Despite Alexis Neiers, best efforts, America was determined to put her in front of a firing squad.
Alexis Neiers II | Fifteen More Minutes
Back – People badgered the reality series for glorifying the drug habits of her and Tess. This accusation was simply untrue. The ‘reality’ of the situation is that up until the bitterly ironic, ninth and final episode of Pretty Wild, the show never did anything to even mention drugs, let alone advocate them. In fact, it wasn’t until TheDirty.com and other internet-trash-rags posted pictures of Lex and Tess smoking bongs, that any one out there even knew she was using.
With that in mind, consider then, the equally ludicrous hypocrisy of every person holding one of those proverbial firing-squad rifles on Alexis. No, doing drugs is not admirable, but then again, how many of you ‘executioners’ have ever given thumbs up to a Bob Marley poster, laughed at the funny dogs & cool man-teens in a Bud Light commercial, or thought perhaps it was indeed time that we legalized marijuana- all without batting an eye? But yet, it was these very personality traits that made Alexis ‘Hollywood Garbage’, right? Indeed. Proof is in the poorly spelled blog-pudding:
“i think there white trash for sure there not even pretty they belong in a trailer park”
So profound, eh? I guess none of us ever experimented with things we shouldn’t, never did things we weren’t supposed to, and certainly never knew anyone who did when we were 18, right?
History being what it is, Alexis did indeed put the final nail in her own coffin on December 1st, 2010 when she violated her probation, and was arrested for possession of heroin. But again, put yourself in her shoes, and you can at least understand the downward spiral. First of all, not many people realize that Alexis Neiers was molested as a small child. But forgetting about even that for a moment, just picture the very basics- you’re being raised in a community where this type of behavior is not just ‘cool’- it’s encouraged. Then, after being wrongfully accused of a crime you didn’t commit, while you’re on national television nonetheless, and being absolutely bombarded with the kind of ignorant, uneducated, and downright slanderous remarks I’ve been cutting and pasting in here… I think any one of us might feel just a tad bit inclined to try and find a little means of escape. Those aren’t excuses, that’s just plain human nature. We all have limits on what we can handle. For crying out loud, I occasionally have to crack a Xanax in half just to sit down and pay bills.
Now, suspend reality for a moment, and think about the so-called ‘Butterfly Effect’. What if Alexis had never gone to dinner with Nick Prugo? What if she had decided to stay in and watch movies, or play a friendly game of Scrabble with Gabby instead? First of all, she would have never wound up anywhere near Orlando Bloom’s house that night; secondly, her drug habit may or may not have gone from ‘recreational’ to downright ‘need’… and thirdly, chances are she’d be on the latest cover of Cosmopolitan right now, talking about her latest Angelina-Jolie-esque charity escapade, instead of talking to me about how her life turned to sh*t for awhile- and none of those Internet-backlashers out there would have ever been the wiser about her ‘recreational’ activities.
Or who knows? Maybe Alexis would have slipped that far anyway. I do realize that it’s a bit of a ‘Chicken or the egg?’ reality at that point, and Alexis certainly blames no one but herself, but at least think about it, consider the possibility, and ask yourselves the question, “which one of our self-righteous comments may have been the proverbial straw that broke the Neiers back, and pushed her to that point?” In other words, in addition to learning how to spell, punctuate, speak normal English, and stick to subjects we actually know about, it maybe wouldn’t hurt if we all exercised a little “If you don’t have anything nice to say…” politeness once in awhile as well. Then again, if you’re Nik Richie, I suppose you take all the credit for her miraculous turn-around. You preach to the world about it being your badmouthing o’ love that inevitably saved her life, as if it were the blog-equivalent of being right there, patting her back, holding her hair out of the way, and blotting her pretty little forehead with a lukewarm washcloth… while she puked in the toilet every night. Sorry Nik, I know you mean well, but neither you, nor I, are quite that relevant. Alexis fixed her self, in spite of the backlash.
Speaking of which, it now begs the question… “Yes, where are Alexis and the Pretty Wild sisters now?”
According to Alexis, Gabby is in her first year at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles, and doing well.
