The Ringleader: The Case of the Bling Ring on Binge – The official trailer and key art for the new documentary The Ringleader: The Case of the Bling Ring, directed by Emmy®-nominated filmmaker Erin Lee Carr (I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth V. Michelle Carter and At The Heart of Gold: Inside The USA Gymnastics Scandal), has been released today ahead of its2 October premiere on BINGE.

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 documentary 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 were burglarized and the crime ring behind it all was surprisingly unsophisticated – teenagers from Calabasas. At the centre 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, jewellery, 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 neighbourhood who nevertheless felt like outsiders, to covet, and believe they deserved, the lifestyles of the rich and famous. 

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.

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.

THE RINGLEADER: THE CASE OF THE BLING RING premieres Monday October 2 on BINGE and on FOX Docos at 9.30pm and available On Demand.

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The Ringleader: The Case of the Bling Ring on Binge

The Ringleader: The Case of the Bling Ring on Binge
The Ringleader: The Case of the Bling Ring (image – Binge)

The Ringleader: The Case of the Bling Ring on Binge