Nevada legal pimp, politician, star of HBO series found dead at his birthday party by Ron Jeremy

In this June 12, 2018, photo, Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof, second from right, celebrates with Heidi Fleiss, right, and others after winning the primary election in Pahrump, Nev. Hof died in October but still received the most votes in the race for Nevada's 36th Assembly District on Tuesday. | File photo by David Montero/Los Angeles Times via Associated Press, St. George News

PAHRUMP, Nev. (AP) — Dennis Hof, a pimp who gained notoriety for an HBO series about his brothel business and who fashioned himself as a Donald Trump-style Republican candidate for the state Legislature, was found dead hours after his extended-weekend 72nd birthday bash, authorities said Tuesday.

Hof was pronounced dead in his private residence at his Love Ranch brothel west of Las Vegas, Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly said.

Ron Jeremy, front right, and Heidi Fleiss, left, walk out of the Love Ranch brothel, Oct. 16, 2018, in Pahrump, Nev. Dennis Hof, a pimp who gained notoriety for an HBO series about his brothel business, was found dead hours after his 72nd birthday bash, authorities said. | Associated Press photo by John Locher, St. George News

Ron Jeremy, a pornographic movie star who attended Hof’s party on Monday night, told The Associated Press that he and a woman found Hof’s body after Hof failed to meet them.

Hof’s eyes “were not full” and his skin felt cold, Jeremy said. “He was totally stiff. And I’m saying ‘Honey, we really have a problem here.'”

A group that included sheriff’s employees and several women watched several hours later as Hof’s body was removed on a stretcher beneath a red shroud, past lawn furniture, Grecian-style statutes and signs advertising the bordello as, “Always Open, Always Tasty, No sex required.”

Wehrly, who also serves as county coroner, said she saw Hof at his birthday party late Monday at a local casino-hotel reception room with more than 100 of his friends, including former Phoenix-area sheriff Joe Arpaio. Other birthday celebrations were held throughout the weekend, according to Chuck Muth, a campaign consultant to Hof.

“He was sitting on a stool talking with people when I left about 10,” Wehrly said of Hof, who she said had celebrated at another party during the weekend in northern Nevada. “I guess that’s partying at 72.”

Authorities remove the body of Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof from the Love Ranch brothel, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018, in Pahrump, Nev. | Associated Press photo by John Locher, St. George News

The sheriff said there was no preliminary indication of foul play but her office was investigating. An autopsy will be conducted by the Clark County coroner in Las Vegas. Wehrly said results of the medical examination could take six weeks.

Hof, who turned 72 on Sunday, was the Republican candidate in a heavily GOP state legislative district.

Arpaio, the former six-term sheriff of metropolitan Phoenix known nationally for his positions on illegal immigration, said Hof was in good spirits when Arpaio left the party around 10 p.m. Monday.

“Boy, that’s shocking,” Arpaio said of Hof’s death.

Arpaio, who lost a Senate GOP primary in Arizona in August, said he had taken part in some of Hof’s campaign efforts and was asked by Hof to speak at the party. The lawman said he delivered his comments to the crowd, wished Hof well and ate birthday cake.

The Love Ranch brothel is seen, Oct. 16, 2018, in Pahrump, Nev. | Associated Press photo by John Locher, St. George News

“The thing I liked about him: He was with Trump and was for the Second Amendment and lower taxes,” Arpaio said in a telephone interview before boarding a plane to Phoenix.

Ahead of the birthday celebration, Hof teased on Twitter that rapper and reality television star Flavor Flav would be there. Flavor Flav’s “Flavor of Love” reality TV series ran about a decade ago, about the same time as Hof’s HBO series “Cathouse.”

Flavor Flav’s lawyer, Kristina Wildeveld, said Tuesday her client did not attend.

Hof owned a handful of brothels in Nevada, the only state that allows them to legally operate.

His Love Ranch brothel outside Pahrump is where NBA player Lamar Odom was found unconscious in 2015.

The brothel was temporarily shuttered twice this year by regulators who said Hof failed to renew licenses and get proper permits for renovations.

About 20 brothels operate in Nevada, mostly in rural areas.

In addition to his legislative campaign, Hof fought a push to outlaw brothels and had problems with local regulators in the two counties where he ran licensed bordellos.

Hof had also been accused of sexual assault on at least four occasions. The Nevada Department of Public Safety has said it was investigating an allegation made in September but has released few details. Hof had denied any wrongdoing.

Besides “Cathouse,” the flamboyant Hof wrote a book titled “The Art of the Pimp,” a play on Trump’s book “The Art of the Deal.”

Wayne Thorley, deputy Nevada secretary of state for elections, said Hof’s name will remain on the November ballot. Thorley said ballots with Hof’s name have already been mailed to voters but signs will be posted at polling places notifying voters of his death.

If Hof wins in the heavily GOP assembly district, officials will nominate another Republican to fill the vacancy, Thorley said.

Hof was running against Democratic Las Vegas educator Lesia Romanov.

Hof also ran for the state Legislature in 2016 as a Libertarian but lost the race.

This year, he ran as a Republican and earned backing from Trump associate Roger Stone and tax-cut activist Grover Norquist, who attended one of Hof’s parties.

He upended Nevada politics this summer when he ousted an incumbent Republican lawmaker in a primary, celebrating at an election night party with former “Hollywood Madam” Heidi Fleiss.

He said the anti-brothel push and regulatory problems he’s faced this year were political retribution.

Written by MICHELLE L. PRICE and JOHN LOCHER, Associated Press.

