Alleged ringleader of the Bling Ring speaks out for the first time in new docuseries

The celebrity crime spree that captivated the 2000s.
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The Bling Ring. It was the infamous case that held the mid-2000s captive as everyone watched in morbid fascination as dozens of celebrities were at the mercy of burglaries.

WATCH BELOW: The Ringleader: The Case of the Bling Ring | Official Trailer | BINGE

Behind the string of high-profile celebrity robberies in 2008 and 2009 was a group of teenagers from Calabasas – later dubbed the Bling Ring – who targeted the homes of Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom, and Lindsay Lohan.

At the centre of the controversy was 19-year-old Rachel Lee who, according to her co-defendants, led the burglaries. Lee remained silent while the media and her former friends branded her the ringleader of a series of crimes that captured the culture’s attention.

That is, however, until now. In a candid, first-time interview with Rachel, a new documentary examines her motivations and a group of her friends who broke into celebrity homes in Hollywood to ransack and steal.

Titled The Ringleader: The Case of the Bling Ring, the new documentary is directed by Emmy-nominated filmmaker Erin Lee Carr and features other key people involved in the case.

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Rachel Lee sits behind the camera for the first time. (Credit: Binge/HBO)

What is The Ringleader: The Case of the Bling Ring about?

Per the synopsis, over 10 years later and following a prison sentence, Rachel speaks for the first time intimately about her role in the crime spree and outlines the culture of celebrity worship that prevailed in the early 2000s.

Using celebrity websites to track her victims’ whereabouts, Rachel, along with her friends, targeted such bold-faced names as Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Orlando Bloom, breaking into their homes and helping themselves to over three million dollars worth of watches, jewellery, designer clothing, and cash.

Chronicling the months of burglaries, the drama that transpired in the aftermath of the arrests and prosecutions, and the subsequent casting of blame, The Ringleader: The Case of the Bling Ring sheds light on a culture that led troubled teenagers from a California neighbourhood to go after the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

In the documentary, Rachel is joined by journalists Allen Salkin and Amy Kaufman, Deputy District Attorneys for L.A. County Christine Kee and Sarika Kim, burglary victim Eden Shizzle and Rachel’s father David Lee.

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Several teens targeted high-prolife celebs and their homes. (Credit: Binge/HBO)

Is the Bling Ring based on a true story?

In case it wasn’t clear enough, yes, the ‘Bling Ring’ gang were a real group of teens and young adults who robbed Hollywood’s ‘IT’ stars in the 2000s.

The group consisted of five main members: Rachel Lee, Nick Prugo, Alexis Neiers, Courtney Ames and Diana Tamayo.

Together, the group robbed several celebrities, and even had plans to rob the homes of countless others but were arrested before the plans could come to fruition.

Nick was the first to be arrested, and while he initially denied any involvement, he eventually confessed to multiple robberies. He went on to serve just one year of his two-year sentence.

Following his confession, Diana, Courtney, and Alexis were served search warrants, arrested and charged with residential burglary.

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Rachel was just 19 at the time of the robberies. (Credit: Binge/HBO)

While Diana and Courtney were sentenced to probation and community service, Alexis was sentenced to six months in jail, three years of probation and was ordered to pay $600,000 in restitution to Orlando Bloom

As for Rachel, she was sentenced to four years in prison but was released after one year and four months, being released in March 2013.

Where to watch the Bling Ring documentary

The Ringleader: The Case of the Bling Ring is available to watch on Binge from October 2 in Australia. Sign up here to start streaming.

While you’re there, you can stream other true crime documentaries like The War: Australia’s Bikie Killings, House of Hammer and Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama.

Stream The Ringleader: The Case of the Bling Ring and more on Binge with a 7-day free trial. Subscribe here.


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