Generation Wealth (2018) - full transcript

A documentary that investigates the pathologies that have created the richest society the world has ever seen.

Dol... Dolsee.

- Dolcee.
- Dolce.


Dolce and Gabbana.

Yeah. Dolce.

Louis Vuitton.

Louis Vuitton.

Louis Vuitton.

Louis Vuitton.


There wasn't a toy I couldn't buy.

There wasn't a boat I couldn't buy,
there wasn't a plane I couldn't buy.

There was nothing I couldn't buy.

I love money.

Come to me.

Eden, what do you wanna do
for the beauty pageants?

What do you want to win? What's your goal?


Money, money, money.

I would have money as big as this room.

Wham do you wanna do
with that money, Eden?

Spend it all.

And kiss it.

I do believe it's un-American
to say you can make too much money.

I mean, the Federalist Papers say,

if I wanna work a hundred hours a week,
and never see my family,

and die at an early age...

that's my prerogative.

What were you doing in Dubai?

You wanna throw money.

You want people to look at you.

It's power, money power.

Tonight, we're not even worried
about tomorrow.

Fuck it.

It's kinda like the end of Rome.

I mean, the pyramids were built

at the moment
of precipitous Egyptian decline.

And that's what always happens.

Societies accrue their greatest wealth...

at the moment that they face death.

I've been a photographer
for 25 years.

With my lens focused on wealth,

and the excesses of our culture.

The scale of the excess became clear

when I documented the family
building the largest house in America.

I noticed that no mater
how much people had,

they still wanted more.

I wondered if the hundreds
of individual stories

I had shot about money,



body image,

even plastic surgery for dogs,
were all connected,

and what they said about us.

To understand what it all added up to,

in 2008, I began working on a book
and exhibition about wealth.

It would take me back to my earliest work.

In 1991, I was just starting out
as a photojournalist.

I had studied visual anthropology
in college,

and landed my first assignment
with National Geographic,

photographing a Maya Indian village
in Chiapas, Mexico.

My mom was a professor of psychology

and had been doing research there
20 years before.

So, we worked together on the project.

My mother spoke the language
and was at home there.

But I struggled to understand the culture

and found it really hard
to be accepted into people's lives.

After we had spent months in the field,

National Geographic killed the story.

I was devastated.

I almost quit photography.

My boyfriend sew! me a tape
to encourage me.

Hey, Lauren, Frank here.

I just got your letters today.
I really, really miss you.

Go out and do your photography
and be aggressive.

The more you put yourself
into this kind of work,

you're gonna end up confident

about looking for jobs
and everything else.

So, please, work hard, okay?

Frank helped me see
that I shouldn't give up.

And that I needed to find a story

where I had a deeper connection
to the subject.

I happened to find an old copy
of Bret Easton Ellie's Less Than Zero.

The fictional world he depicted
of jaded excess and too much money

resonated with what I remembered
growing up in L.A.

I started thinking about my own culture
In almost anthropological terms,

and realized I wanted
to go home and explore it.

L.A. Diary, March 4, 1992.

My photography will concentrate
on the social rituals of teenage life.

I want to photograph Senior Ditch Day,

extravagant parties
with walkie-talkie-equipped bouncers,

girls in designer dresses
with hair professionally done,

Mercedes and BMWs.

One day, I was photographing
at my former high school,

a private school in Santa Monica.

- Here we go.
- Testing one, two, three.

Oh, sorry.

What do you think
about growing up in L.A.?

These three boys said,

"Growing up in L.A. is about money."

And they pulled out dollar bills.

And it wasn't until I processed the film

that I realized they were holding up
hundred-dollar bills.

And these were 13-year olds.

Money just ruins kids.

It's ruined a lot of kids I know.

On the first day of school,
Kate Hudson went,

"I'm not gonna tell you who my mom is,
she's a big star.

And my dad's a bigger star."

It affects kids who I know, who you know,

how rich you are, what your dad does,
what your mom does,

what you have, what I have.

That narcissism
that is so full-blown in the culture now

was just beginning to rear its head
in that moment in L.A.

Photographer Lauren Greenfield

has captured the lives
of some of Hollywood's children

and displayed them in a new book titled

Fast Forward:
Growing Up in the Shadow of Hollywood.

Let's go to the young man
celebrating his Bar Mitzvah.

Uh, tell us about this.

This doesn't look like
a religious rite to me.

The family who had this party

rented out the Whisky A Go-Go nightclub
on the Sunset Strip

and brought in go-go girls
as entertainment for the kids.

Looking at all the pictures,

I'm left with the real end
of the world quality,

as though there is a kind of

These are the images of a society
in extraordinary decline.

