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tv   This Is Life With Lisa Ling  CNN  October 23, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT

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a horse to save us, or a wall to keep us apart, to our better angels. >> i can take you back here. >> on nearly every corner of america, soliciting sex is considered a crime and through my work i have seen why. i witness countless women exploited and controlled by prostitution. in heading to a place that
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claims women here are in control. you may have seen it before on an hbo reality show. >> it's shiny and bright. >> tonight we go beyond the reality show to explore the lives of women who work in legal brothels. >> what are you doing? >> i'm more of a friend than a prostitute. >> there are a lot of mothers here. >> does that surprise you? >> not at all. i know why they are here. >> why have they chosen to serve customers here and not the street? >> this place keeps us safe. >> what are they risking to be here? >> i never have been away from home. i'm having a hard time with people finding out. >> what are they getting in return? >> i'm in a licensed legal business. >> if the money is good, then i'm good. >> do you think this is worth it?
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>> i never imagined i would be here. >> this is 28-year-old london. >> this is a birthday party. >> a mid-western mom who is about to enter uncharted territory. >> i applied expected to hear nothing back. when i did, it was the initial
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shock. i kind of wrestled with it for a while. >> excuse me. hi. >> what was everybody going to say and what are people going to think of me? >> look at my name on the door. how adorable. >> it's not a job for everybody. >> london is starting a new business venture and there is only one place in america she can pursue it without committing a crime. we are just outside of the capital of nevada in a pretty nondescript part of town. people here are coming here for one thing. to get laid. this is brothel country. prostitution is legal. but only with a licensed working girl linked to a licenses brothel. a businesslike this can't pop up just anywhere. in nevada brothels are allowed in 12 counties, but only in
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isolated rural areas away from major cities. just south of reno, there are four brothels. the first stop is famous. >> welcome to the bunny ranch. here's the menu. all the ladies are lining up and want to meet you. >> i'm asia fox. >> when the door bell rings, the women lines up and the customer can choose blond or brunette. a fresh face or seasoned professional. >> i'm air force amy. >> 25-year-old sarah is a two-year veteran offered to show me around. the bunny ranch is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and sarah is used to working all hours. a sexual encounter can last from minutes to a few days depending
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on how much they are willing to pay. >> we have a menu of services. each gets one of these. >> there are no prices. >> all girls are independent contractors. what i might charge, somebody else charges half or double. >> condoms are imperative? >> oh, yeah and we do a genital check before they start. we do a once over and make sure there are nothing. >> do sometimes clients pick you that you are like why? >> it's about their importants. if we get along. >> clients come in all shapes and sizes, but what matters is what's in their wallet. >> i do work with them and i could give you a couple of lap dances and maybe a massage or a happened job if you like. >> what would you say the average amount of money is that
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people have in their minds? >> between $150 and $300. $500 an hour will get you a basic party. you expensive? >> we are a vip service. >> i want to tell you guys it's the best month this year. >> the bunny ranch owner is dennis hoff. you getting good response out of the chat rooms? >> yeah. >> known as daddy d, he's a self made millionaire. a self promoter and sales trainer to the working girls. >> i want you to go out of your way to welcome people. you know the clients are scared. when you walk in the room, turn on the smile. welcome to the bunny ranch. >> madam suzette is his business
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partner. >> the top bunny of the week! >> this is my family. and my job as the head of the family is to make people's lives better. i'm an amazing business partner and a lover and a lot of things to a lot of people. >> you date your girls? >> working girls. absolutely. >> you a pimp? >> yeah. i'm a guy who brings customers to a girl. the difference is i have a license to do this. >> he owns brothels and employs over 500 women. the way he sees it, he creates jobs and is a boom to the state of nevada. >> i'm the biggest taxpayer in the county. i pay a half million dollars a year. why isn't prostitution legal? because it's sex. sex is like a joke. some get it, some don't.
