers were busted in an undercover sting operation. 

She threw Hollywood in a panic when word came around that she had a little black book filled with the names of the rich and famous.  She eventually named names, including actor Charlie Sheen. 

After a high-profile trial, three years in prison, battling drug abuse and a tumultuous relationship with actor Tom Sizemore, Fleiss is back at it again. She's opened up an online adult shop, written her life story, and she's now poised to make a major comeback.   This time starting up a brothel in Nevada.

On Monday, Heidi Fleiss joined Rita Cosby, host, “Live and Direct” to tell the world about her new business. 

An excerpt of their interview can be found below.  To see the actual interview click on the launch button on the right. 

RITA COSBY, HOST, LIVE AND DIRECT: What are you doing now?

HEIDI FLEISS, FORMER HOLLYWOOD MADAM::  I'm opening up a brothel in Nevada, where it's legal.  And I'm proof that prison does work, because I'm going to do what I did where it's legal.  I'm going to do it — very opulent, decadent — it's all about privacy and pleasure. 

And no one has done it before.   For over a year and a half I've researched all the sex businesses out there, the different brothels and what not.  And let me just say, I say six months, I'll be open and running. 

COSBY:  And how do you feel about being a madam again?

FLEISS:  Really, being a madam, it doesn't thrill me.  Eighty-five percent of the wealthiest people in the world derive their wealth from real estate.  So my other goals are to build affordable housing.  But for right now, it's a brothel. 

COSBY:  So you're planning on doing the real estate business down the road?

FLEISS:  Oh, yes.  I'll actually be doing them side-by-side.  But I have to do the madam thing, because that's what I'm known for.  But I just want to go do it legally.  I can run circles around everyone out there who is doing it. 

COSBY:  Now, speaking about running circles, I understand some of your competitors are not happy that you're coming to town.  They're worried about you. 

FLEISS:  Yes, it's crazy though, because all I'm going to do is bring them business, because they're smarter than me.  They're not competitors.  Everyone can afford what they're selling.  Not everyone could afford what I'm selling and my philosophies are different than anyone out there.  How they run it is up to them.  It might sound hypocritical, but I just look at prostitution differently than they do because I'm a woman. 

COSBY:  Now, who are the women who are going to work for you, speaking of women? 

FLEISS:  Well, you know, women, Rita.  You don't take the woman right to the last moment.  And I will have the most beautiful woman on Earth there. 

COSBY:  Talk about the moral climate.  You know, you talked about then and now.  Same business.  How's the moral atmosphere in America now? 

FLEISS:  Well, let me tell you this:  One day I'm in prison, I'm on the rec field.  It sounds fancy, but it's like a Mojave Desert with a perimeter and guns faced at you.  I'm reading “USA Today” and it says how the government is [indicting] the Mustang Ranch, which is a brothel, for income tax evasion, while I'm sitting in the penitentiary.  So I just threw my paper up in the air and said, “Pimp on.”

COSBY:  And there is a little hypocrisy out there.

FLEISS:  But let me tell you about sex.  No one knows this business better than me, Rita.  I will have the most beautiful women, the most opulent, decadent structure.  I'm going to pick 20 of the finest designers on Earth.  I'm going to give them 1,400 square feet to go knock themselves out. 

COSBY:  Well, we're going to be watching.  And finally, I understand you're not going to be doing too many more interviews after this.  You know, you've been well known at this.  But I hear you're going to sort of become a little bit of a recluse in the future?

FLEISS:  Well, absolutely.  You know, I'm a businesswoman.  And I was a criminal.  What criminal wants to be famous? 

Fame was never my thing.  It was success.  And I'm very focused in one direction.  I have to stay consistent with my goals to achieve them.  And being on television isn't one of them. 

Watch 'Rita Cosby Live & Direct' each night at 9 p.m. ET on MSNBC.

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