But I'm wondering
what you were looking for?

I had no idea
what I was looking for then.

But now, I saw a relationship

between what I was covering
in the '90s in my first book,

and where we found ourselves today.

It made me want to figure out

why our obsession with wealth
and status had grown,

and why I felt compelled
to document it so relentlessly.

So, I decided to go back
to the teen subjects from Los Angeles.

- Hi!
- Hi!

Holy shit.

Oh, the '90s were crazy.

They're inhaling air freshener
at nutrition break.


That party
that you photographed me in

was probably one
of the tamest parties I ever had.

I mean, the shit I used to do.

When I was born
was when he really started

having some commercial success.

which is good for him,
bad for a kid trying to be parented.

You know, we got raised backstage
by a roadie.

I could get away with murder
because my dad was on the road,

my mom was preoccupied, and...

how I got attention was by acting out
and by getting in trouble.

And it really does take a village
to raise somebody.

And I didn't get that I was more...

I was raised on an island with a butler.

What do you think it is about L.A.

that makes kids grow up fast?

It just seems like everyone's
in a rush to be an adult.

They're losing their innocence
so young now.

I hope to stay young forever.
I don't want to grow old.

I think I was maybe 17 when we first met.

Um, you came to my school,

and you told us you were doing a project.

We became friends,
and you started following me around.

You know, you can look
from the outside and think,

"Oh, her life is perfect,"

or, "she's pretty
and she's homecoming queen,"

and this and that, but you know...

My family struggled a lot,
with, like, financial problems,

and these rich Beverly Hills kids

can have anything their heart desires,
you know?

That was one way I didn't fit in.

It was kinda like a thing, like,
"You're pretty, so you can be our friend."

I was homecoming queen,
and I had best body.

That was what it was called?
Best body?

Ah, well, it was the senior polls

where I had the best physique, I guess.

So it was like you dressed
with, like, tight clothes,

and trying to look sexy
in the way that the magazines say,

or, like, toward the male gaze.

Oh, my god,
look at that girl, Scotty.

Hop in!


Mija was my girlfriend in 7th or 8th grade
in elementary school,

- and...
- And your hot Latina.


With probably one of the best racks
in high school.

It's not bad.

Let's be honest here, Eddie.

Hopefully, this is cut.
We don't wanna be disrespectful.

I'm not being disrespectful.

- It's the truth, Eddie.
- It is.

Growing up here,

we thought the entire world
revolved around us.

I feel like I actually got pretty scarred
from that time.

And did any of that stay with you?

Whatever things happened in high school

is always what you're, like,
trying to heal from.

Later on in life, you know?

It really... You're so young
and impressionable,

that I think those experiences
really shape you.

When I was in high school,
I was really shy and a little insecure.

And like most teenagers,
I felt like I didn't fit in.

I picked up photography
to try to make sense of my world.

I mean, you went
to a, kind of, a fancy high school.

Education was important,

and it would cost a lot of money
to go there.

We found a way to pay for it.

But the values were not my own values.

I think, you, like a normal girl
growing up in L.A.,

suffered a little bit from it.

You were trying to fit in
from the viewpoint of clothes,

nice house,
a house you could bring people to.

I think Crossroads made you anxious
about keeping up with the Joneses.

The Brentwood parents

were afraid to let their daughters come
and visit you in Venice

because they thought it was too dangerous.

You actually, one time,
got out of the car

a block away from Crossroads,

so your friends wouldn't have to see
the cars that I was driving.

I, I remember
not being able to buy,

like, the clothes that everybody else had.


The things you didn't have
were the things that I didn't believe in.

The fact that I had
everything I needed,

and still didn't feel like I had enough

made me want to figure out why,
in my work.

- Who is this knocking on my door?
- Hey.

How you doin'?

- You don't go by G-Mo anymore?
- You can still call me G-Mo.

- Yeah?
- Yeah.

# Baffin' #

# Wanna roll on five rounds... #

I came from a good family.
I came from a real...

You know, my parents
worked hard every day.

Very middle class, very much so.

When I was in the sixth grade,
I went to public school.

It was just, you know, same old shit.

But in the 7th grade,

I went to this real expensive school,

That's when I got my first good glimpse
of a lot of money,

and I was like, "That's what I want."

Black people aren't really
supposed to have stuff in America,

but this rap thing is changing everything.

# Every time I move
The guys downright sparkle #

# Picking up my mail
Like the fools at Wells Fargo #

Hollywood helped me out that day.

Made my life like a movie.

There's a scene where a girl
brought me a platter,

with a 40 ounce on it.