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if you don't get enough, you come to me. >> it's daddy d from the bunny ranch. >> dennis is controversial, he set up a way for women to be independent contractors of sorts. every week they broadcast live to promote themselves and their specialties. >> i have a great sex collection. >> they set their own prices and make their own deals and can refuse any act or customer, no questions act. he empowered the women to ask for money they think they deserve. >> this is the only business where a girl will make 300 or 400% more than a man in the same business. >> isn't that sad that the only way women can do that is by selling their bodies? >> i look at it in the positive. isn't it great that there is a place they can do that? >> people will say look, dennis
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hoff is a pimp who exploits the vulnerabilities of desperate women. how do you respond? >> in almost 24 years now, we never recruited anybody. they will can to us. we tell them the pros and the cons. people are doing what they have to do to make money. we don't like to think we hire people who are desperate. they don't tell us either. >> london is settling in and traveled many miles to get here. why would a young mom choose 20 work in a brothel? >> a little bit of nerves like any new job, but i feel like i'm not hiding or doing something bad or illegal. i'm here at the ranch. >> it's a job where you are going to be having sex with people. >> i would rather do this than
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be stocking shelves at wal-mart. >> what's at stake for you here? >> i'm fighting for my son. he's 5. it takes money to do custody battles and hire great attorneys. my future is at stake. i took a long time thinking is this going to affect my future in a negative way? there is a chance it could. but there is a chance this could open up a lot of doors for me. i'm willing to take that chance. ♪
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i didn't exactly think i'm going to be a prostitute some day. >> i do it to smpt my kids and -- >> i went to college and i have a degree. i don't have to be here. >> i worked in the legal world previously and coming here was a great decision. >> i have kidney disease. i have to buy a kidney. >> ask any working girl why they are here and they will give you a different answer.
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what they desire from this job is money. it's a pitch that entices nearly 1500 women every month to apply. a new girl can't just walk in and get down to business. before london can book clients, she has to be checked by a doctor for stds. if she is not clean, she can't work. >> i'm new. i don't have the greatest thing. >> everybody is obligated to get checked every week. >> and they pay $70 for culture and 1$118 for blood work. >> we can't use insurance, but we can deduct. >> what happens if the doctors find something? >> you take days off until you
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are clear. >> we don't get too many inside the house that come up dirty, but new girls coming in. >> if you get dirty, most likely it's not from working here, but relationships back home. husbands and boyfriends. whatever. >> even though you pay out of your own pocket it's a relief to have to do this every week. even though you use condoms. >> oh, yeah. >> all done. >> when do you get your results? >> tomorrow i get my results and get my clearance and head off to the sheriff's station. >> it only costs $76 to apply for a license, but if she is cleared she shells out $330 a month for weekly medical check ups. and the expenses don't end there. every woman is required to pay nightly room and board and the house takes half of what they
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make for each party. >> why take 50%? >> with bartenders and they made those people. that 50% turns into 10 or 11% pretax if i did things right. that's not a return on the investment. i wish i had their expenses and they had mine. >> it starts to add up with business being slow. >> if you don't top the do it, i negotiate higher. >> it's december and the holidays created a lot of downtime for the women. >> when you go into a commissioned sales business, there is no guarantee. keeping them motivated and keeping their energy up is a big problem. we try to make it fun. we make it so much fun, nobody wants to leave. >> this working girl is getting
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discouraged. >> i thought i was going to come to the brothel and i was going to be an instant millionaire. >> zoey has been a prostitute for a month and illegal one for the past four years. he was arrested for prostitution and to avoid future struggles, she came here to the love ranch. >> i will show you how my weekend has been. >> every day the ladies fill out a time card, but for every booking, there are deductions. >> i only have one client and this is 500 for 30 minutes. that sounds like a lot, but 500 divided by two. that's 250 minus room and board and i'm left with $192. >> do you have a set amount you want to make? >> at least walk away with
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$20,000. >> in two paychecks i made $600. >> you have two more days here. >> you never know. maybe a miracle will walk through the door. that's why i stay. i don't want to give up. >> zoey has worked illegally in the past, she hasn't quite given up that life. >> what are the differences between working at a legal brothel versus being on your own? >> the difference for me is the money. before i came here i had a guy who partied for two or three days, i made $20,000. >> but you put yourself at risk. >> that's why i'm here. >> in every corner of america, women are risking their lives by working in the shadows. violence often goes unreported, but some crimes do make headline news. >> intimate escort acts are
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linked to deaths in detroit. >> all of the victims are prostitutes. >> inside this brothel lies a different reality. staff security monitor who comes in and any clients behaving badly are quickly removed. safety is not zoey's main concern. the money is. it's a lesson she learned from her father. >> my dad was a pimp and he taught me it's not what you do, it's how you do it. i was a daddy's girl and i was always with him. whatever he felt like was right, i felt like was right. i thought i was going to grow up and be a pimp. >> instead of pimping, zoey became an escort. >> have you had a pimp? >> never had a pimp in my life. a guy can't force me to do anything. i like to tell guys i'm the boss. they shock me with certain things they want.
