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The “second in command” of the burglary group known as the Bling Ring has pleaded no contest in a string of robberies, whose targets include Orlando Bloom, Paris Hilton, Megan Fox and Ashley Tisdale, the L.A Times reported. The robberies took place between 2008 and 2009 and gained even more celebrity status when one of the group’s members, Alexis Neiers, was given a show on the E! Network.
The second in command, 21-year-old Rachel Lee, is the latest member of the Hollywood crime group face these charges in court. On Friday September 23 in Los Angeles Lee cut a deal and is expected to serve a minimum of four years in prison, according to People Magazine.
Before Lee’s day in court Neiers was sentenced to 180 days in jail. The rest of the ring’s members, Courtney Leigh Ames, Nicholas Prugo, Roy Lopez Jr., and Diana Tamayo will be returning to court in mid-November. They have all pleaded not guilty.
Neiers is likely the most famous member of the group. Pretty Wild, a show on E! starring her and her family, aired back in 2010 and followed the Neiers sisters, Alexis, Gabby and Tess, through their world of teenage partying. The show caused some controversy before it aired due to the high profile of the “Bling Ring.” It was canceled after even more controversy over another Neiers girl Taylor’s alleged drug use.
The Bling Ring has been brought back into the spotlight not only because of Lee’s recent court appearance but also because of the new Lifetime movie, which aired Monday September 26, titled simply “The Bling Ring.”
The cast includes Austin Butler (Aliens in the Attic), Yin Chang (Gossip Girl) and Jennifer Grey (Dirty Dancing).
If you missed it the movie will air on lifetime October 1. The movie centers on Zack (Butler) and Natalie (Chang) and their sense of entitlement and belief that the world owes them something. They decide to take it, in the form of the property of celebrities. The pair gets a thrill out of the rush of not getting caught. However, all good things must come to an end.
Hollywood has a knack for glorifying the legally challenged, and the Bling Ring is just one example. Others include Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan. People were glued to their televisions waiting to find out if the women would be sent to jail. Michael Jackson hung his baby out a window and was accused of being a pedophile but the nation came to a halt for his funeral.
Whether they like it or not celebrities can have a greater influence over us than some of our family and friends. People want to dress like Paris or act like Gaga. It is the nature of things for people to want to imitate what they see on TV. Networks should keep that in mind as they plan their programming.