RITA COSBY, HOST: Good evening, everybody. Tonight, we want to give you a rare glimpse into the world's oldest profession. We want to give you a heads-up at the very beginning. Some of what we're going to show you is racy and may not be appropriate for everybody. We got unprecedented access to one of Nevada's most famous brothels. Believe it or not, it is legal. We'll debate whether or not it should be later on in the show.
But first, an eye-opening look at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch.
(voice-over): Ironically, across a remote street from a Christian day care center is the sign lead leading you to the world's most famous legal brothel, the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, located in Nevada's capital of Carson City.
(on camera): Aside from this big blinking red arrow, the outside of the Bunny Ranch looks quite sedate. It's just a single-story building surrounded by this chain-link fence. But once a customer rings this bell, he's sure to have a memorable time inside with the working girls.
Hi. I'm Rita Cosby of MSNBC.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Welcome to the world famous Moonlite Bunny Ranch. I'm Madam Suzette (ph).
COSBY (voice-over): Madam Suzette is the seasoned general manage of the Bunny Ranch, and she greets all prospective customers. Once that doorbell rings, all the working girls in the house must participate in the line-up with a pose for potential buyers who select their fantasy woman for the next hour or the next day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you doing, ladies?
SHELLY DUSHELL, BUNNY RANCH PROSTITUTE: Hi, I'm Shelly.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm Emily (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Francesca (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello. I'm Vanilla (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. Eden (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. I'm Angelique (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. I'm Tracy (ph).
KANDI, BUNNY RANCH PROSTITUTE: Hi. I'm Kandi.
COSBY: On this night, Jessie McGwire (ph) and his younger brother, Scott Killen (ph), were looking for someone new, since they told me they had been to the Bunny Ranch six times before.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like to maybe hang out with you, Vanilla.
COSBY: Jessie, who owns a copying shop in Carson City, picks a red-dressed brunette named Vanilla. Scott picks up a buxom blonde named Shelly. Both couples quickly go to one of the 36 bedrooms and begin negotiating for the price and the specific type of service. Jessie originally told me he was looking to spend about $500 for half an hour of sex. But like a professional salesperson, Vanilla was able to coax him into spending a lot more.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, my hour party is $2000. That's a full-service party.
ARSENIO BAUTISTA, BUNNY RANCH CUSTOMER: Yes, sounds good.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, do you want to use cash or credit?
BAUTISTA: I only have $1,700 on me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: $1,700?BAUTISTA: Is that OK?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I can forget about $300 for you!
COSBY: After the negotiations are over, house rules require the girls to check each customer's private parts for any visible signs of a sexually transmitted disease. Once the screening is done, they head to the business office, since every customer must pay up front with cash or credit card. Vanilla is then given what's called a “party sheet,” which she'll place on top of the bed, since changing a full set of sheets after every transaction is deemed too time-consuming.
When the couple departs to do the dirty deed, Madam Suzette winds up one of her old kitchen timers to make sure the customer doesn't exceed his time. If he does, he has to pay more. During all this, another customer makes his way to a bedroom with a girl named Eden (ph), and the negotiations begin again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, basically, I'm interested in some oral and maybe a couple positions.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm looking at a price range about $1,500 maybe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: About $1,500. Well, so let's say, like, $1,700.
And that gives you plenty of time.
COSBY: He agrees to pay $1,700 for one-and-a-half hours. And with rates like that, the brothel's colorful owner, Dennis Hof, is a multi-millionaire. He takes half of what all his prostitutes make and runs the place like a well-organized business.
DENNIS HOF, OWNER, MOONLITE BUNNY RANCH: The peak time is in the afternoons from 3:00 o'clock to midnight, and of course, the weekends are a little more busy because there's more tourism. Girls work whatever shift they want. If you're a night person, we'll put you on a night shift. If you're a day person, we'll put on the day shift. It's a 12-hour on call.
COSBY (on camera): Are holidays popular? Thanksgiving? Christmas?
HOF: Well, holidays are a great time around here because—I don't have a family. This is my family. And a lot of customers are the same way. So we find that Thanksgiving and Christmas are busy times.
COSBY: How do you recruit the women?
HOF: We don't recruit the girls. We recruit the girls by them watching our TV show on HBO. They'll hear me on Howard Stern. They'll see us in magazines. That's how we do this. It's—we've had generations here. We've had 50 years of experience here, so we've got granddaughters working here. I mean, the Bunny Ranch is well known, and there's no need to recruit girls. Over 8,000 girls have applied to go work at the Bunny Ranch this year.
COSBY (voice-over): Dennis Hof was a businessman in San Diego before he bought the Bunny Ranch in 1992.
(on camera): You were a successful real estate developer for a number of years. How'd you get into this business?
HOF: Well, I was with the right girl. I dated the right girl. She ended up with the owner of the Bunny Ranch, and 12 years later, we were all socializing, and I got the opportunity—made the switch from real estate into the sex industry, and I've had the time of my life.
COSBY: Are you a pimp?
HOF: No, I'm not a pimp. I'm a guy that has a license to run a brothel. A pimp is a degrading term, even though the hip-hop community now has made it—everything's pimp—pimp your ride, pimp your house, pimp everything. No, the last thing I am is a pimp.
