Two Bling Ring members are “essentially rats” for appearing in Netflix’s new series about the infamous celebrity domestic crime spree, a close friend of the gang’s “leader” has said.
Wendy Feldman, a crisis expert who counseled Bling Ring co-conspirator Rachel Lee before she went to prison, criticized Nick Prugo and Alexis Neiers for appearing in the streaming service’s documentary.
She told The US Sun that they are holding on to their infamy and trying to stay in the spotlight by appearing in The Real Bling Ring: Hollywood Heist, which opens Wednesday.
Prugo, Neiers and Lee, along with Diana Tamayo and Courtney Ames, made headlines for burglarizing the homes of Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Audrina Patridge, Orlando Bloom and Rachel Bilson, among others.
The group was in their teens and 20s at the time an estimated $3 million worth of designer clothing, jewelry and cash was stolen.
Feldman, who said she and Lee refused to appear in the documentary, accused Prugo and Neiers of being addicted to fame and hyping up the crime spree.
‘ADDICTED TO FAME’
Feldman said that Prugo and Neiers’ portrayal of Lee, who had just turned 18 at the time, as the “leader” was wrong and said that the pair were “rats” who are “addicted” to the spotlight.
“The documentary features Alexis and Nick, who were essentially just rats who went straight to the authorities and pinned everything on Rachel Lee. I have no respect for that,” Feldman said.
Based on the trailers he has seen, he said the documentary is “very biased” against Lee, who was painted as the ringleader.
“I don’t know of any 18-year-old who can organize everyone,” Feldman said. “Accrediting her as the head of an organized crime syndicate is ridiculous.”
Feldman said that he did not want any part of the documentary that featured Prugo and Neiers.
“It’s sad that they haven’t been able to move on with their lives and they talk about a crime spree that they committed a long time ago,” he said.
“Wanting the cameras on you, in a way, has become a kind of addiction, similar to what drives them to steal everything.”
Prugo and Neiers could not be reached for comment.
CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRIME
Lee was expelled from Calabasas High School and served a 16-month sentence, and Neiers and Prugo also served time.
Feldman said Lee is “sorry” for her actions, but wonders if Prugo and Neiers feel any remorse for their actions or love reliving “the thrill” of their crimes for fame.
Lee, who became close friends with Prugo at Indian Hills High School, has never spoken at length to the media about the crimes and never will.
“After all these years, she moved on with her life and there was no reason to come out and say anything,” Feldman said.
“Is there any reason now to come out 12 years later and say I’ve changed my life? No. Because the only people who would care about that would be your friends and family.
“The world doesn’t need to know anything. She doesn’t lead a public life. She never wanted to be the center of attention.”
‘STORY WITH A MORAL’
Netflix has billed the show as a “story that has never been told”.
The synopsis reads: “First it was the reality series, then came a Hollywood movie, but the truth about the Bling Ring robberies has never been told…until now.
“10 years after the notorious heists, the culprits have served their jail time and are coming forward to tell the true story behind the Hollywood Hills home invasions that took over the nation.
“A cautionary tale for today’s teens, the docuseries shows what can happen when a culture obsessed with fame and celebrity meets the rise of social media and spirals out of control.”