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you want me to do this and you are paying me for it? if the money is good, i'm good. it's right before christmas. my kids need stuff and i haven't made money in a week. i'm moving to somewhere else if it's not here. what do you love more than me? >> zoey will promote herself on social media. >> give me more hearts and me you love and miss me. >> the only way she gets paid is if a customer picks her to party. >> maybe i will show you guys a little something. >> another woman is offering something that no other woman here can sell. i'm katherine stone and i'm here to sell my virginity. when i was a little kid, i made a deal with myself
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teachers, nurses and firefightes support prop 51. prop 51 will upgrade libraries, science labs, and classroom technology and relieve school overcrowding creating more opportunity . . . and better learning for students help students succeed vote yes on 51. >> i'm shelby. >> i'm katherine. >> i still get picked even though i'm a different look. >> katherine has been working as a legal prostitute for three months. >> unlike the other women here, katherine does not have sex.
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>> i grew up in a normal household. i saw myself going to college. >> katherine's future was put on hold when a fire destroyed her family's home. with no insurance on the property, they had no choice but to continue to live there. a reality katherine couldn't bear where did the idea of selling your virginity come from? >> it made me think that's a chance of fixing all that i need to fix. >> katherine reached out to dennis and he decided to give her a job. >> do you think it's a good idea for a young girl who is so inexperienced and innocent to put a price on her virginity? >> it's her choice. i don't think it's a good idea for a girl to go and drink six
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tequilas and lose her virginity. it's controversial. no question about it. if she wants to do it, i think that's great. >> dennis is giving katherine free room and board, but she is expected to work. >> i have done small massage parties and stuff that is very pg 13. the first experience i had was the scariest one. >> it's hard to imagine her going all the way with a changer. katherine is determined. right now her bid is at $400,000. she is holding out for more. >> i have to have the patience to wait longer if i have to. it's not just about hitting a certain amount of money. i do want it to be somewhat special. >> do you think it can be special? >> i think it can be.
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people say you are supposed to do it for love. if you think about it, i am doing it because i love my family. >> does your family know? >> my mom knows. she cried a lot. i read an article about myself and that made me cry. she said i had no self respect. i disagree with it completely. i value myself. >> some hide this part of their lives from family and friends. on her second day at the ranch, london is starting to have second thoughts. >> i'm getting all emotional for some reason. just thinking about my son. making sure i made the right choice. you having a hard time accepting this? >> i'm having a hard time with
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people finding out. i dealt with so much judgment and criticism from ones that i love that the thought of dealing with any more is what i struggle with. >> i grew up in a strict baptist home and we didn't get to go to movies. i went to private schools and church about five days a week. when i decided to leave all of that, it was shocking. i kind of listened from a box. >> does your family have any idea you are here? >> no. i told my mom i was bar tending in las vegas. >> you going to your mom? >> never. she thinks i'm going hell
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because i watch and had a baby before i got married. >> why is this important? >> i'm doing it for my son and for our future. he is the reason i'm doing this. i'm just an average midwest american girl. who just wants to be successful in life and decided to take a different avenue than most people. >> what are you doing for christmas? >> i'm spending it with my hubby. >> what are you doing? >> i will be at my house. >> this job is so risky. women risk their reputation. they risk spending weeks out here and not making much money when it's slow. >> come down here now. come view me. come visit me and work with me. i need money. >> so many of the women i met
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feel this is the fastest way to make a lot of money. for most of them, this week that didn't happen. it's all a big risk that most of these women are committed to take. whoa. what's going on here? oh hey allison. i'm val, the orange money retirement squirrel from voya. val from voya? yeah, val from voya. quick question, what are voya retirement squirrels doing in my house? we're putting away acorns. you know, to show the importance of saving for the future.
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everything is like about sex and the more people like brushing underneath the covers, the dirtier it gets. >> when i was younger i was working with a pimp. no matter what amount of money i made, he would leave me with $75. >> this is not the prostitution of the 1800s. it's clean & literally a service and literally a job. >> i struggle with i'm okay with what i'm doing and how it will affect my later on. >> for most of these women this line of work is temporary, but some made it a career. something that requires more than just a high sex drive. >> a career is something that invests back in you with payment. knowledge and growth. that's why i call what i do a career.
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>> at tlip yea39 years old, she of the top earners. she made $200,000 and named bunny of the year. she was not always sure this was where she wanted to be. >> you are one of theighest grossing girls here. you are among the top two. but you quit it all for a while. >> i was number one then. there was no stopping this girl. i was every lineup. i was every appointment. >> why did you quit? >> i wanted to go to school. >> she traded in the lingerie for operating room scrubs and became a surgical technician. when she couldn't get full time work, she felt a strong pull back to the bunny ranch and today business is better than ever. >> what do you think is the key to your success? >> communication. once you open up communication, the fun starts. and i love it.
