Rachel Bilson

“Pretty Wild” Reality Star Gets 6 Months Jail For Orlando Bloom’s House Burglary

Alexis Neiers

Alexis Neiers

“Pretty Wild” Reality Star Gets 6 Months Jail For Orlando Bloom’s House Burglary. “Pretty Wild” reality star Alexis Neiers has been given 180 days of jail for robbing Orlando Bloom’s home. The 18-year-old aspiring model pleaded no contest in her role in the infamous Burglar Bunch crimes, which targeted Hollywood celebrities’ homes. According to her lawyer, the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star’s decision to testify against her prompted her decision to plead no contest, thinking that the weight of a celebrity testifying against her would be bad for her case. As a result of the plea deal, she has been given six months jail sentence, which she is expected to begin next month. Neiers is accused of stealing $600,000 worth of stuff from the actor, which includes 5 Rolex watches worth $450,000 in all, a $20,000 ring, two paintings worth $25,000, and $4,000 in cash, according to the documents obtained by TMZ. She is part of the ring of house robbers dubbed by the media as the Burglar Bunch, who targeted the homes of young celebrities, such as Bloom, Lindsay Lohan, Rachel Bilson, and Paris Hilton. She is currently seen in the E! network reality show “Pretty Wild,” which follows the exploits of three sisters as they make their way into the Hollywood social scene.

Never do anything you don’t want on the front page of the L.A. Times

Never do anything you don't want on the front page of the L.A. Times

Never do anything you don't want on the front page of the L.A. Times

When detectives investigating a rash of burglaries at the homes of young celebrities raided a Westlake Village house in October, they turned up a Marc Jacobs handbag reported stolen by the actress Rachel Bilson, a Chanel necklace reported missing by Lindsay Lohan and an E! channel camera crew filming a reality show.   Police booked an 18-year-old who lived in the home on a first-degree residential burglary charge, a felony that carries up to six years behind bars. But for the young woman, Alexis Neiers, and her family, there were worries beyond prison. “My family is in so much debt. If this TV show falls through, you don’t know how bad this is going to be,” her sister complained to a reporter a few days later.   As it turned out, E! not only continued filming “Pretty Wild,” a show about wannabe-starlet sisters, but seized on Neiers’ alleged connection to the so-called Bling Ring to promote it. If anyone is still keeping track of the lines transgressed in reality TV, “Pretty Wild” would seem a moment to take note.   Unlike celebrities who’ve turned their criminal cases into reality plot lines of redemption — the rapper T.I. or NFL quarterback Michael Vick — Neiers has no fame outside the burglary charge, making her televised story seem less a fall from grace than a rise through infamy.    “If marketing a felony is a way to get buzz going, then to a network it’s a no-brainer. It’s cheesy, it makes crime cool, and it may make you want to take a shower after you watch,” said Marty Kaplan, a professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.  E! declined to make Neiers, who has pleaded not guilty, or her mother, who also appears on the show, available to discuss the program. Suzanne Kolb, E! president of marketing, news and online, defended the decision to continue with “Pretty Wild.”   “You can’t be shooting a reality show and be upset when reality happens. . . . [Neiers' family] didn’t become less interesting when this happened,” she said.  She denied that E! was rewarding bad behavior with fame and said the series will show the fallout “of being accused of something that Alexis maintains she didn’t do.”  “We’re really heavy on the consequences, which is the reverse of glorifying it,” she said.  E! greenlighted the show in August after the Bling Ring robberies started but before Neiers was identified as a suspect. The network is positioning the sisters — Neiers, 19-year-old model Tess and 15-year-old Gabby — as coarser versions of the Kardashians, the network’s marquee reality family. Like the Kardashians, there is a family matriarch, a reserved stepfather and a burning desire for the limelight, but the Neiers family is portrayed as a hard-partying bunch — “Three sisters raising hell in the city of angels.”    The two older sisters writhe through a nightclub in the opening episode, spinning around a stripper pole, throwing themselves at astreet hustler-turned-rapperwho’s casting a video, and ignoring cellphone calls from their mother. The mother, Andrea Arlington, brags about giving all three of her “wild and crazy” daughters the prescription stimulant Adderall each morning as a treatment for attention deficit problems and regales the camera with tales of her own out-of-control youth. “I was in Playboy a lot back in the ’80s,” she says.  The show was in its initial days of filming when police arrested Neiers as an alleged member of the Bling Ring, a circle of half a dozen friends, mostly teenagers, accused of burgling $3 million in art, designer clothing and other items from the residences of celebrities including Orlando Bloom, Paris Hilton and Megan Fox. Neiers is accused only in the July burglary of Bloom’s home, a crime caught on security video, although detectives found what they say is evidence from break-ins at the homes of Bilson and Lohan in Neiers’ house. The group’s tactics — they allegedly used TMZ.com to track their victims’ movements — and motives — authorities described the reputed ringleader as obsessed with fame — made the arrests an international media sensation.  The surprised producers quickly adjusted to the charges. The lead LAPD investigator said that when officers served a warrant on Neiers’ home, an E! camera crew asked to film the search.  “We said absolutely not,” Det. Brett Goodkin recalled recently. Neiers was taken to a Hollywood police station for questioning. She told police she had no idea her friends and acquaintances were robbers and was so drunk and horrified when she realized they were ransacking Bloom’s house that she vomited and urinated in his bushes.  Arlington was at home when her daughter was handcuffed, but according to Goodkin, she didn’t arrive at the police station for hours. At that point, he said, she was wearing makeup and a microphone, and had a camera crew in tow. He said she wanted the crew to film the interrogation, a request police denied. (In the premiere, Arlington, a self-help devotee, blames the delay on her decision to “center” the family with a prayer circle before going to the station.)   “My impression of the Neiers family was that they were more concerned about the reality show than the crimes we’re alleging she committed and the possible legal consequences,” Goodkin said.  E! declined to say how much it was paying Neiers, but successful reality TV participants can parlay their fame into lucrative endorsements and additional television gigs.  While other defendants agreed last year to repeated postponements of their cases in Superior Court — a routine practice that can allow time to share evidence and work out plea deals — Neiers refused. That made her the sole defendant at a preliminary hearing in December covered by a crowd of reporters. Among the media outlets recording the proceedings — in which two police detectives laid out the evidence — was E!  Kolb, the network executive, said the show required all aspects of Neiers’ life be documented and that E! never instructed her how to handle her criminal case. Neiers’ attorney said the filming schedule was unrelated to her speedy trial demand.  “It’s a constitutional right. We had legal and strategic reasons for doing so. It has nothing to do with anything else,” Jeffrey Rubenstein said.   He said he was taking the case, set for April trial, seriously, but the premiere suggests a more eye-rolling tone from his client — or at least the show’s editors. After he tells Neiers, “I’m here to be your lawyer, so far as I am concerned, you’re grounded,” she stares at him blankly and the camera cuts to a shot of her gyrating on another stripper pole. “Yeah, right,” she says.   Asked if participating in “Pretty Wild” was wise in light of charges, her attorney paused and then said, “Client control is always an issue in my business. In this case, it may just be a bigger issue.” Kolb said E! was hoping for an acquittal but prepared to rely on other family members for material should Neiers be incarcerated. She added she knew of no complaints about the show from advertisers. Kaplan, the USC professor, said everyone involved — E!, Neiers and her family and even viewers — may be getting exactly what they want.  After her daughter is released on bail, Arlington asks, “What have I been telling you since you were little girls?”   In unison, her daughters reply, “Never do anything you don’t want on the front page of the L.A. Times.”

