Why is the Bling Ring's Rachel Lee not in the new Netflix doc?

What happened to the one who orchestrated this infamous string of Hollywood robberies?

the bling ring rachel lee and nick prugo actors pretending to be the bling ring as they rob a home
(Image credit: Netflix)

The Bling Ring's Rachel Lee orchestrated a string of celebrity burglaries in the late 2000s—yet publicly, the blame fell on Alexis Neiers, who actually only participated in one robbery.

In The Real Bling Ring: Hollywood Heist, Netflix revisits the infamous scandal with two of the guilty parties: Alexis Haines (née Neiers) and Nick Prugo (née Norgo). In their tell-all confessionals, Prugo reveals he and Lee got the ball rolling. 

One night, the two had opened a car door and took the valuables inside. Then, they began "checking" cars in L.A. on a regular basis. Eventually, they graduated to home burglaries, and when celebrity addresses became accessible online, that's when they decided to strike. 

Nearly $3 million in stolen goods later, the jig was up for the group of fame-hungry teens who decided to snag possessions from the likes of Paris Hilton and Orlando Bloom. From Chanel mini bags to vintage watches and even drugs, the Bling Ring managed to get their hands on everything

Though Haines and Prugo were keen on sharing their side of the story, the one who brought the Bling Ring to life—and served the most time for the crimes—doesn't make an appearance in the Netflix project. So, what happened to the Bling Ring and where they are now, particularly Rachel Lee?

The Bling Ring: Rachel Lee's participation

Lee ended up serving 16 months for her crimes and seemingly tried distancing herself from the whole ordeal, perhaps a reason why she declined to work on the project.

A statement at the end of the documentary read, "Rachel Lee, Courtney Ames and Roy Lopez Jr. [other involved parties] were all contacted but did not comment on the allegations made against them."

Despite her unwillingness to participate in the project, it appears she and Haines have taken on a similar view when reflecting on the past. Yes, it was a low point, but also a wakeup call.

"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. 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," she told US Weekly in 2018. 

She continued, "If I could do it all over again I would’ve made the right choices instead of the wrong ones. I would’ve changed a lot."

In 2018, Lee graduated from cosmetology school with a focus in hairstyling. Allegedlly, US Weekly insists she's working on a screenplay for a TV drama, but no word as to whether or not there  has been any success—and if she used her own past as a creative influence. 

Oddly enough, she did cross paths with actor Emma Watson, the star in Sofia Coppola's 2013 film Bling Ring, based on these events. She seized the opportunity to say hello while both were attending the 2017 Super Bowl. 

"Hi, my name is Rachel. I just wanted to introduce myself because you were in a movie based upon my life. I actually had the chance to work on the movie but I didn’t feel comfortable at the time," she told US Weekly. "And she put out her hand and said, 'It’s nice to meet you.'"

For a taste of 2000s drama, you can stream The Real Bling Ring: Hollywood Heist on Netflix and 2013's The Bling Ring on Paramount+. 

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.