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>> it's not just wham, bam, thank you ma'am? >> we have a correspondence and i have a real connection. i see two to five people a month. a lot of people can't afford that. they can't go without the income. >> you are the anomaly. >> i am the anomaly having the repeat clientele. it gave me the liberty tow do that. >> it came with building long-term relationships, something she began doing long before the bunny ranch as a web cam model. >> how successful were you as a cam girl? >> it got crazy. i had people propositioning me all the time. all the time. i will give you so much if you have sex with me. i'm like that's illegal. i don't know you. >> you had thought about it? >> yes. definitely thinking about it. i was on the verge of wanting to do it. i was times what i was making.
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i had no one to me no and no one to me yes. but me. >> she reached a turning point with internet stalkers driving by her house and she knew she had to make a change. that was 20 years ago. while she used to rush to every lineup, today she is one of the few women at the ranch who works by appointment only. she spends her days at her own home away from the brothel and most of her work is not done in the bedroom. >> this is where i answer my clients. i spend seven to eight hours a day and answering mail. if you don't utilize the tools, you won't do well. i'm on it all day long. >> do you have dates coming up? >> i have a booking tomorrow. he's 24. he wants to do multiple positions. learn how to truly pleasure a
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woman. >> you have a guy named grizzly flying in. >> this is exciting because when i first started at the bunny ranch, he was one of my customers then. >> have you been corresponding with him? >> every day. he is on my twitter. she in my pm. i go in my mail, he's in my mail. >> he could be obsessed. >> i think he has a really big personality. >> do you know why he has come back? >> it's hard for him to open up to someone because he is really not secure. i think he needs confidence built. >> it has been seven years since they have seen each other, but they are about to be reunited. >> what are you doing? >> life is stressful and jobs are stressful. everybody needs to have a break. not everybody has someone to take a break with.
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>> i'm like a grizzly bear that is starving. i want to eat it all. >> you can eat anything you want. >> i can't tell you how many people have come to me and they are so thankful for the time they spent with me, they feel it saved their lives. >> i spent the last seven years trying to find someone that equalled her. she came back into my life at the moment i needed her. >> these for me? >> yes. >> awe, they are beautiful. you are so special. ♪ ♪
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with viberzi. >> on the eve of the party with caressa, the 38-year-old grizzly, a graduate student is getting settled in at the ranch. the last time he had any physical contact with caressa was seven years ago.
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>> can you define your level of excitement about the next couple of days? >> beyond 10. i have been counting down the days. >> what was it about her? >> she was understanding, caring, non-judgmental. i was on a downward spiral that might have ended up really bad. very. >> they often blocked feelings of joy, love, and acceptance of his life. he was diagnosed with adhd and later schizophrenia. his family sought treatment, but grizzly's problems continued. he alleges that he was sexually abused as a teen by multiple men. >> i had screwed up ideas about sex. i did cross-dressing because i
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was ashamed and i didn't know what was normal. it caused a lot of issues. >> to deal with the pain, he found religion. the radical teachings had him convinced that god would strike him dead if he had sex outside of marriage. after eight years of celibacy and no girlfriend to test the waters, he went online and found caressa. >> i was willing to do whatever i had to do to feel at peace and find myself. >> had you had anybody to talk to about those things in your before? >> no. >> tell me about the last seven years. >> trying to better myself, but keep finding the wrong women. i got into illegal escorts and got robbed. attacked by a pimp. >> have you tried to have a relationship outside of the paid world? >> i have, but for me this is the safety. i get that girlfriend experience
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without the stress of a regular relationship. >> does it bother you that you have to pay for caressa? >> it doesn't bother me. i explained it to my mother. i have certain needs. i can go full fill those needs legally or you can visit me in prison for the next 20 years. i would never do something to someone, but i do this to keep me from finding out. my brain delay is wired in the fear of the back of my mind. caressa makes me feel alive. i'm really blessed that she is on this journey that i'm taking. >> you walk through the doors of the bunny ranch, i saw this portly man who probably hasn't had a lot of success with women. when i learned his devastating
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story, my heart broke for him. i could understand why someone like caressa could become so important to him. i don't think that grizzly is a typical client, but it goes to show that everyone has a story. i feel bad for judging grizzly. >> i'm more of a friend than a prostitute. the name doesn't fit who i am and what i do for people. there is nothing illegal in my life. why we get put in the same bag as illegal prostitution, i don't understand it at all. >> like all women who work at legal brothels, caressa had to apply for a license through the
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county sheriff and now it's london's turn. >> i never have seen an application to work legally in a brothel. >> i'm glad you get to share the experience with you. >> once you get the card in hand, you can be in tonight. >> i think so. it was faster than i expected. time waits for no man. got to get to it. >> it's not so much like the word prostitute. i associate a street worker and someone who is dirty. you know what i mean? that word maybe rubs me the wrong way, but everything here is all legal and i applied for this like any other job. >> unlike most professions, london is required to divulge
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embarrassing details of her misdemeanor. traffic misdemeanor. >> if she fails to mention an even minor infraction she could be denied her license. >> they didn't give me enough spots for my tattoos, marks and major scars. >> is there anything else to fill out on there? >> i think i'm finally done. >> i have to have more forms filled out. >> while i'm running your history, it doesn't matter if you have had kids or not, of to indicate one of these on here. >> does this affect anything? >> yes. if you are subject to a court order on child support and could be behind. [ sighs ] >> i am subject to a court order for one or more children. i am not in compliance with the order. wow. if my ex ends up screwing me because of this custody thing --
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>> print it off. that just threw a curve ball at me. they didn't say anything about that before coming here. >> it would be a little cel if you can't work to pay child support because you haven't paid child support. >> right. does that really not make a whole lot of sense? >> like this is life. this is real life. how our system is. sometimes the system makes you fail. our government has to come up with a better system. >> yeah.