COSBY: What do you stay people who say what you're doing here is demeaning to women, it's demoralizing?
HOF: I say that the only exploitation of the Bunny Ranch is the customers because guys like us, we all have to pay for sex whether it's dinner, it's cars...
COSBY (voice-over): All of the prostitutes who work for Hof are considered independent contractors, meaning they don't get any benefits or insurance, but boy, they make a substantial amount of money and can stay or go as they please. Their rather discrete clientele runs the full gamut.
HOF: Everybody comes here—every rock star, athlete and a few politicians that you'd love to know about but I can't tell you.
COSBY (voice-over): World leaders?
HOF: World leaders.
COSBY: Married politicians?
HOF: Yes. Of course!
COSBY: U.S. senators?
HOF: We've had everybody here. Judges, yes. Yes, we've had a lot of people here. And there's going to be a lot more. That's why we have a back entrance, a private entrance to get in and out of here. People can't see you.
COSBY: Are most of your clients married?
HOF: A large percentage of them probably are. You know, we don't ask. It's not our business. But there are people who are wanting to explore new things and do different things. And if girls aren't coming to the Bunny Ranch with their boyfriends and husbands, they're coming by themselves, I promise you.
COSBY: Is it true that parents have brought their kids?
HOF: Absolutely. We've turned into the de-virginizing center of America. And we showed that on our HBO show. So we've got godfathers and uncles, even moms bringing their sons to the Bunny Ranch to learn about sex. Instead having some terrible experience with a girl, they can learn here.
COSBY (voice-over): On this night, we ran into a surprising customer, 49-year-old Johnny Buss, who is part of the Buss family sports dynasty, which owns the LA Lakers and a WNBA team, a wealthy, handsome man who could get many women in his own hometown. So why is he here now a whopping 100 times?
JOHNNY BUSS, BUNNY RANCH CUSTOMER: I probably end up spending less money here than I do if I went out to clubs, to restaurants with a whole bunch of girls and stuff like that. So it's really not about the money. It's really not about the sex. It's about the feeling that I get up here.
You know, it's a warm, comfortable feeling, and I love it.
COSBY (on camera): How many girls have you spent time with here at one point?
BUSS: At one point in one party? Oh, I don't know, four or five or six maybe.
COSBY: You can't remember!
BUSS: I can remember, but I don't know if I want to tell you exactly.
COSBY: Why has this become a real special place for you personally?
BUSS: You know, just to get away from all the pressures in life and to be a man, to be just happy. You know, just being around the female energy is great. And so I'll keep coming here.
COSBY (voice-over): The Bunny Ranch name has become so successful, it's now a highly watched series on HBO, appropriately called “Cathouse.” And the biggest cat of all, Dennis Hof, says this is just the beginning of a budding bunny empire.
HOF: The growth for us is Bunny Ranch boutiques, adult book stores/coffee shop combinations, Bunny Ranch cabarets, strip clubs. That's what we're seeing in our business plan, and branding of merchandise. The brand has gotten so big because of the notoriety we get because of our HBO show and Stern and all the different people that promote us, then we're able to sell the brand right here, the Bunny Ranch brand. It's hip. It's fun.
COSBY: In the meantime, Hof embraces everyone like family. And when we were there, he celebrated this couple's anniversary at the Bunny Ranch, the same place, believe it or not, where they had their wedding.
(on camera): Your 79-year-old grandmother came to the wedding.
RICHARD HUNTER, MARRIED AT THE BUNNY RANCH: Uh-huh.
COSBY: When the working girls came by, what did Grandma say?
HUNTER: It's funny you say that because at the reception, my grandma was very interested in who knew who, who was a friend of the bride or the groom and that sort of thing. She was asking my best man about that. And she pointed out one of the girls because we'd invited all of the girls that worked here to come to the wedding. And I actually heard him lean over to my grandma and say, Oh, now, Grandma, that's a ho. He said, See, they've invited the working girls to come up, and they've all dressed up, so it's really impossible to tell who's who. And I overheard my grandma say, Oh. Oh. Like that.
COSBY: What was it like? Here's your wedding day, and all the working girls are coming down. What was it like?
SUNNY HUNTER, CELEBRATING ANNIVERSARY AT BUNNY RANCH: It was great. I loved it. It was wonderful. I mean, I'm friends with those girls. I think they're all really nice, and I love hanging out with them.
COSBY (voice-over): After a long night, some of these working girls continue to practice their sexy moves around this pole, appropriately placed in the middle of the parlor. And remember 24-year-old Arsenio Bautista? He drove eight hours from Los Angeles to be with Eden. We caught up with him after his romantic transaction, while he was cooling off on a chair.
(on camera): Was it what you expected for $1,700?
BAUTISTA: For $1,700, yes? More than I expected. (INAUDIBLE) She went out of her way to please me, and it was really great of her.
COSBY: Why did you come here?
BAUTISTA: Like I said, to get back at an ex-girlfriend or a current girlfriend (INAUDIBLE) So out of avenge. Plus, it's something I had to get off my list.
COSBY: So you have a current girlfriend?
BAUTISTA: Yes, a current girlfriend.
COSBY: And this was payback?
BAUTISTA: Kind of, yes.
