Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring was initially based on Nancy Jo Sales’s Vanity Fair article “The Suspect Wore Louboutins.” The author eventually expanded her initial piece into a full-fledged book called The Bling Ring: How a Gang of Fame-Obsessed Teens Ripped Off Hollywood and Shocked the World. By virtue of its length, it is able to delve much deeper into the case than the article or even Coppola’s film. Here are our ten favorite tidbits from the book:
1. Other notable attendees of Indian Hills, where the Bling Ring attended high school? “Erik Menendez, who killed his parents … and Katie Cassidy, David’s daughter; she was on Gossip Girl.”
2. Bling Ring leader Rachel Lee did, in fact, hit the bathroom during the robbery of Rachel Bilson’s house. Says Nick Prugo: “We were in Rachel Bilson’s bathroom and Rachel just had to go, so she just … yeah. I remember the incident so well. I can recall the smell, which is really nasty, disgusting. When you’re in there,” robbing someone’s house, that is, “you have a rush, like I’ve had to pee when I’ve been in there, but I would never use their bathroom, just in fear of that maybe some type of evidence would be left there. I think that’s weird, personally.”
3. Courtney Ames has no sense of smell. The other members of the Ring would play tricks on her by putting cans of tuna into her car so everything smelled like rotten fish … including Courtney.
4. Poor Courtney also was bullied by Alexis Neiers and Tess Taylor: “There was this song called ‘Sexy Can I’ by Ray Jay” — about a man with a taste for designer fashions (“Gucci on the feet, Marc Jacob on the thigh”) begging a hot girl to have sex with him (“Sexy can I?”) — “and basically me, Alexis and Tess made it into a song about Courtney … It was like, ‘Courtney can I’?”
5. Johnny Ajar (a.k.a. “Johnny Dangerous”) bought the pistol stolen from Brian Austin Green’s house “because the stupidest fucking thing to do would be to let them run around with that.”
6. Though TV show Pretty Wild (and The Bling Ring) depicts the Neiers girls (plus live-in friend Tess) being homeschooled, they had long graduated by the time the reality series aired.
7. In the film, the kids sing along to Rick Ross while driving through the streets of California. In real life, while driving, they listened to “a techno-y song” called “Satellites.” After “doing a mission,” they would often also pump Lil Wayne’s “Got Money.”
8. One of the Bling Ringers did, in fact, steal a rug from Orlando Bloom’s house: “It’s a very odd thing, because these things hit you later,” Bloom said.
9. Nick Prugo and Rachel Lee sent e-mails to TMZ planting a story that Nick was a friend of Lindsay Lohan’s and had been “hanging out with her on the Burbank, California set of ABC Family film Labor Pains” in order to arouse suspicion that Lohan had been involved in the burglary of her own house. It worked. TMZ posted “LiLo May Have Connection to Burglary Suspect” on September 22, 2009.
10. Alexis Neiers didn’t just happen to be in jail at the same time as Lohan (as the movie details), but she also was fortunate enough to stay in the same cell that Paris Hilton occupied when she was there in 2007 for violating her probation.