This week we’re talking to Alexis Haines, who you will probably know her by her maiden name, Alexis Neiers. Alexis was a pop culture sensation in the late noughties - star of the reality TV series 'Pretty Wild', and best known for her involvement in the infamous ‘Bling Ring’, a group of LA teens who were sentenced to prison for a string of burglaries of high profile celebrities in 2009. The case was immortalised by Sofia Coppola’s 2013 movie, 'The Bling Ring', in which Emma Watson starred as Alexis - portraying her as a superficial, materialistic teen with no substance. It was a description first made by Nancy Jo Sales in her article for Vanity Fair, 'The Suspects Wore Louboutins' - but it wasn’t exactly accurate. In fact, viewed ten years after the fact, we think Alexis is one of the most misunderstood women in modern popular culture. Portrayed as a fame-obsessed teen and mocked by the internet, Haines was actually a trauma-informed sexual assault survivor and teenage drug addict. Now, at 29, she's a drugs and alcohol councillor and a public advocate for youth addiction and sobriety. With her husband, Evan Haines, she co-runs the Alo House Recovery Centre, which has helped thousands of people achieve sobriety. She has written a book and launched a podcast on the same topic, both called Recovering From Reality, and is a registered doula - helping advocate for the racial gaps in maternal mortality. Alexis was really open with us about the sexist treatment she faced in the media and court system, and talks about how it feels to have the public’s perception of you be so at odds with who you actually are. We think you’re going to love this conversation.
If you want to find out more about Alexis, listen to her podcast, Recovering from Reality.
Just a warning this episode discusses drug addiction, mental health, sexual assault and suicidal ideation and may not be appropriate for everyone.
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