COSBY: How so?
BAUTISTA: Well, she kind of did something also, and it's kind of like back-and-forth.
COSBY: Are you going to come back again?
BAUTISTA: Oh, probably with the same girl, yes.
COSBY (voice-over): The Bunny Ranch receives an average of 100 customers a day, and with this being the most successful of the 28 brothels operating in 10 Nevada counties, Dennis Hof has been given some new and very interesting titles for his bordello accomplishments.
(on camera): You've been called the Colonel Sanders of prostitution.
How do you describe yourself?
HOF: Different people have given me these names. Larry Flynt gave me the pimp master general of America. He'd like to see me in an outfit like Joycelyn Elders or C. Everett Koop. I like to describe myself as a good friend to these girls and a businessman.
COSBY: And when we come back, just who are these girls at the Bunny Ranch? And how did they end up in this line of work? How much they make will astound you.
And later, madam Heidi Fleiss joins us live and is going to break some news about her surprising new business venture. And that's just the beginning of tonight's show. Take a look.
Still ahead, what really happened in the bathroom between those two Carolina cheerleaders? Was it hot and heavy or a bunch of hot air? A woman who says they assaulted her tells me her story.
And Bruce Willis is back with us. Find out why one blogger's quest to tell stories from the battlefield has turned Bruce into a die-hard fan. It's all coming up.
COSBY: We just saw how the famous Bunny Ranch operates, but who are these women selling their bodies for a quick buck? You will be stunned to learn how much money they earn and their backgrounds. Again, we want to let you know that some of what we're about to show you may not be appropriate for children.
(voice-over): There are 500 girls licensed to work as prostitutes at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, 30 to 40 are on duty at any given time. They come from all walks of life, rich and poor, uneducated and with degrees and honors. But they all have one thing in common. They appear to be empowered businesswomen who do not want to work for what society normally pays.
HOF: In the summertime, you get a lot of college students working their way through college. They can come in here and make a lot of money, so during the college year, they don't have to have these menial jobs. They can study, like they should. We have school teachers that are off in the summertime that want to come in and work. We have airline stewardesses that can fly in and out free that'll come in and work a few days here and there. We've had many, many girls work their way through law school. We've had five girls that I know of that have gotten medical degrees, medical doctor degrees.
COSBY: Dennis allowed me to get LIVE AND DIRECT with some of his big-earning ladies, like Shelly Dushell. This 31-year-old twice-divorced mother of two holds a political science degree and a real estate license. She's been working part-time at the Bunny Ranch for almost two years.
After earning $22,000 in the first two weeks, she says she was won over.
(on camera): Shelly, how did you get involved as a working girl?
DUSHELL: I put two and two together. Men liked me, and I needed to make a lot of money. And you know, I could date men and waste my time with dinners and flowers and everything else, or I could actually charge them to spend time with me.
COSBY: And how much do you make a night?
DUSHELL: I average usually $1,000 or $2,000 a day, but on a good day $5,000.
COSBY: $5,000 on a good day?
DUSHELL: $5,000 on a good day.
COSBY: You've been here since 2004.
COSBY: How much have you made?
DUSHELL: I've made probably about $200,000 working just off and on, coming when I want to. I used to fly in and stay about two weeks and go home. And Now I moved out here, and I work just a few days a week.
COSBY: You drove away in a nice Mercedes. You just bought some property?
DUSHELL: Yes. I bought...
COSBY: You're doing pretty well financially.
DUSHELL: Yes. I own a house in Oklahoma. I also bought a house here nearby, a $600,000 house. And I also have a 2004 Mercedes.
COSBY: All with money from this?
DUSHELL: All with money that I made here.
COSBY: Is it about sex? Is it about acting?
DUSHELL: I'm an actress 100 percent. You have to be to work here. But most of the men don't come here for sex, even though that's the whole premise.
COSBY: They don't come for sex?
DUSHELL: They don't come for sex.
COSBY: What do they come for?
DUSHELL: Attention, someone to look at them dead square in the eye, to touch them, to tell them they're doing something right, to tell them that they're special, to tell them that they are a good person.
COSBY: You told me one guy paid you 9,000 bucks. What did you do?
DUSHELL: We had sex for 10 minutes. The rest of the time was spent talking. And then he went to sleep.
COSBY: And he paid you $9,000 for that?
DUSHELL: $9,000. And I've had that repeatedly. He was lonely. He'd never been married, 53 years old, owned his own company, had tons of money and lonely.
I don't want to get any young girls into this business. I would never tell a young girl that she needs to do this. But I was having sex at a young age, and a lot of girls these days are, and they're not having safe sex. And they're getting pregnant, they're getting diseases. And they're getting used.
COSBY: Are you worried about getting a sexually transmitted disease?
I see you've got condoms all over here.
DUSHELL: Yes. I have three different sizes there. I have a regular, a large, and a snugger fit, which is a nice way of saying small.
COSBY: Now, do you get checked?
DUSHELL: I get checked once a week. We do a swab test once a week for certain diseases, like chlamydia and gonorrhea. Then once a month, we do a blood test for HIV and syphilis.
COSBY: So you're worried about getting a disease?
