Why Alexis Neiers Haines comes clear in ‘The Actual Bling Ring’

If you consider Alexis Haines (née Neiers), one notorious picture most likely involves thoughts. It is from 2010, when she starred on the short-lived E! actuality present “Fairly Wild.” With mascara streaming down her face, she leaves a hysterical voicemail for Vainness Truthful reporter Nancy Jo Gross sales, who wrote a less-than-flattering story about her involvement within the Bling Ring, with a pointed criticism: She had the truth is not worn six- inch Louboutin heels to court docket.

They had been really “four-inch little brown Bebe footwear.”

Whereas that picture — one which launched a thousand memes — could also be cemented into the minds of viewers who not solely adopted the Bling Ring trial but in addition watched “Fairly Wild,” it is a far cry from the Haines of right this moment. Now, the previous TV character spends her mornings doing prayer and meditation and watering her backyard whereas her canines play within the yard. When she’s not taking good care of her two daughters, Harper, 9, and Dakota, 6, she’s taking an alcoholic to an AA assembly and spending the rest of the day taking calls from her spongeees and different girls in restoration. It’s, the truth is, fairly wild.

If it had been two years in the past, Haines most likely would not be calling, not to mention Zooming. However she is at the moment revisiting the colourful previous, because of “The Actual Bling Ring: Hollywood Heist,” a three-part Netflix documentary the place Haines and Bling Ring member Nick Prugo inform their sides of the story surrounding the 2008-2009 string of Hollywood burglaries . Cozied up within the streamer’s Los Angeles workplace after an extended day of press, Haines has traded within the majority of her glam for a darkish brown sweatsuit, the one the rest of the tireless day — and her Hollywood previous — being her pageant hair, smoky eyes and shiny nails.

Over time, Haines has tried to distance herself from the Bling Ring. So what made her resolve to take part in a buzzy documenteries about it? Director Miles Blayden-Ryall’s nuanced strategy to storytelling, Haines says.

“A few years in the past, I simply wished that my identify and the Bling Ring would now not be related as a result of I felt like I had accomplished a lot extra with my life,” she sighs. “And the longer I have been sober, I’ve realized that we do not heal by pushing away our restoration or our story, we recuperate by proudly owning the entire messy, advanced elements that usually make it actually magical,” she gestures as if she’s casting air spells.

Past recalling how a bunch of youngsters had been in a position to steal from the houses of celebrities like Orlando Bloom, Paris Hilton and Rachel Bilson, the documentary tackles the motivations behind burgling these houses: not justifying it, not condoning it, however contextualizing why the Bling Ring occurred within the first place.

For Haines particularly, it was a lot deeper than stealing from celebrities. “If it was about getting stuff I would not have robbed Orlando Bloom’s home, I might have been at Audrina Patridge’s,” she laughs.

The 31-year-old’s half within the Bling Ring stemmed from her dependancy, which was a approach for her to masks her trauma from abuse. “My story is one which includes incest, early childhood sexual abuse, rape, and it began once I was 4 and went on till I used to be about 8. I used to be additionally abused by my dad’s girlfriends and by babysitters, and I used to be raped once I was 17 by a very highly effective man in Hollywood,” she remembers. Haines wanted cash to gasoline her drug use, to assist her cope. “Habit does not occur in a vacuum,” she asserts. “You do not simply grow to be a heroin addict.”

However the documentary sees Haines taking accountability in a approach she maybe hasn’t up to now — one thing that she thinks will shock Prugo, too. She was lastly prepared to talk her fact, and he or she needed there to be the potential for closure for the victims.

“I feel Nick most likely anticipated me to come back in and to disclaim the whole lot like I had been for 10 years. I do not suppose it was me going, ‘Yeah, I robbed Orlando Bloom’s home.’ He would possibly really be shocked by me proudly owning all of that, saying what I stole and taking accountability,” she says.

Alexis Neiers, right Tess Taylor of E!'s reality series "Pretty Wild" pose for a portrait in Los Angeles in 2009.

Alexis Neiers, proper, and Tess Taylor of E!’s actuality collection “Fairly Wild” pose for a portrait in Los Angeles in 2009.

(Jim Steinfeldt / Michael Ochs Archives through Getty Pictures)

And Haines has accomplished the work to get there: She’s been clear and sober now for 11 years. “The Bling Ring was a large a part of why I ended up getting sober,” she admits. It is why she does not actually thoughts her identify being related to it anymore. However she has one caveat: She needs the work she does within the dependancy and psychological well being areas to be acknowledged — not for herself, however so that individuals could have the important conversations that may assist others heal.

For greater than a decade, she’s tried to spend her life in service, each as a doula and serving to others going by restoration. She’s additionally shared a lot of her private life, from the intricacies of her marriage to parenting to reflecting on her teenage years on her podcast, “Recovering From Actuality.”

Alongside the way in which, her social media presence has grown; she’s grow to be what can solely be described as a wellness-meets-sexuality influencer. The belief she’s constructed along with her on-line group, she says, comes from her personal “authenticity and vulnerability.” “I am unable to let you know the quantity of messages that I’ve obtained from individuals who now share with me their tales of kid sexual abuse, rape, drug dependancy, surviving narcissism or their advanced traumas due to my option to be as weak as I’m,” she displays.

However she’s additionally discovered herself pissed off over time, desirous to share these conversations on a bigger scale. Round 2014 she started writing a column for vice and it appeared like she might need the chance. “I needed to go throughout America, speak to junkies and listen to their tales,” she remembers. However a TV episode she filmed for the media firm, wherein she spoke with somebody who was prostituting himself for medication, by no means aired — and since then, Haines has tried numerous instances to pitch what she believes is a obligatory present about restoration, to no avail.

“I’ve sat down within the workplaces of the top execs at CBS,” she says. “I had a present concept I pitched that was like ‘Anthony Bourdain: Elements Unknown,’ however about medication, and I am going to host it.” She contrasts her proposed strategy with that of A&E’s long-running actuality collection “Intervention.” “’Intervention’ is simply watching junkies get loaded, after which their households yell at them, they really feel like s—, they usually really feel pressured to enter remedy, however they by no means achieved sobriety,” she explains. “It is so way more advanced and nuanced than that.”

In the intervening time, she’s used her on-line presence to reintroduce herself to a broader public — together with elements of herself she had by no means beforehand shared so extensively. Final 12 months, Haines revealed that she and her husband, Evan Haines, had been opening up their marriage and that she was queer. “My sexual identification was one thing that wanted to be honored at that time in my life and explored,” she asserts.

Throughout that journey of self-discovery, she posted photos of her girlfriend(s) and companions, answered unsolicited questions concerning the state of her marriage with grace, educated followers and trolls alike on non-monogamy and confirmed how seamlessly her companions slot in along with her household. When Haines revealed she and her husband had separated by December 2021, she endured feedback about how their resolution to open up their marriage had contributed to the tip of the connection. (Haines is conserving the rationale for his or her cut up between them.) “It is laborious being a single mother,” her voice cracks. “It is laborious rebuilding your life.”

Nonetheless, Haines is reveling in how grateful she is. She has a boyfriend who’s a supportive accomplice, and he or she’s considering a brand new job alternative, working for a pal’s restoration heart in Portland. And he or she has the whole lot she’s ever needed: a home with somewhat piece of land and a backyard within the yard the place she performs music all day. Possibly someday, she says, she’ll have a much bigger yard with some goats and chickens, however for now, she’s at peace. “My life is so good, I do not f— care what occurs subsequent,” she smiles. “If you get a second likelihood like this, the remaining is simply icing on the cake.”

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