The documentary debuts SUNDAY, OCTOBER 1 (9:00-10:35 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO and will be available to stream on Max.

By: Sep. 21, 2023

The HBO Original documentary film THE RINGLEADER: THE CASE OF THE BLING RING, directed by Emmy ® -nominated filmmaker Erin Lee Carr (HBO’s “I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth V. Michelle Carter” and “At The Heart of Gold: Inside The USA GYMNASTICS Scandal”), debuts SUNDAY, OCTOBER 1 (9:00-10:35 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO and will be available to stream on Max. The film is a Story Syndicate production (HBO’s “Last Call: When A Serial Killer Stalked Queer New York” and “I’ll Be Gone In The Dark”).

In a candid, first-time interview with Rachel Lee, the so-called teenage mastermind behind a string of high-profile celebrity robberies in 2008 and 2009, THE RINGLEADER: THE CASE OF THE BLING RING examines the motivations of Lee and a group of her friends who broke into celebrity homes in Hollywood to ransack and steal, exploring the possible reasons behind her actions including mental health issues and addictions, as well as the climate of celebrity excess that fueled the teens, recontextualizing the events behind the sensational headlines.

In the mid-2000s, dozens of celebrity homes are burglarized and the crime ring behind it all is surprisingly unsophisticated – teenagers from Calabasas. At the center of the controversy is 19-year-old Rachel Lee. According to her co-defendants, she led the burglaries at the homes of Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom, and Lindsay Lohan. Lee remained silent while the media and her former friends branded her the ringleader of a series of crimes that captured the culture’s fascination.

Over 10 years later and following a prison sentence, Lee speaks for the first time intimately about her childhood and her role in the crime spree and outlines the culture of celebrity worship that prevailed in the early 2000s, when socialites and Hollywood stars flaunted their wealth and designer lifestyles on social media and popular reality shows.

Driven by a need to be seen as a cool kid in high school and to emulate the lives of her idols, and using celebrity websites to track her victims’ whereabouts, Lee, along with her friends, targeted such bold-faced names as Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Orlando Bloom, breaking into their homes and helping themselves to over three million dollars’ worth of watches, jewelry, designer clothing, and cash.

Chronicling the months of burglaries, the drama that transpired in the aftermath of the arrests and prosecutions, and the subsequent casting of blame, THE RINGLEADER: THE CASE OF THE BLING RING sheds light on a culture that led troubled teenagers from a well to do California neighborhood who nevertheless felt like outsiders, to covet, and believe they deserved, the lifestyles of the rich and famous. 

Rachel Lee is joined by journalists Allen Salkin and Amy Kaufman, Deputy District Attorneys for L.A. County Christine Kee and Sarika Kim, burglary victim Eden Shizzle and Rachel’s father David Lee.

HBO Documentary Films presents a Story Syndicate Production in association with Carr Lot Productions THE RINGLEADER: THE CASE OF THE BLING RING. Directed by Erin Lee Carr; producers, Erin Lee Carr, Dani Sloane; executive producers, Sandi Tan, Dan Cogan, Liz Garbus, Jon Bardin, Kate Barry. For HBO: executive producers, Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller, Sara Rodriguez.

Watch the new trailer here:

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From This Author - Michael Major

Michael Major is a Connecticut native and a graduate of Marist College.After starting out running social media for a theatre company, his love of pop culture led him to intern at TigerBeat Media. Afte... Michael Major">(read more about this author)

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