DUSHELL: I worried more about getting a disease when I was dating than here because oral sex is performed with a condom. Sex is performed with a condom. I don't ever have to kiss a man or let him kiss me anywhere I don't want him to kiss me.
COSBY: Give me sort of a sense of (INAUDIBLE) the mood, though, the things you put in here for the mood.
DUSHELL: The little girl in me, possibly, the little ballerina. I did take ballet. And the light is very relaxing. I can lay on my bed and look at that, and I get complimented on that constantly. A little bit of romance in the roses.
COSBY: Little bit of roses here.
DUSHELL: Right, with a little bit of the sexuality in the black kind of fishnet scarf.
COSBY: What are you watching on TV?
DUSHELL: I have a porno in there. I rarely watch TV here. You can see the TV is dusty. But I always turn the porno on silent, so it's on in the background and we don't have to listen to it.
COSBY: And you got a little fireplace here for the mood.
COSBY (voice-over): Another star at the Bunny Ranch stable is Kandi. At 32, the small-town girl from a Methodist family in southern Ohio was an aviation mechanic in the Navy. She married a Marine, got divorced. And when her husband fell way behind on child support payments for her 11-year-old daughter, she made the big choice for the big money.
(on camera): How did you go from being a churchgoer with a church-going family to this?
KANDI: you know, my mom and dad had raised me that not to judge, you know? We're very—you treat people the way you'd like to be treated, to not be judgmental, get to know people before you say or do anything because you got to walk in their shoes before—you know? And you know, it was my mom and dad that had told me, you know, there was Mary Magdalene in the Bible and, you know, Jesus saved her. I mean, she was getting rocks and things thrown at her, you know, for...
COSBY: Did you ever say, I'm going to get struck dead?
KANDI: No, never, because even after every party, I thank God for everything that I have. I thank him for—because to me, when I pray, I don't pray for money, but I do pray that an angel walks in here, you know? And it's—to me, it's a service. You know, it's not like we're going out man-hunting. You know, to me, we're not—the men come to us, married or not, and it's freedom of choice.
COSBY: How many men that come in here are married?
KANDI: The majority.
COSBY: The majority?
KANDI: Yes. I think it's that they're looking for something that they cannot get at home.
COSBY: What's the craziest experience you've had in here?
KANDI: A man and woman, a couple, a married couple, coming in, and the man dressed as a Catholic priest and his wife dressed as the little school girl, Catholic school girl.
COSBY: Role playing.
KANDI: Yes. Role playing, yes.
COSBY: What's the most you've made in one night?
KANDI: On my part, $12,000.
COSBY: Twelve thousand bucks?
KANDI: Mine. Right. Take home.
COSBY: How many hours were you working? How many people were you seeing?
KANDI: Probably over 14 hours and probably close to eight people.
COSBY: What did you say to your parents, Your daughter is a working girl?
KANDI: Yes. I had sat them down at their kitchen table, and I felt like we're all adults here, you know? And I said, Either one of two things. You can either disown Lindsey (ph) and I because she's my daughter, she goes with me wherever I go—not here, you know, I'd never bring her here. But you know, and then I said, Or you can be a part of our lives and accept me because this is what I do.
And then I just told them I work at a brothel. I said it is legal prostitution. And my mom cried a little bit. My dad just kind of looked. And he just said—because they are (INAUDIBLE) that if anything would ever happen to my—you know, anything needed for my daughter, they have access to get money. And you know, my dad was just, like, Well, we kind of had a feeling because you don't make that kind money in dancing for—you know, because I danced for eight years.
COSBY: And coming up, there are also some well-known women who work at the Bunny Ranch. They're the queens of the XXX industry, and they earn even more money. But how long can their careers really last?
And later, “Die Hard” Bruce Willis joins me live to tell me what he saw in the streets of Iraq, something he says the media is not covering.
COSBY: And we continue now with our special and rare coverage of the world's most famous brothel, the Moonlite Bunny Ranch. Some of what we're about to show you may not be appropriate for children because some of the girls, as you just saw—some of them come from small towns or even religious backgrounds. Others are well known to viewers of certain types of movies.
(voice-over): One of the Bunny Ranch's features is that it is also an X-rated fantasy camp for fans of porn films. So they brought in famous adult film stars who are available at the right price. Becca Brat has appeared in over 250 films, is a frequent guest on Howard Stern's radio show. This daughter of a preacher and a school teacher says she earned over $1 million between her films and work at the Bunny Ranch. She is only 24.
(on camera): What's the most you've gotten paid in one night?
BECCA BRAT, PORN STAR, BUNNY RANCH PROSTITUTE: $36,000 I think.
COSBY: Was it with just one person?
BRAT: Just one person.
COSBY: What did you do for 36,000 bucks?
BRAT: Actually, we went up to Tahoe and gambled.
COSBY: Now, you have one special boyfriend.
COSBY: You're dating the owner, Dennis Hof.
BRAT: Some say.
COSBY: Well, he says and you say it. What is it like to date the owner?
BRAT: I get to take off of work whenever I want to, which is cool. And you know, we take trips. And it's fun. Dennis is such a go, go, go person. Sometimes he wears me out.
COSBY: Is it hard to date the owner? Because there's women everywhere around here.
