Rachel Bilson talks ‘Bling Ring’ with Gabby Neiers and Alexis Haines

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Years after their crimes against her and other celebrities rocketed them to headlines, Rachel Bilson is talking to “The Bling Ring.”

During the latest episode of her podcast “Broad Ideas,” the actor sat down with two members of the notorious group, Gabby Neiers and Alexis Haines— née Neiers.

From 2008 to 2009, members of the group burgled the homes of multiple high-profile celebrities. In 2009, police began to identify members of the group, including Haines, who was arrested.

“It’s been a long time since any of this went down,” Bilson noted at the top of the podcast, admitting that she felt conflicted at first about speaking with the sisters. “To be grown up and actually have real conversations is more important than harboring any awkwardness, animosity, any negative feelings that might come along with it.”

Last month, the two sisters’ stories were featured in Netflix’s “The Real Bling Ring: Hollywood Heist,” which detailed the events and circumstances around the series of break-ins and thefts.

In addition to stealing designer bags and jeans from Bilson’s home, members of the group stole an engagement ring that belonged to Bilson’s mother.

Haines was charged with breaking into the home of Bloom, took a plea deal before the trial, and served 30 days in jail.

In the interview with Bilson, Neiers revealed that in the docuseries, she apologized on camera to Bilson, but her words were ultimately cut out.

“I’m grateful that you’re allowing me to be here to (apologize) to you face-to-face,” Neiers said. “I am so sorry that I ever made the choice to go into your home that night. I wish that I could take it back. It’s been a living nightmare for you for the past 10 years, 11 years. As a mother now, all you want to do is protect your babies, and I know that I stripped you of feeling safe in your home, and I am so sorry.”

In response, Bilson expressed her appreciation to Neiers for her words and for being sincere. 

“You obviously have remorse. I let the actual incidents go so long ago. It’s so important for you, and as a mother, that you fully let go because now you are not that little girl. You have your little girl,” Bilson replied.

Neiers was 15 years old when her role in “The Bling Ring” came to light. Her sister, Haines, was 18.

“I am not a person that lives my life in grudges, regret, negativity, any of that, so I let go of this s— a long time ago. Do I support it? No. Do I watch the movies? No,” Bilson added. “But I’m never a person that holds onto attachments in a negative space… You guys did come here. It’s a very vulnerable position to be in. It takes a lot to confront anything in your past that is uncomfortable in any way.”

Later, Bilson asked Neiers to share what she remembered of the night she broke into the actor’s house. Neiers explained that she broke into Bilson’s while under the influence. The docuseries also delved into Neiers’ struggle with drugs at the time, including a heroin addiction.

“I was pushed through a kitchen window and opened the front door,” Neiers recalled. “I woke up the next morning in my own home, and I had four duffle bags of jeans and I sobered up and realized what happened. My mom and Alexis came into the room. They asked me where the clothes came from. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t know what to say. It was just hitting me what had happened.”

Neiers admitted that the reality of her actions sunk in soon after the event, and she quickly made the decision to distance herself from Nick Prugo and Tess Taylor.

“From then on, reality sunk in of what I did and just the repercussions of my actions. Obviously, I never hung out with Nick (Prugo) and Tess (Taylor) together again,” Neiers explained. “I broke off (from them) immediately. I had my own friends. I started a whole new life because I wanted to try and forget about what I had just done.”

Prugo, who appeared prominently throughout the Netflix docuseries, was the first member of the group to be arrested.

His confession to the robberies ultimately resulted in him ousting the rest of the group, which included Taylor, Rachel Lee (the alleged ringleader), Diana Tamayo, Courtney Ames, Roy Lopez Jr. and Johnny Ajar.

In 2010, a Los Angeles County grand jury indicted Prugo, Lee, Lopez Jr., Ames, and Tamayo for breaking into the homes of celebrities like Bilson, including Orlando Bloom, Lindsay Lohan, Audrina Patridge and Paris Hilton.

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