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October 13, 2019

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Hof friend Fleiss says he had diabetes, health was deteriorating


David Montero / Los Angeles Times via AP

In this Tuesday, June 12, 2018, photo Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof, second from right, celebrates after winning the primary election in Pahrump. Hof, the owner of half a dozen legal brothels in Nevada and star of the HBO adult reality series “Cathouse,” won a Republican primary for the Legislature on Tuesday, ousting a three-term lawmaker. At right is former madam and reality TV personality Heidi Fleiss.

Updated Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018 | 7:56 p.m.

"Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss told authorities that brothel owner Dennis Hof had diabetes and his health had been deteriorating before his death.

Authorities interviewed Fleiss a day after Hof's body was found Oct. 16 at his brothel in Crystal, just north of Pahrump. 

Fleiss didn't elaborate on Hof's health. He was found dead after celebrating his 72nd birthday.

Chuck Muth, his campaign manager for the state Legislature, had said Hof traveled to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota this month for cataracts surgery but his diabetes was under control.

Meanwhile, Fleiss has complained publicly about being interrogated by the Nye County Sheriff's Office, the sheriff’s office said in a video posted Tuesday to their Facebook page. They didn’t go to into specifics of when or where the claims had been made. 

Hof and Fleiss were acquaintances, and in June Hof said that he was in talks of possibly selling the brothel to her and that a deal to document the process for a TV show was in the works.

The sheriff’s department released body worn camera footage of their interview with Fleiss at her residence regarding of Hof’s death in the Facebook post to show the nature of their interaction.  

A deputy questions Fleiss about Hof giving her a marijuana edible the days before he died, asking if she thought the batch of edibles might have had anything to do with his death.

The deputy told Fleiss she wanted to ensure Hof wasn’t poisoned because someone revealed to them that Fleiss said the edible “knocked her out for a day and a half,” causing her to miss one of Hof’s birthday events. 

“No. I can probably handle 10 Xanax bars,” Fleiss said in the video clip. “That’s substance abuse issues. But marijuana, I’ve tried so hard to make that a thing instead of what I struggle with off and on, but marijuana is just not for me.

“The other time someone gave me an edible, I took it on a Thursday and woke up on a Sunday.”

Fleiss claimed Hof had a prescription for the edibles for diabetes-related issues and that she had seen his health deteriorate.

After stating she is sensitive to marijuana’s effects, a deputy asks Fleiss again to make clear that the edible didn’t affect her like it did because it was possibly laced with another drug.

Fleiss reiterated that she was 100 percent sure the edible was not altered.

“You’ll see in the toxicology,” she said in the video. “Not a chance.”

Authorities say there's no indication of foul play. Autopsy results are expected in six weeks.

Fleiss couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.