The Bling Ring’s Alleged Leader Rachel Lee Revisits Infamous Celebrity Crime Case in New Documentary

Rachel Lee, the alleged leader of Hollywood's infamous Bling Ring, is telling her side of the story about the crime spree that featured celebrity homes as the group's targets.

By Kisha Forde Sep 22, 2023 1:55 PMTags
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Rachel Lee is heading back to the Hollywood Hills—in a sense.
The alleged leader of the infamous Bling Ring will revisit the crime spree that made her and a few other teenagers, including Alexis Neiers and Nick Prugo, household names in the early aughts in an upcoming HBO documentary.
"Most people, if they saw me on the street they'd be like, 'Oh she's just a normal person,'" Lee says in the documentary's trailer. "But there's always anxiety. What if they realize who I am and what I did with the Bling Ring?"
As a refresher, the Bling Ring was the nickname given to the group of teens and young adults who targeted homes belonging to a few celebs such as Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom, Rachel Bilson, Lindsay Lohan and Audrina Patridge. (They were later convicted of multiple thefts in the wake of their spree, which is believed to have occurred over the course of nearly a year until August 2009.)

"I didn't like my world," Lee continues in the trailer. "Going into a celebrity home and trying on their stuff, I was able to live in their world."

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Though counterparts like Neiers and Prugo have detailed their involvement in the burglaries more than a decade later—including in Netflix's The Real Bling Ring: Hollywood Heist—Lee will finally share her side of the story at length. As someone in the trailer explains, "Everyone else has been like, 'She was the mastermind. She was the ringleader.'"

In October 2011, Lee pleaded no contest to burglarizing Patridge's home and was sentenced to four years in state prison. (Other charges including conspiracy to commit burglary and receiving stolen property had been dismissed.) She was granted parole in 2013.

And in the decade since her release, she's has only spoken out once before, reflecting on the legal trouble she ran into as a 19-year-old.

"As a teen, I was chasing love in all the wrong places and by the time I realized, it was too late and I was in prison," Lee, now in her early 30s, told Us Weekly in 2018. "I truly feel prison was a blessing in disguise—the best thing that ever happened to me. It made me realize you can only trust yourself at the end of the day."

The Ringleader: The Case of the Bling Ring debuts on HBO and will be available to stream on Max Oct. 1.

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