BRAT: That doesn't really bother me. I'm not a jealous person at all.
COSBY: When do you plan to retire?
BRAT: Hopefully, by the time I'm 30.
COSBY: So you have six years to go.
BRAT: I got six years to go.
COSBY: But of all the cast members who work at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, one is undoubtedly a living legend in the world of sex. Her name is Air Force Amy, and as you're about to learn, she lives up to that name in more ways than one.
(on camera): What's the most that you've made in one event?
AIR FORCE AMY, PORN STAR, BUNNY RANCH PROSTITUTE: The most I made in
one event was in conjunction with five other ladies and one really nice guy
COSBY: 1.75 million bucks?
AIR FORCE AMY: Yes.
COSBY: Over how many days?
AIR FORCE AMY: Over like three weeks.
COSBY: Over three weeks?
AIR FORCE AMY: It's not always like that, Rita. You know, we appreciate the little guy, too.
COSBY: But how much did you make out of $1.75 million?
AIR FORCE AMY: A quarter million.
COSBY: Quarter million was your cut?
AIR FORCE AMY: Yes.
COSBY: I read somewhere that your brother sold you when you were 10 years old for half a pack of cigarettes. That's tough.
AIR FORCE AMY: You may think so. I don't think so. I mean, I'm over it. This isn't as a result of my childhood. This is a result of want and free will.
COSBY: This is not because of what happened to you early on? Because folks are going to look and say, “Look what this poor girl went through when she was young.” And then you went to truck stops and did a couple other things.
AIR FORCE AMY: And I made lemonade. It's lemonade. It's lemonade.
COSBY: But you're here by choice now?
AIR FORCE AMY: Yes. It's lemonade. Get lemons, you make lemonade.
COSBY: You go by the name Air Force Amy. You were in the military?
AIR FORCE AMY: I was in the military. I'm a highly decorated veteran of the United States Air Force.
COSBY: What did you do in the military?
AIR FORCE AMY: I was an antiterrorism specialist and an air base ground defense instructor, which meant I took our security police troops out and taught them how to dig in and defend an airway, a runway.
COSBY: And now you're pitching to do this military appreciation day?
AIR FORCE AMY: I told them I would do that, yes.
COSBY: Why did you think it was important?
AIR FORCE AMY: I pray for these guys.
COSBY (voice-over): Amy's love for the military still endures. In fact, on the night I visited the Bunny Ranch, it was Military Appreciation Night. The brothel was offering free sex to soldiers. And a lot of soldiers took the offer. The special promotion was Air Force Amy's idea.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Great, great. You know, we're serving our country, and we're doing good. And then we get hooked up here. So it's great, you know. It's real relaxing. I'm sure I'll come back.
COSBY: What branch are you in?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm in Marines.
COSBY: And where are you from? How did you hear about the special going on here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My recruiter that recruited me when I first started in told me that we were having a military appreciation night down in Carson City and that he'd really appreciate if I came in, that it'd be a great, fun time. So I thought I check it out. And I came here now. And the Bunny Ranch is hooking us up.
AIR FORCE AMY: I'm so grateful that they're defending my freedom to do what I do.
COSBY: And the owner of the Bunny Ranch says between now and Thanksgiving he's prepared to foot the bill for 200 soldiers to have free sex at his establishment, stressing that they have to show proof that they've been over to Iraq or Afghanistan recently.
Well, prostitution might be the world's oldest profession, but the fact is, in the U.S., it's only legal right here now in 10 small counties in Nevada.
Dennis Hof, he's the owner of the Bunny Ranch, believes he has created the perfect business model. He says legalizing prostitution reduces sexual diseases and cuts out shady, dangerous characters often associated with illegal sex trade, the trade that's going on in America today.
So is there any merit in legalizing prostitution? I'm joined now by Heidi Fleiss, who ran a high-priced call girl service catering to the rich and famous of Los Angeles. She was arrested back in 1993 and ultimately served 20 months in prison.
We also have Charmaine Yoest. She is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council, Charmaine Yoest.
Heidi, let me start with you. Should prostitution be legal and why?
HEIDI FLEISS, FORMER HOLLYWOOD MADAM: Absolutely. By making it illegal, it takes away a woman's freedom, takes away a woman's rights. It brings on a black market. It makes it underground. And that's why it's wrong. The women suffer.
COSBY: Charmaine Yoest, I'm sure you have a different opinion. Why?
CHARMAINE YOEST, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: You know, Rita, we have evidence across the world—prostitution is legal all around the world. And what we see, everywhere it has gone, prostitution has exploded.
And what it happens is it becomes a magnet for sex trafficking. Sex trafficking is modern-day slavery. And what you see is child prostitution going along with it.
And so really what we're seeing here in the Bunny Ranch is really an airbrushed version of kind of a “Pretty Woman” version of a Hollywood fantasy ending. And that's not what really happens in real life.
COSBY: You know, Heidi, are we promoting salacious behavior? I mean, you heard in one of the cases, where one of the girl's—her own brother sold her for half a pack of cigarettes. She was 10 years old. Are we promoting and just spurring on just unhealthy, horrible attitudes?
FLEISS: No. How could she say that the Bunny Ranch is sugar-coated?
It's not sugar-coated. It is what it is.
