From the Bling Ring to the sober life Alexis Neiers has lived one wild and intense story. The infamous true Hollywood story of teens robbing the luxury homes of celebrities that eventually inspired a film entitled Bling Ring created a lot on controversy for its time. As the most public member of the Bling Ring, Alexis Neiers was starring in a reality show that would be titled Pretty Wild and was at the time in the grips of an intense drug addiction. At age 21 Neiers began creating YouTube video logs, personal blogs and several interviews for the web-series VICE in the aftermath of the whole situation to touch on the disease of addiction, and her experience.
The whole situation erupted in 2009. Neiers pleaded no contest to the charges of felony burglary and was sentenced to 180 days in jail, of which she only ended up serving a total of 30 days. She was ordered to serve three years’ probation, and had to pay a fine of $600,000 to Orlando Bloom, who was just one victim in the illegal shopping spree. Circumstances did however change her life when she ended up in rehab down the line.
History of Addiction
“My dad was an alcoholic and addict and suffered a lot of physical abuse. My parents divorced when I was very young. I had a lot of trauma as a child, but I kept it in. So I was weird. Someone finally made the recommendation to my mom—a single mom who was doing her best—to take me to a psychiatrist. And that psychiatrist put me on medications.”
Alexis’ drug problem had taken roots in her early years, and after its evolution from behavioral medications to hard substance abuse, it eventually played a major role in her involvement with the other girls charged with the robberies of the Bling Ring. In one of the interviews with VICE Alexis admitted that when she and her sister originally decided to try and air the reality show Pretty Wild it was not her intention or desire to really get famous, but to support her growing drug habit.
“I was smoking 20 or more 80 mg Oxy’s a day, I was doing tons of cocaine, I was pan-handling for drugs. I had an over $10,000-a-week drug habit. What you were seeing on TV was not what was really going on.”
Alexis first picked up the habit of cocaine and meth in 8th grade, she also describes a long list of substances she actively used during the filming of her reality show, and during the time of the robberies. With those listed she said there were probably others she cannot remember.
- OxyContin (Oxy’s)
Alexis had got caught with heroin and arrested shortly after being released from jail and missing several probation appointments.
“I was in complete denial. I tried to drown myself in the toilet. I was in so much pain because of the detox from opiates and benzos.” Luckily for her one day in court she had a spontaneous moment of clarity when she spoke out to the judge.
“I remember saying to the judge, ‘I’m a heroin addict. I’m 19 years old. I can’t stop using heroin.’ I remember envisioning myself walking through that courtroom and having this presence of God on my shoulder, protecting me.”
Alexis’ Road to Recovery
The road to recovery was freely laid out before Alexis after her admission. There was a man who was in the courtroom audience that day who offered to take Alexis into his rehab for a year on a free scholarship. Much later when she asked him why he had let her with no charge, he gave her an inspiring answer, “It’s living amends for all the women that I hurt when I was using.”
In the interviews with VICE the former reality-star turned drug counselor maintains her innocence in the crimes openly. Since the whole ordeal Alexis has given birth to a baby girl with her husband, Evan (whom she met while attending meetings in a 12 Step fellowship) and she is a volunteer at her husband’s sober living facility.
Alexis hopes to use her experiences to speak at high schools, sponsor young recovering addicts, and she is in the process of writing her memoir’s in an attempt to inspire other young women struggling with addiction.
One insightful video from the VICE interviews actually shows Alexis picking up her ex-boyfriend who was at the time actively smoking crack and using heroin to take him into a detox. Both go into great detail as to their experiences in addiction and recovery. Alexis says she is now over 3 years sober, and works actively in the recovery community and could not be happier. She no longer desires the money, the jewels, or the life of drugs and fame, and that all she needs is her family.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135