TODAY

TODAY   |  June 21, 2013

Real-life inspiration of ‘Bling Ring’ speaks out

Alexis Neiers was just 18 and the star of her own reality show when she pleaded no contest to burglary. She talks about her experiences, which inspired the new movie “The Bling Ring,” and says she hopes people can focus on her new story and how she turned her life around. NBC’s Josh Mankiewicz reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> meantime a new movie opens today inspired by a story of a group of teenagers whose fast nation with celebrities lead to a headline making crime spree. we sat down with one of the young women caught up in the real life bling ring.

>> reporter: welcome to hollywood. the kingdom that's home to our special breed of american royalty, celebrities. for most of us, the fascination ends with reading about them in the tabloids, but one group took all of that to a new level, a criminal level. maybe you've heard of them. the bling ring. at it's core, teenagers who apparently cultivated two life skills, breaking and entering.

>> it's very violated.

>> lindsey lohan was one victim on the list that looked like the red carpet at an award show.

>> paris hilton , orlando bloom . rachel bilson , adrinna patdrige from the hills.

>> let's go shopping.

>> reporter: this all american tale of envy greed and the ability to tell gucci from cha nell but not right from wrong is the inspiration for the new film starring emma watson . the actual story is even wilder than the movie version.

>> my life was spiraling out of control. it really was.

>> alexis was just 18. the star of her own reality show and suddenly found herself starring in a very different show. one that ended it's run with her behind bars.

>> because of my show, i was made the face of this thing.

>> alexis pleaded no contest to burglary and spent a month in jail. but here's the irony.

>> today i firmly believe it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

>> just months after she left jail police found black tar heroin in her home. a judge sentenced her to a year in rehab.

>> i have two 2 1/2 years sober today.

>> alexis hopes people will focus on her new story. one of a young woman with a second chance.

>> for people to have hope that if this girl that was so broken and so much pain can get better, so can i.

>> and you can see more secrets of the bling ring, that's tonight on dateline, 8:00, 7:00 central time here on nbc.