When Sofia Coppola's "The Bling Ring" hits movie theaters nationwide this weekend, all eyes will be on Emma Watson, who plays Nicki, one of a group of Los Angeles teens accused of breaking into celebrity houses and stealing upwards of $3 million worth of property.
Watson's character is based on now 21-year-old new mom Alexis Neiers, whose legal trials and tribulations were documented on the 2010 E! reality series "Pretty Wild," which also starred her younger sister Gabby Neiers, her mother Andrea Arlington and their adoptive family member and fellow model Tess Taylor (who inspired the "Bling Ring" character Sam, played by Taissa Farmiga).
The series (and one phone call to "Vanity Fair" journalist Nancy Jo Sales, in particular) became the butt of many jokes when it appeared Alexis wasn't taking her situation seriously. But behind the scenes, Alexis was dealing with a very serious addiction to heroin.
In an exclusive clip (above) of her interview with "Dateline," which airs Friday, June 21 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC, Alexis opens up about her drug problem and why she really wanted to be connected to Hollywood.
"I was smoking cigarettes already by, like, sixth grade and was already drinking. And it progressed from there. By the time that I was in ninth grade, I was doing acid all the time and cocaine and smoking weed. By the time I was 19, I was a full-blown heroin addict," she admitted, noting that she manipulated and lied to her mother to keep her addiction a secret.
In May, Alexis told Vice that she was high the entire time she was on "Pretty Wild." "People think I was living with my family, but I was living at a Best Western on Franklin and Vine. I was smoking 20 80-mg oxys a day, I was doing tons of cocaine, I was panhandling for drugs," she told the magazine. "I had an over-$10,000-a-week drug habit. What you were seeing on TV was not what was really going on."
Alexis explained to "Dateline" that she "got into the industry doing, like, odd jobs --- modeling, music videos, things like that -- because it sustained [her] drug habit."
Today, Alexis is sober and married to Evan Haines, who she met in AA. The two recently welcomed their first child Harper. "I just really wanna focus today on where I've been going for the last, you know, two and a half years, which is taking this path of sobriety and trying to do my best to help people get sober," she told "Dateline. "I'm really, really passionate about it."
For more from Alexis Neiers, tune into "Dateline" on Friday, June 21 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.