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i just checked down there. if you are behind you're out of compliance on your child support, i have to deny you. okay. you've marked that. so, yeah, ultimately it's a denial. >> thank you. [ crying ] >> mr. hoff? i got denied. okay. yes, sir. thank you. wow. that's rough. so now i have to re-evaluate everything and figure out where i'm going to go from here. ly, az grand prix race car made history when it sold for a record price of just under $30 million. and now, another mercedes-benz makes history selling at just over $30,000.
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it's just beautiful. >> connection and touch. everyone needs it. tonight, grizzly paid $4500 for five hours of what's called a girlfriend experience. his night with caressa started with dinner at a local restaurant and ends here at the bunny ranch in a vip suite. >> so i'll open your champagne if you want to start the tub. >> sounds good. >> okay. >> i've missed you. >> i missed you, too. i'm glad you're doing well.
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>> the next morning grizzly looks like a new man. >> i'm dying to hear how it was. >> what do you want to know? >> how'd it go? >> epic. >> yeah? >> we blew the roof off the place last night. >> so it was good? >> very good. >> what was special about it? >> just being back here. the reunion with her. how well we were connected. it was like no time had passed between the two of us. >> $4500 is a sizable amount of money. where does it come from? >> just saved up whatever i had left after i paid bills, i just kept putting it toward it. i'm coming back in about 34 days. >> you are? >> yes. it will be about a four to five-hour party, dinner, the whole nine yards again. >> i wish you the best. >> thank you.
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>> everybody has the assumption that all this is the sex. really, we're here for companionship. we're here to bring comfort and company. >> i never thought i would be selling my body for money. i'm glad it's for a good reason. >> i just hate it when people think that all sex workers are, like, desperate people. that's just not the case for me. >> i feel like i have learned that i'm a lot stronger than i ever thought i was. >> it's been my motto. keep calm and carry on. that's exactly what i have to do now. >> there are many people who will never accept the lifestyle and careers these women have. but that's not stopping london. what's the plan? >> so it's not the end of the road. tomorrow morning i fly out to vegas. i will be going to the love ranch south, still owned by dennis hoff. that county doesn't require child support payments to be
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caught up on. we're going straight from the airport to the sheriff's station. i will start working tomorrow night. it's just a minor set-back. but it's working out. >> back at the love ranch zoey too is packing. for zoey this trip was a bust. the money she made covered her expenses and that's it. do you feel disappointed? >> it's stressful because i came here for two weeks hoping that i was going to bank or make enough money to buy christmas presents. >> do you think you'll come back here? >> it's a possibility. i have a few appointments in january. so if the appointments are serious and they put a deposit down then i will come back. >> how are you all tonight? good? >> prostitution. it will always be controversial. nevada's choice to legalize the world's oldest profession has given the women i met here a place to set their own prices and make their own rules.
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>> ready for a big adventure? >> i am. >> it isn't a perfect system. as long as people want to buy sex, shouldn't there be an alternative to the hazardous life of street work for those willing to sell it? xx. it's 7 p.m. on a wednesday night. i'm in a busy city emergency room. we have been here maybe ten minutes and already there's heroin overdoses coming in. a woman has been brought in unresponsive. >> nothing? >> no. >> she's overdosed on heroin. this is happening all over the country. cheap and potent heroin is fuelling a surge in addiction. overdose deaths are skyrocketing. the vast majority of those dying

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