Everybody wants to have money,

everybody wants to be surrounded
by beautiful women.

Everyone wants to have the mansion.

It's like the American Dream kinda stuff.

# Baffin' #

The dream, it was about you
seeing me doing it big.

We kinda started laying
a blueprint back then.

And it's been followed and followed,

and now, that's almost standard fare.

What G-MO noticed

seemed to be a shift in the meaning
of the American Dream.

It was almost like it had turned
into a quest for fame and fortune.

And we had left behind the values
of hard work,

frugality, and discretion
that had defined our parents' generation.

Was your story
an American Dream story?

Well, in many respects, it was.

Because my dad was an immigrant,

and I started to achieve heights
that my parents couldn't even imagine.

It was a period of upward mobility.

And was it the American Dream
for your parents that you went to Harvard?

It was.

My dad would say, "Yeah, my son, Shelly,
he goes to Harvard, Harvard, Harvard."

He couldn't stop...

He couldn't stop saying it.

My dad tried to instill ideals in me.

And they... And many of them stuck.


Well, like, uh,
trying to do good in the world.

I think it was partly
the times, yes.

I was still basking in the ethos
of the '60s and the '70s.

The '80s started
to actually change things quite a bit.

- Can I come in?
- Come in, come in, come in.


Oh, my god, so opulent.
Exactly not my world anymore.

The origin of all
this fascination with wealth

is the US government itself,
spending way beyond their means.

I'll try to keep this simple,
so I don't lose the, the viewer.

In '71,

America dropped off the gold standard.

That basically meant
the money in circulation

was no longer backed by any assets.

The '70s was the turning point.

We began to borrow,
to maintain both a lifestyle

and an empire we could no longer afford.

We shifted from an empire
of production

to an empire of consumption.

Abandonment of the gold standard
led to abandonment of fiscal discipline.

Print it like crazy,
make it like crazy.

We cut
your tax rates by nearly 25%.

America, go for it.

The values of the Reagan '80s
really placed this emphasis on wealth.

There was the idea
that you were better off

driving a BMW and looking super hot.

Now, if you look great
and you have a nice car,

I'm all for it.
But at the expense of what?

In the '80s,

a lot of people I knew
were going into banking.

And a lot them wanted to be
like this fictional character,

Gordon Gekko.

The point is,
ladies and gentlemen,

that greed,

for lack of a better word, is good.

Greed is right.

Greed works.

I was definitely Gordon Gekko.

My father told me,
"Well, the closer you are to the money,

the more you will have."

The lights went on,
and something triggered up there,

and said, "Hmm.

There must be a way to make so much money

that you'd never look back."

According to court statements,

my wealth was,
at its peak, 600 million Euros,

roughly 800 million dollars,

plus or minus,
whatever the exchange rate is.

For the sake of full disclosure,
how do we know each other?

You were not even a senior.

And at the very beginning
of your filmmaking,

I was attending Harvard Business School
at the time.

Does Harvard Business School
teach you how to be a good person?

No, we're fine tuned to rule the world.
That's it.

My dad was always, like,
a larger-than-life figure,

casting, like, a huge shadow.

And I wanted to be just like him
when I was a kid.

And what drove him?

He always, um..

Wanted more, basically, in my opinion,

more money, more power,
and more, um, fame/infamy.

I've been called psychopath,

because I could get so detached,

just thinking what is the best,
highest return.

I am also in exile,

and on the FBI Most Wanted list.

That being as it is,

if it had been around 300 years earlier,
I would have been a discoverer.

But the most exciting thing
you could do in our generation

was to be a tycoon.

You have so much motivation
for your work.

- What's your driver?
- The money.

My father worked on Wall Street,
so, definitely, it was in my blood.

I mean, I'm 39 years old,
haven't had a family yet,

um, haven't, uh, ever been married.

I was working on my career,
so I wasn't focused on my personal life.

I thought I could never be with anybody
who made less money than I did.

Now I'm making a lot of money,

so, you know, the field
has really narrowed, um, substantially.

I've tried to build up a real net worth,
and I collect contemporary art.

I mean, I have like a hundred pieces
of art in the collection.

That's good.
I like that with that stuff.

- 'Cause this was a late edition.
- Yeah.

- Do you like it better?
- We thought that was too posey.

I think it's a little posey.

- You think it's too posey?
- It's like Life Magazine.

I brought in Trudy Wilner Stack,
a longtime collaborator,

to help me look through and edit
the hundreds of thousands of pictures.


Clean person.

But you know what?
You have your big assembly tomorrow.

No, I don't.

- Have you learned everything for it?
- Uh-huh.

These two are from the bag party.

What's a bag party?