And her comment about it being is—she's absolutely wrong. Here in Nevada, where it's legal, we don't have these kinds of problems that...
COSBY: Charmaine, go ahead.
YOEST: Well, I think you're bringing up such an important point, Rita. And it was interesting to me that everybody you talked to, they continued to say that they wouldn't recommend it for young girls.
And, Heidi, I've seen your writing, too, as well. Every time you do an interview, you say you wouldn't recommend it for young girls.
We've got to ask, why is that? Why do we not think that it's a good idea for young people? It's because we have this gut reaction; we know that intrinsically prostitution is degrading for women.
COSBY: You know, but on the other hand, Charmaine...
COSBY: ... let me a play a comment, because I interviewed—this is a real-life pimp. His name is Money Banks. And what I asked him, you know, let's tell me about your life. This is one the guys who has sort of an illegal business.
And what he told me was pretty nitty and gritty. And this is the reality of what's going on in our country today, whether we like it or not. Let's listen to what this pimp had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MONEY BANKS, PIMPS FOR STREET HOOKERS: We've got street girls. When you have a house like Dennis has, I mean, it's free. All the girls are safe. The girls take chances. Our girls take a lot of chances. Anything could happen. You can get killed, stabbed, robbed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: Now, Money Banks is one of the guys who sort of oversaw Divine, that was the woman that was the hooker who was caught with Hugh Grant, incidentally. So he's sort of one of these celebrity guys.
But in this case, Charmaine, when you hear about what's going on—and, again, nobody supports that kind behavior, no way—when you hear of beatings, rapings—but, unfortunately, that's the reality of what's going on there.
Isn't it maybe better to say, “Let's legalize it; let's do health checks; let's make sure it's monitored?”
YOEST: No, because, internationally, what we've found is that doesn't work. What happens—and I think this is so interesting from a market perspective—is, when you end up with places like the Bunny Ranch, which, you know, it looks good and everything, but that's kind of the upper echelon.
What you have is this dark underside with the child prostitution, with the sex trafficking. And what happens is they come in to illegal prostitution, where you have legal prostitution, and they undercut it in price and they say, “Well, you know, yes, you can go over there to the legal prostitute and pay $1,700, but hey, bud, I've got this great deal for you over here for $100 bucks or $10 bucks.”
And then you don't know, you know, the little girl is 15, 16, and she's been trafficked in from another country in desperate circumstances.
COSBY: But, Heidi, isn't that different? Aren't they two different things that we're talking about, Heidi?
FLEISS: Absolutely, she's wrong. She's right about I don't recommend it as a career, just like you wouldn't want your son to be a boxer and be punch-drunk.
But she's absolutely wrong. It should be—by making it illegal, we rob a woman of her rights. The woman suffers.
FLEISS: By regulating it, women have the power. You don't have the pimps beating them down. You don't have people forced and doing things they don't want to do.
It'll stop this child—parents selling their children into sex trade. It's horrible. The only way to stop it is to decriminalize it and regulate it.
YOEST: That's hopelessly naive. That's hopelessly naive, and it doesn't coincide with any of the evidence that we see internationally.
COSBY: You guys, let me bring in Heidi real quick, because we've just got a little bit of time left. And, Heidi, I want to make sure that we give you a chance. I understand you've got some announcement about some business venture that you're working on?
FLEISS: Working on, I'm swishing it all up. I'm selling men for women, because it's not fair. Women make more money nowadays. Look at the cover of “Fortune” this month. It's all about women. Women are shot-callers. Women are in power. And they need a place to go. So I'm going to provide them with some very sexy men.
COSBY: So, wait a minute. So, Heidi, you're saying that the women are going to be shopping for the men?
FLEISS: Oh, absolutely.
COSBY: Who are these women? And what are you going to be charging?
And where's it going to be?
FLEISS: It's going to be in Nevada, where it's legal. And it'll be $250. And look at, when husbands cheat on their wives or their boyfriends cheat on their girlfriends, they sit home and cry. Now they can go to Heidi Fleiss' stud farm and go right back at you, buddy, and on your credit card.
YOEST: That's a beautiful business.
COSBY: And when are you opening this up, Heidi? When are you opening?
FLEISS: About four weeks.
COSBY: Oh, my gosh. All right.
FLEISS: And wait...
COSBY: Go ahead, real quickly.
FLEISS: ... until you work at the Bunny Ranch, you'll never really know about prostitution.
YOEST: Yes, well, I'm glad you mentioned those wives that are being cheated on, Heidi. It's a beautiful vision, your company.
COSBY: You guys, that's going to have to be the last word. And I'm sure this is not going to be the last of this debate. Both of you, thank you very much. Very interesting, guys. Thank you very much. We'll invite back on, both of you, another time.
And still ahead, everybody, what really happened between two Carolina cheerleaders in a bathroom stall? And a woman who says she was assaulted gives us her side of the story in this.
Plus, Bruce Willis is going to join us live to tell us why he was compelled to make a trip over to Iraq to support our troops. He's going to be with us, back with a vengeance, right after the break.
COSBY: Getting stories out of Iraq is not easy. Bruce Willis found that out firsthand when he went over to visit U.S. troops serving in Armed Forces.
