A woman who was part of a teenage gang dubbed the Bling Ring, who stole $3million worth of goods from celebrity homes, claims she has ’empathy’ for her past self.
Alexis Haines, who lives in Los Angeles, reflected on her involvement in the crimes that took place between 2008 to 2009 in a discussion with ITV‘s Lorraine ahead of new Channel 4 documentary Bling Ring: Hollywood Heist.
She claimed that each member of the group had different motives for targeting stars including Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan, but her own was to fund an addiction to drugs.
Alexis said she has ’empathy’ for the woman that she was at the time of the offences and claimed her apology to Orlando Bloom – whose home she was involved in stealing from – was cut from the documentary.
Alexis served just over a month in prison for stealing from Orlando Bloom (pictured) to fund her drug addiction
Alexis Haines (pictured), who lives in Los Angeles, reflected on robbing Orlando Bloom’s house in a discussion with ITV’s Lorraine
The Bling Ring stole more than $3 million worth of cash, art, jewellery and designer goods, while checking gossip sites to see if their crimes were being investigated.
A clip from the new documentary, airing at tonight at 10.05pm on Channel 4, reveals the group found a key for Paris Hilton’s house underneath her door mat after returning to rob her house for a second time.
Alexis Haines was given 188 days in prison for robbing Orlando Bloom’s house but served just over a month.
Daytime TV host Lorraine admitted that she was ‘fascinated’ by the documentary but was curious how Alexis justified her actions at the time of the crime.
Alexis said: ‘We all had different motivations but I know for me I was really struggling with a bad drug addiction. It was kind of a means to an end financially and a way to continue getting high.
‘I had never been in trouble before that and a pretty good kid growing up. My addiction definitely got much worse as I got older and into my late teen years.
‘That night, no I wasn’t thinking about the consequences. Literally I was just thinking about how I could get more money in order to continue getting loaded.’
Alexis said the new documentary doesn’t ‘glamorize’ the Bling Ring’s crimes as much as a film depiction by Sofia Coppola that was released in 2013.
Alexis, who claims she wasn’t involved in the Bling Ring’s (pictured) other crimes, said she has since dedicated her life to helping other people on their path to recovery
Alexis continued: ‘I think the documentary spin on it is like a pop culture spin that tells the story. It’s enticing and captivating for the audience to keep people around.
‘Miles did an incredible job and this is why I was so excited to do this project. It’s really talking about the underlying issues that are taking place for us societally and culturally that really motivated us to do what we did.
‘It doesn’t glamorize it at all. I’m not concerned about that.
‘I’m happy to say that I am no longer a twice convicted felon and that’s because I did use it as a turning point. Going to jail was the best thing that happened to me and it saved my life.
‘Many people know addiction is dangerous and going to jail really was the best thing for me. It allowed me to take some time away from my life and to see that my behaviour and the disease I was dealing with, addiction and alcoholism, was going to kill me.
‘I’m now 11 years sober, I own an alcohol and drug treatment centre with my husband and I dedicate my entire life to helping other people get on the path of recovery.
‘None of that would’ve been possible had this not transpired the way that it did.’
Alexis told presenter Lorraine (pictured left) that she had a traumatic upbringing and therefore has empathy for her teenage self
Despite the Bling Ring’s extensive rap sheet, Alexis claims she was only involved in the Orlando Bloom robbery.
Daytime presenter Lorraine asked Alexis if she has had an opportunity to apologise to the Hollywood actor, with Alexis replying that she has a lot of ’empathy’ for herself as a young woman.
Alexis said: ‘A lot of people don’t realise that I grew up in a really traumatic environment in a household that was very toxic. It had every form of abuse.
‘And so I have a lot of empathy for myself.
‘Regarding Orlando Bloom I’ve made plenty of public statements saying that if I could go back in time obviously I would not do what I did. At the same time in a weird way that moment saved my life.
‘In a bizarre fashion I have this gratitude towards him because I really don’t think I would be alive today had I not gone to jail and had I not gone to treatment.
Alexis (pictured) said she has made many public statements sharing her regret, but believes she wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for being caught for theft
‘In the documentary I had a very long, emotional apology which got cut. I feel awful about what I did and there are no words.
‘There are not enough sorrys that I could give to make it better.’
Alexis’s appearance on the daytime show left viewers unimpressed because many claimed criminals shouldn’t be given a public platform.
Taking to Twitter, one person wrote: ‘As a victim of multiple burglaries, how is #Lorraine giving air time to these burglars? They might have targeted celebrities, but they’re still human and still had their homes invaded! shocking’
Another said: ‘How can they justify making stupid American thieves famous. Doesn’t matter who they burgled they still invaded someone’s home and broke the law’
A third added: ‘#Lorraine Why the f*** are you adding to the glorifying of criminals? Bad enough they’ve made a TV series. What is wrong with you?’
A stream of viewers took to Twitter complaining that ITV shouldn’t give criminals a platform