Other Los Angeles crimes and scandals offered inspiration for HOLLYWOOD DOWN LOW, too. In the early ’90s, the City of Angels provided a plethora of lurid national headlines, including:

  • Heidi Fleiss, the Hollywood Madam, Arrested.

With the arrest of Heidi Fleiss, the Hollywood Madam, a prostitution scandal rocked Hollywood in the summer of 1993. Fleiss ran a prominent call girl operation catering to L.A.’s rich and famous. Her “little black book” (actually a 28-page red Gucci planner) became the talk of Tinseltown. The book reportedly contained names of actors, musicians, sports figures, directors, studio executives, and politicians. But Fleiss kept the contents a secret at trial. The only celebrity revealed to be a Fleiss client was famous bad boy actor Charlie Sheen.

In HOLLYWOOD DOWN LOW, Allison uses the Heidi Fleiss scandal to help her get leverage with a powerful Hollywood producer. Charlie Sheen also makes an appearance.

  • Eric and Lyle Menendez Murder Their Parents. 

In March 1990, the police arrested Beverly Hills brothers, Lyle (age 22) and Erik Menendez (age 19), for the murders of their parents. Initially, investigators didn’t suspect the brothers in the “gangland-style killing.” But the two aroused interest when they immediately spent $700,000 of their $14 Million inheritance on luxury items. Investigators also learned that Erik had written a screenplay where a character murders his parents for money. The ex-mistress of the brothers’ psychiatrist then told police that Erik had confessed to the murders. The case cracked wide open.

At their high-profile trial, the brothers claimed they’d killed their parents to end years of child abuse, not to get their inheritance. That argument persuaded a few jurors. The first prosecution ended in a mistrial in 1994. A jury finally convicted the brothers in 1996. Both were sentenced to life in prison.

In HOLLYWOOD DOWN LOW, two partygoers at the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval dress-up as the infamous Menendez brothers, wearing blood-spattered crewneck sweaters.

  • O.J. Simpson Tried for Double Homicide.

Did O.J. Simpson murder his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman? The “Trial of the Century” found O.J. Simpson innocent, but many people still believe Simpson was guilty. It was a crime, trial, and media circus like no other. The murders remain officially unsolved.

In HOLLYWOOD DOWN LOW, which also takes place in 1994, the O.J. Simpson case proceeds in the background of events.

  • Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s Sex Tape Stolen.

Tommy Lee, drummer for hair metal band Mötley Crüe, and Baywatch bombshell Pamela Anderson made headlines when they eloped on a Cancun beach after a four-day courtship. The drama surrounding their marriage hit overdrive when a disgruntled contractor, who’d been fired from a renovation job at the couple’s home, stole their sex tape. The contractor and his friends set up websites to sell copies of the video.

When the couple learned their sex tape was missing, and that Penthouse had a copy, they filed a $10 Million civil suit against Penthouse, the contractor, and other people they believed had copies of the tape. In 1997, a judge dismissed the lawsuit but enjoined further sale of the sex tape. However, another judge refused to stop website Club Love from broadcasting the tape. Lee and Anderson sued Club Love’s owners. They settled for $740,000 each. Unfortunately, Club Love had gone out of business, and Lee and Anderson never saw a dime.

In HOLLYWOOD DOWN LOW, a missing sex tape that features a murdered movie star figures prominently in the homicide investigation.


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