Robert Pattinson, Zac Efron Nominated for Choice Male Hottie Teen Choice Award

taylor-kitschRobert Pattinson and Zac Efron are vying for Choice Male Hottie Teen Choice Award with the likes of Chace Crawford, Jonas Brothers, and Taylor Kitsch.  The list of nominees for 2009 Teen Choice Awards has been unveiled and it sees the likes of Robert Pattinson and Zac Efron being nominated for Choice Male Hottie prize. Both movie heartthrobs vie for the category with fellow actors that include Chace Crawford, Jonas Brothers, and Taylor Kitsch. Zac and the Jonas boys, additionally, are nominated for Choice Red Carpet Icon: Male. Their competitors for the gong include “American Idol” season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert, Justin Timberlake, and Kanye West.  As for Choice Female Hottie Teen Choice Award, the nominees are Miley Cyrus, Megan Fox, Vanessa Hudgens, Beyonce Knowles, and Blake Lively. Miley, in the meantime, is also nominated for the category of Choice Red Carpet Icon: Female. She competes against the likes of Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Rachel Bilson, and Eva Longoria. Beside them all, this year’s Teen Choice Awards also lists senior actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie among its nominees. The celebrity partners are vying for the category of Choice Celebrity Activist.  2009 Teen Choice Awards will be aired Monday, August 10, on FOX. Jonas Brothers have been tapped to serve as both hosts and performers at the 11th annual awards gala. Fans ages 13-19 can vote once each day for their favorite in movie, TV, music, and other categories starting from today at Teen Choice Awards 2009.

List of 2009 Teen Choice Awards Nominees in Sports and Other Categories:

Choice Male Hottie
Chace Crawford
Zac Efron
Jonas Brothers
Taylor Kitsch
Robert Pattinson

Choice Female Hottie
Miley Cyrus
Megan Fox
Vanessa Hudgens
Beyonce Knowles
Blake Lively

Choice Web Star
Will Ferrell
Fred
Perez Hilton
Ashton Kutcher
Andy Samberg

Choice Red Carpet Icon: Male
Zac Efron
Jonas Brothers
Adam Lambert
Justin Timberlake
Kanye West

Choice Red Carpet Icon: Female
Rachel Bilson
Miley Cyrus
Selena Gomez
Demi Lovato
Eva Longoria

Choice Comedian
Dane Cook
Kathy Griffin
George Lopez
Amy Poehler
Andy Samberg

Choice Celebrity Activist

Leonardo DiCaprio
Angelina Jolie
Hayden Panettiere
Brad Pitt
Natalie Portman

Choice Athlete: Male
David Beckham
Kobe Bryant
Roger Federer
Michael Phelps
Tiger Woods

Choice Athlete: Female
Shawn Johnson
Nastia Liukin
Danica Patrick
Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor
Serena Williams

Choice Action Sports Athlete: Male
Paul Rodriguez (Skateboarding)
Ryan Sheckler (Skateboarding)
Kelly Slater (Surfing)
James Stewart (Motocross)
Shaun White (Snowboarding)

Choice Action Sports Athlete: Female
Gretchen Bleiler (Snowboarding)
Torah Bright (Snowboarding)
Stephanie Gilmore (Surfing)
Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins (Skateboarding)
Carissa Moore (Surfing)

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