As for Alexis herself, let’s take a step back for a moment, and just remember who she is. Let’s forget all the drama, and consider nothing more than the simple fact that we are talking about one of the most aesthetically pleasing women on the planet. Call me weak, but when she first responded to my request to conduct an interview, admittedly, my hands shook a little. Her beauty is literally, just that intimidating. Most would argue that it’s as ubiquitous as ever, if not more so I suppose- after all, ‘cleanliness’ does indeed sparkle by default. Purity not withstanding however, either way, she still possesses a singular whiteness to her eyes that can only be described as ‘swimming in liquid moonlight’, she still has perfectly rounded lips that summon a tranquil, sedative manner of speak that could undoubtedly melt granite into butter, and she still, somehow, effortlessly enthralls a person with nothing more than a day-dreamingly distant-stare employed in perfect musical unison with the timely arching of each eyebrow… whenever she decides she wants your complete, and undivided attention. Similar compliments were a bit glossed over however, when Alexis responded to my first, slightly fawning email- for no other reason than she has simply moved on to bigger and better things. Namely, inner beauty, and for the record, she has that in abundance too.
“I realized just how big my ego was.” Alexis elaborates, “I would go into Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and say things like, ’Alexis, alcoholic…I think. Umm… yeah, my life is so hard right now. I just got voted best mug shot of the year on E! News… My life is over!’ Ha ha. I can now laugh at all of these things because I have compassion for that girl. She was very sick in the head. I can finally laugh at all of the videos of myself on TMZ wasted, falling out of the clubs. The bottom line is that I was a trashcan for drugs, I loved to party. Anything I could do to get out of my head I would use, but in the end, it was me, my needle, heroin and a bottle of Jack.”
In the grand scheme, I personally know how hard it is just to quit smoking alone. In the course of a year, Alexis has not only successfully quit smoking- she’s quit alcohol, heroin, and a bevy of other readily available, and addicting, recreational drugs to boot. I get driving anxiety, and cannot get on the highway without taking a little of the aforementioned, and prescribed Xanax, for fear of losing control and injuring others. Alexis, addicted to all of the above substances (and I’m pretty certain Xanax was on the list too), stood before judges, facing years in prison (certainly more stressful of a situation than driving a Mitsubishi Eclipse on the freeway) and did it sober- and she has stayed sober for roughly fifteen months now. Alexis says it herself best, ”I realized that drugs and alcohol were a temporary solution for a long term problem. I went into treatment with severe sexual trauma, a drug and alcohol problem, post traumatic stress disorder, an eating disorder and a history of unhealthy violent relationships… and I recovered from it all. It is possible.”
So what finally woke Alexis up? She first responds with another joke about her self, “I am now a twice convicted felon, and I am on probation in two different counties. HOT HUH?” then she continues, “The decision was ‘Oh my God, Alexis you can’t stick yourself with a needle one more time. You can’t afford to put a bump in your nose, or rail a pill, or take another chug.’” The Pretty Wild star then explains how clearly, one of the worst days of her life was even then, something she considered a blessing in disguise, “On December 1st, 2010 I was arrested for the possession of heroin and violated my probation in Los Angeles. The cops raided my house because I didn’t show up to probation for months! But I was like, ‘Take me in. I can’t go on like this.’ I hadn’t even thought about treatment at that point… I just couldn’t manage anymore, and I thought going to jail would save me some how.”
Alexis then moves forward in time, “I have been able to accomplish so much in this last 15 months it has been an amazing experience. I feel like I look so much better on the outside and feel so much better on the inside. I’ve obtained that by getting off of the drugs and alcohol, quitting smoking, having a strong spiritual practice including prayer, meditation, by being of service and by my diet and yoga as well. I no longer associate who I am with outside things today such as shopping, sex, men, drugs, parties, friends etc. Those things don’t fill this void anymore. I am joyous and free by having an infinite amount of love for myself.
My sobriety is strong. I still go out with friends see them partying, and enjoy myself. The obsession for me to drink and use isn’t really there any more. I certainly don’t take my sobriety for granted but by having a clear understanding of my boundaries and limits and by putting my sobriety first I have lost the urge. I know that for me it will never be a cocktail or two, so why bother? So, with that being said it’s not about the temptations of the industry at all, even though it’s all around you.”