Tonight, we are rejoined by an independent blogger who is bringing back some amazing pictures and stories from Iraq, Michael Yon. And also again with us is actor Bruce Willis, who is back with us on the phone.
It's great to have both of you here. You know, Bruce, I want to start with you. Last night, we talked a little bit about what's happening over in Iraq. You said the media isn't covering the full story. What are we missing?
BRUCE WILLIS, ACTOR: I am baffled to understand why the things that I saw happening in Iraq, really good things happening in Iraq, are not being reported on.
Michael has been over there, was embedded with the members of the Deuce Four, you know, the battalion that actually won the battle for Mosul, that—Michael, correct me if I'm wrong—these are the guys who allowed the election to take place, the election that happened just, you know, a couple months ago, to take place, which is, you know, just a monumental thing. And it's not being reported on.
COSBY: You know, Bruce, you know, let's face it. A lot of celebrities have not been over there. A lot of folks in Hollywood have been very critical of what's happening in the war. Do you think, if a lot of your colleagues in Hollywood went over there, saw it for themselves, they'd have a different opinion?
WILLIS: I absolutely think that. I think we live in a global world.
And I think that—I think America is just too isolationist.
And a lot of big choices are being made. You know, to say this is not our fight, when this is the same fight that this country fought 60 years ago and the entire world fought 60 years ago, for the same kind of terrorism, the same kind of thing.
This is not a new war. This is not a new kind of fighting. This is the same fight. And it's back. And it's time for it to stop.
COSBY: You know, we've seen some of these amazing pictures that we're showing here.
You know, Michael, there's a photo I want to show of a soldier and a baby girl, in particular. Here it is. Why is this photo so meaningful, Michael?
MICHAEL YON, EMBEDDED BLOGGER: Well, I shot that photo on a day when a suicide or homicide car bomber ran into one of our Stryker vehicles, injured a couple of our soldiers, and, unfortunately, there were a lot of children who had crowded around to wave at our people.
And the attackers had every opportunity to just wait a couple of blocks and attack our guys later, without the children being around, but instead chose to attack straight through the children.
And Major Bieger, who is in the photo, found the little girl—her name is Farah—and decided he wanted to get her to the hospital as quickly as possible.
And so he picked her up, wrapped her in a blanket, and loaded her into one of our vehicles and started to take her to the hospital as fast as possible. And unfortunately, little Farah died en route.
We went back to that neighborhood the next day, and the people there actually welcomed us with open arms. They welcomed us into their homes.
We got into a firefight there again the next day. And the people in that part of the city began to give us more and more information about the terrorists until it got to the point where—it's very dangerous to be a terrorist now in Mosul, because...
COSBY: You know, it's incredible to hear these stories, Michael. I mean, it's amazing what you went through firsthand.
And, you know, Bruce, you know, as you're hearing these stories from Michael, I understand why your jaw just dropped when you saw these pictures.
Are you thinking, maybe at some point, you know, playing a role with the Deuce Four? Is that something maybe you'd consider?
WILLIS: We are talking about that right now. But it's not really about the film. It's about these guys.
It's about these guys who do what they are asked to do for very little money to defend and fight for what they consider to be freedom.
And it's not just for this country. It's for the world. It is time for terrorism to stop. And the United States is the country that can stop it. And that's what they're doing over there.
And there is—I have no idea why this country is not getting the information that Michael Yon has, you know, access to, is, you know, showing people. It's just not getting out, and it's baffling.
COSBY: You know, Bruce, in 2003, you admirably offered $1 million for the capture of Saddam. I have to ask you, because just last night we had on our show so many of those pictures, those horrific pictures of what happened in Jordan.
And right now, we've got three thorns in our side. We've got Zawahiri, of course, who is Osama bin Laden's right-hand guy. You've got Osama bin Laden himself. And then you've got al-Zarqawi, the Iraqi who every believes is behind the mastermind of the attack, just those horrible attacks on three hotels just last night.
Are you prepared even right now to maybe offer $1 million for one of them?
WILLIS: Well, that was a conversation I was having with members of the military. I've since been told that military men and women cannot accept any reward for the job that they're doing. It was more about my passion for trying to stop Saddam Hussein.
COSBY: Would you offer that if somebody else, let's say a civilian, is willing to turn one of them in and finally put this to an end?
WILLIS: Yes, I would. Yes, I would.
I want to live in a world, and so do the Iraqi people want to live in a world, where they can move from their homes to the market and not have to fear being killed. And, I mean, doesn't everybody want that? Who doesn't want that?
COSBY: You bet.
And, Michael, I'm going to give you just a few seconds. What are you most proud of? I mean, your pictures just really show the heart and soul there.
YON: I'd actually like to say something about Bruce Willis. He's one of the men who has had the courageous to stand behind the troops. And the troops absolutely respect and love Bruce Willis.
He came out to the Deuce Four redeployment ball in Seattle. And I wonder if he realizes just how much they appreciated that. And it's just so good to see a man of his stature throwing his entire weight behind our people who are in harm's way.
COSBY: It's terrific.
WILLIS: Thank you so much, Michael.
COSBY: And hats off to both of you guys, not just Bruce. And, Bruce, thank you so much for being with us.