Associated Press reporters Ken Ritter and Regina Garcia Cano in Las Vegas and Jacques Billeaud in Phoenix contributed to this report.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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29 Comments

  • Redbud October 16, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    Dennis Hof was an inspiration to all, and will be dearly missed. He was an excellent pimp, respected his staff and employees, and a true supporter of Trump. It is our hope that one day we will see the legalization of brothels in the great state of Utah, and finally support one of the oldest professions on Earth.

    • iceplant October 17, 2018 at 9:13 am

      You really ought to seek treatment.

      • KR567 October 17, 2018 at 2:45 pm

        maybe you should take it up with your new Supreme Court Justice. Brett Kavanaugh

        • iceplant October 17, 2018 at 2:57 pm

          Maybe you should come up with a better, less predictable response.

      • Redbud October 17, 2018 at 3:01 pm

        No treatment needed. You are just bitter because you’ll never reach the level of success he did. He will be remembered forever, and you will just be forgotten.

        • iceplant October 17, 2018 at 5:36 pm

          The level of success he… WHAT??? Are you freaking serious??? HAHAHA!!!
          As if being a pimp… A PIMP… is something that I would even remotely consider a success. Wow, you achieved *greatness* by exploiting women as prostitutes. Oh, I mean, ladies of the night. Escorts. Adult service providers. Eh hrmm…

          Gimme a break, man. If that’s what you consider success, I pity you.
          Do you also PAY for your women? Because I don’t and I never have.
          You keep being you, though, Red. I see you. Classy.

          • Redbud October 17, 2018 at 8:03 pm

            These women were not exploited, they were offered employment and opportunity. If you knew the facts and talked to these women personally, they do not feel “exploited” as you falsely claim. They are not looking to be saved. They enjoy their profession and the services they provide. Like you, I would never pay for these services, but there are people who do use these services. If it’s legal and they’re willing to pay the money, then why not? I am not saying prostitution is right, but I believe people should have the ability to choose. It is a freedom enjoyed legally in Nevada and shouldn’t ever be taken away. No one is forcing anyone to do anything, but the option is there. Utah could learn a lot from Nevada.

    • Chris October 17, 2018 at 11:52 am

      Legalization of brothels will never occur under Republican rule, neither in Utah nor in the country as a whole. Republicans overwhelmingly support the “nanny state” prohibitions against drugs, prostitution, gambling and usury. If you think otherwise, you are living in a dream world.

      • tazzman October 17, 2018 at 2:29 pm

        If you think the current crop of democrats would legalize, I have bad news for you. They are just as puritan towards these issues as the GOP, they just don’t have the religious bent about it.

        • iceplant October 17, 2018 at 2:35 pm

          Keep trying to convince yourself of such things, tazz.
          The right LOVES useful “folks” like you. Eat that propaganda.

          • tazzman October 17, 2018 at 3:18 pm

            Well considering you just lashed out at this man representing everything wrong with this country, I think you made my point perfectly. Moralizing.

          • iceplant October 17, 2018 at 5:38 pm

            Lashed out?
            No. I’m pointing out the fact that people are celebrating a man who made a living exploiting women.
            Try to keep up.

    • tazzman October 17, 2018 at 2:30 pm

      He went out with a bang.

  • 42214 October 16, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    R.I.P. Dennis. You were a great man and an inspiration to us all.

  • DRT October 17, 2018 at 8:57 am

    This whole thing is ugly.

  • JOSH DALTON October 17, 2018 at 9:06 am

    Well I guess pimpin ain’t easy. GO FALCONS!

  • iceplant October 17, 2018 at 9:16 am

    Another “patriot” who literally wrapped himself in the American flag. Ugh!
    Why is this pimp being remembered again? He represents everything currently wrong with America.
    Oh, wait, capitalism and greed-driven filth are what we should all aspire to. Right? RIGHT? Pfffff. 😛

    • Real Life October 17, 2018 at 1:17 pm

      You think capitalism is a bad idea? Lemme guess, Bernie Sanders is your guy? Sorry, socialism doesn’t work.

      • iceplant October 17, 2018 at 2:31 pm

        Don’t tell that to countries like Sweden, Denmark, Norway, or any number of other countries where it seems to work just fine and people are happy. But I’m sure you’ll default to some horrific example like Venezuela, right?
        You’re damn right Bernie Sanders is my guy. He’s got more common sense in his pinky finger than the entire whole of Republican existence. Socialism is coming to America. Don’t you forget it.

        • KR567 October 17, 2018 at 2:47 pm

          Getting kind of deep in here peaplant

          • iceplant October 17, 2018 at 2:56 pm

            Too deep for you, obviously.

        • Redbud October 17, 2018 at 2:59 pm

          Just because those countries are happy with the way things are run, doesn’t mean the US should automatically follow. If you think Sweden is that much better, go move there.

          • iceplant October 17, 2018 at 5:27 pm

            “go move there.”

            Says every single misinformed and clueless person. As if moving “there” is so easy.
            Sorry, bud. I’d rather stay right here in MY country and fix the existing problem. Starting now.

        • tazzman October 17, 2018 at 3:19 pm

          Wait, I thought you didn’t like moralizing, preachiness? You are confused it seems.

          • iceplant October 17, 2018 at 5:24 pm

            Not even remotely confused. I am as awake as I have ever been in my life.
            Wanna know something? There are millions of others as awake as I am. And we vote.
            I voted today and sent my ballot through the mail. I wasn’t the only one. 😉

  • Carpe Diem October 17, 2018 at 10:54 am

    If you ride that horse too long, y’all gonna die in the saddle.

  • redrock4 October 17, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    The pimp was totally stiff when Ron Jeremy found him.

  • utahdiablo October 17, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Hell, I though Ron Jeremy was Dead!….hey glad to see you still kicking…keep it “up” Ron

  • Mike P October 18, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    What the heck does a dead pimp have to do with politics? Man, some of you will find any reason to bash.

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