What shocked me the most, is simply how centered she is. “Part of me is grateful, and knows that this entire situation was divinely planned for my life. That (Bling Ring) case, my drug use, my sexual abuse that occurred in my childhood and teen years, poor choices in friends and abusive relationships… all of it needed to happen in order for me not only to recover, but to also be relatable to any and all drug addicts and alcoholics so I can be of maximum service. If I remain humble, address the past, and not in a way that is seeking acceptance, because I have gotten that from God… but in a way that says “I ALEXIS NEIERS WAS A LYING, CHEATING, DRUNKEN, DOPE FIEND, WHO LIVED AT A BEST WESTERN ON FRANKLIN AND VINE, WHO HAD A TV SHOW, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH… AND NOW WHAT?” It is possible to recover. To use my fame as a way to open the door, and to use my brain to open their hearts and minds to another way of life… so that way I can reach out not only to hundreds of people at a time but millions.”
In all honesty, she is not just centered- she’s centered for someone who’s sixty. Alexis is twenty. The thing that impresses me the most though, is that she never makes excuses, she never drags anyone else into the muck with her, and she never blames anyone but herself. I’m in my forties, and I don’t possess half the strength and maturity she does.
Furthermore, as I alluded to earlier in the article, Alexis Neiers always wanted to do something, as long as it was positive. She just wanted to make a difference. It seems to me, she’s finally figured out exactly where to focus all of that energy. “I asked myself what am I going to do, not just to change me but what am I going to do to help the 86,000 drug addicted teens and youth that are on the streets of California today? That’s strictly counting kids NOT in foster care, or the system, and that number is probably much larger than this in actuality. I then decided to start school to become a licensed drug and alcohol counselor in order to educate myself about this crazy disease that I had, so when I spoke publicly, I could not only tell my story, but also add some substance around it. I completed school in October 2011, and I just completed my internship. I am in the process of working on developing this huge 501c (Non-profit organization). My goal is to open a community building or safe haven for youth and young adults who are trying to get sober. I’d like to provide them with a place not just to get AA, NA, group counseling etc. but also to receive outlets such as job readiness training, classes on how to obtain a GED, and leisure activities as well. I believe in building self-esteem by doing esteem-able acts.”
And then there’s the ever-popular question: Will there ever be a Season Two? “I don’t have any intentions on doing a show like Pretty Wild again. My goal is to use the publicity that I have gotten for a platform to do other things in the industry. The only way I would ever do another TV show is if it was based around recovery, my counseling, or helping addicts or alcoholics in some way, or bringing awareness to this epidemic… whether that is through a reality TV show or a talk show, I don’t know. As far as other media outlets I would consider writing a book or a book series, start public speaking but everything in that aspect would also have to relate directly to the highest good of all and recovery.”
Regarding “Where are they now?” there is still one more sister- Tess. Most people are not aware, but just prior to this interview, Alexis and Tess had not spoken in over a year. Without mentioning specifics, suffice it to say that among Alexis’s many aforementioned hardships, was also the responsibility of letting go of some venomous relationships, and unfortunately, over sixteen years of friendship and sisterhood with Tess was one of the casualties of that decision. However, in a curious twist of life imitating art, ironically (see: Pretty Wild, Season One, Episode 9) Tess was arrested in January 2012 for an extremely large quantity of substances. For the record, again, I will not go into detail, but you can mark it down in your Dayrunner when I say, Alexis has plenty of reasons to justifiably have said to Tess, “Sorry about your luck.” And went on about her day. Instead, Alexis chose to be the bigger person, stay true to her newfound purpose in life, practice ‘karma, kindness, love, and giving back’… and help.
Says Alexis, “I had the honor of being a sister and a friend, and let her detox at my house, and got her into treatment at the Pasadena Recovery Center. She’s doing really well right now and I’m very proud of her.”
Curiously enough, for a person who has had every derogatory comment in the book thrown her way, her Vanity Fair quote, “I want to lead a country, for all I know.” doesn’t seem so far fetched any more. I’d follow a person like this, any day of the week. Alexis Neiers is intelligent, strong, and compassionate. Folks, you were wrong. Alexis Neiers, is a role model.
Then again, I guess there’s always going to be haters out there:
“I think you need years of clean time before you can preach to others about staying clean… sweety.”
It’s spelled “Sweetie”, Sweetie. – Johnny Video, Senior Editor