And, Michael, keep up the great work you're doing. Those pictures are amazing. And please come back, both of you, anytime. Thank you.
WILLIS: Thanks very much. Keep it up, Mike.
YON: Thanks, Bruce.
WILLIS: OK, buddy.
COSBY: Thank you guys very much.
YON: Bye, Rita.
COSBY: Thank you.
And up next, two cheerleaders are in trouble for getting physical with some bar patrons, after reportedly getting physical with each other. A witness and a woman who says she got more than a left out there. She is with a shiner. She's going to be joining us next. You have to hear what she saw there.
COSBY: Tonight, the back story behind the cheerleader fiasco, from the brawl to what really happened in that bathroom stall. The two now-famous Carolina ex-Panthers cheerleaders are in big trouble for allegedly getting hot and heavy with each other in a bathroom bar. One of them also allegedly punched out a patron.
And, get this, we have brand-new pictures of the girls partying it up at a high school reunion that they crashed just a few hours before their arrest.
Joining me now is the alleged victim of the attack, Melissa Holden, along with Jennifer Chaconas.
Melissa, let me go with you, because I can even seen. You've got a big shiner there. What happened to you?
MELISSA HOLDEN, ALLEGEDLY PUNCHED BY CAROLINA PANTHERS CHEERLEADER:
Well, I was waiting in line to use the rest room, and got hit in the face for no reason, so...
COSBY: Did you say something to them? Did they say something to you?
HOLDEN: No, ma'am.
COSBY: Who punched you?
HOLDEN: The blonde-headed girl.
COSBY: The blonde-headed girl. Was there any conversation, anything exchanged?
HOLDEN: Not from me. There were several other conversations going on, but nothing from me.
COSBY: Nothing from you.
Jennifer, what did you see? You were in the there. What did you see?
JENNIFER CHACONAS, WITNESS: When Melissa got hit, all I saw was the blonde-headed girl stumble backwards, forward, and made contact. And at that point, it was kind of like, “Oh, my god.” And that's it.
COSBY: Did you see her punch her?
CHACONAS: I wouldn't actually call it a punch. She was very unsteady on her feet. And when she made contact, it was kind of like—I wouldn't say it was a punch. It was kind of like she stumbled into her, both hands up. And at that point, that's when everybody was like, “Oh, my god. She hit her.”
COSBY: Melissa, it looks like, at least from our perspective, it looks like a little bit more than just a stumble.
HOLDEN: I've never stumbled with my fist closed, so...
COSBY: Now, did they have sex in the bathroom? What was going on there?
HOLDEN: I have no idea what they were doing in the bathroom. I've said that from the very beginning.
COSBY: Did you see anything interesting or no?
HOLDEN: When I walked in, one of the little girls was on the floor.
But I had no idea what was going on.
COSBY: Jennifer, what did you see?
CHACONAS: I saw the same thing. The girl wearing all black was actually sitting on the floor. She actually had her feet into the stall that was next to them that was not working.
COSBY: Was there anything sexual going on? Or what was going on?
CHACONAS: I never saw anything. And at one point, I was actually right outside of this stall. And I could see through the little bitty crack.
And that was at the point where the brunette was standing up and the blonde was still on the floor. And there was nothing that could be seen or heard, for that matter, besides everybody else in the bathroom yelling at the girls.
COSBY: Let me show a comment, if I could. This is from Renee Thomas.
And I think this is the girl who you say allegedly whacked you, Melissa.
Her attorney issued a statement on Tuesday. And I want to read a little bit from it.
It says, “Ms. Thomas apologizes to everyone affected by the incident, including the Carolina Panthers, the city of Charlotte, Ms. Holden”—meaning you—“and the Tampa Police Department.”
Do you accept her apology? Are you pressing charges?
HOLDEN: I am pressing charges.
COSBY: You are. Assault or what?
HOLDEN: Right. I think it's battery, actually.
COSBY: And any suit or anything else going on?
HOLDEN: Oh, no, no. I pressed the charges that night. So if she had apologized to me that night, none of this would even be happening. So, in fact, she never even admitted that she hit me. She actually blamed it on the other girl that was with her, so...
COSBY: You know, and Jennifer, I have one real quick question. You know, Carolina Panther is a team. The guys have got into a lot of trouble. Is there a bit of a double standard what's going on here, real quick?
CHACONAS: I don't understand what you mean.
COSBY: It's a bit of a double standard. It's women, and they've gotten just so much criticism. Obviously, they shouldn't be punching somebody. But is there, maybe, a double standard for women, all the attention that they've been getting, versus the guys? Real quick.
CHACONAS: I think so, yes. I think that, if a couple of football players had gotten into a brawl, then it'd be, you know, “All right, go, man,” but, you know...
COSBY: All right, guys. Both of you, thank you very much.
And, Melissa, take good care of your eye there, all right?
COSBY: All right, everybody. We're going to be right back.
COSBY: And, everybody, be sure to check out the LIVE & DIRECT blog on our web page. Go to Rita.msnbc.com. You can find out what we've got coming up, plus get all of the transcripts.
And that does it for me tonight. “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY” with Joe Scarborough is going to start right now.
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: Right now in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, they're caught on tape but not behind bars.
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