The day I went to buy
the Louis Vuitton handbag,

I was the happiest girl in the world.

I took the bag, and everyone,

"Oh, god, you bought your bag!
Oh, yes, it's beautiful!"

And everybody bows to the bag.

And then I said, "Okay, what next?"

I have a combination of many bags.

I guess my bag of choice
is the classic Birkin.

I have them, I think,
in almost every color.

These are Herm?s bags
that women collect.

Some owning hundreds of thousands
or millions of dollars' worth of bags.

And the bags start 20,000, go up.

And how do you, a therapist,

know so much information
about the Birkin bag?

Well, I see them every day.

It's part of my life.

You know,
as much as you can dismiss

or scoff at people obsessing
about their Birkin bags,

I think it really does say something
about their mental health,

uh, something that at its best
probably can, and should be addressed.

I started off
with just a tiny, little skinny chain,

and it grew into this.

Thirty-three pounds of gold and diamonds

given to me by superstars of the world,
dead and gone legends.

I absolutely love
Old World elegance.

And you're famous for?

I am a two-time Guinness Book
World Record holder

of the longest limousine in the world,

with the swimming pool
and a helicopter landing pad,

and the Boeing 727 jet limo.

When you pull up
in the limousine,

they don't know who you are,
but they think you're someone.

The bigger, the longer they are,

the more exotic they are,
the more the head turns.

You gotta fake it till you make it.

It just gives off that image
that I should be worshipped, almost.

You know what I'm saying?
I'm somebody, you're not.

I can afford this, you can't.

That somehow propels them in this culture.

Poor people are the ones that spend
the most money on the 700-dollar shoes,

the ones that don't have it.

You want the ones
with the bars and the sparkly,

the bedazzles on the side,

with the shiny when you walk,
you know what I mean?

Make the girls sweat.

You gonna pay about 1,200, 1,300,
you know what I mean?

It's about exclusivity.

Can you call up and get you a pair
of the fresh Giuseppes,

or do you get to go in the back
of the Versace store and shop?

The American Dream, to me,
it's all about status right now.

It's the new, uh, you know,
"Dr. " in front of your name.

We hold out the illusion
of the American Dream.

But not only can we,
and our children not attain

what generations had before,

but things are getting worse.

When there is no social mobility,

the only social mobility you have
is fictitious.

The presentation that you give
to the rest of the world

denies your own reality.

I've come to look at mass culture,

and in particular, television,
as a form of violence.

Because 24 hours a day,
this fictitious lifestyle,

which we're all told that we can have,
fuels this sense of inadequacy.

People used to compare themselves
to their neighbors,

and they aspired to the neighbor
that had a little bit more than they had.

This is so beautiful.

This is like we're in Italy, honey.

What's changed is that, now,

people spend more time
with the people they see on TV

than their actual neighbors.

And they want what they have.

Like, I probably know
the names of the Kardashians

better than I, I know
the names of my neighbors.

If you watch anything long enough,
you're gonna kind of think it's real.

You're gonna start making decisions

based on what you've seen on TV.

I do believe in the American Dream.

Owning a home is a part of that dream.

If one of the goals
is to increase home ownership,

it makes sense to help people pay
that down payment.

When we put down the rules, I said,

"Well, this rule's not gonna help me
make money, right?

So, let's tone this rule down."

So we set the playing field
right for us only.

Not for the investor,

not for the loan taker, for us.

The American economy
has retained its momentum...

Mr. Greenspan lets open the floodgates

and allows everybody to borrow money.

If you give money out at no cost

to hundreds of millions worldwide,

they're gonna do stupid things with it.

We never sought out to build
the biggest house in America.

It's just... It's, like,
kind of, happened.

When I made the film
The Queen of Versailles,

with David and Jackie Siegel,

who were trying to build a palace
inspired by the real Versailles in France,

what I saw was the dream
that everyone had,

but bigger.

And they did it the same way
everyone else did,

which was by borrowing.

You think every American wants
to feel rich?

I think so.

Everyone wants to be rich.

If they can't be rich,

the next best thing is to feel rich.

And if they don't want to feel rich,

then they're probably dead.

It seemed like we were all
addicted to consumerism.

And with globalization,
it kind of spread like a virus.

I was working as a sailor.

In 2003,
the tiny fishing country of Iceland

began the most rapid expansion
of a banking system

in the history of humankind.



- Kardashians?
- Kardashians.

Yeah, sorry.

Building big
to express success and status

was not limited to Europe
or the United States.

In China, I met a businessman

who built a full-scale replica
of the White House,

and the view from his office
was Mount Rushmore.

This trip in 2000
was my first big foreign assignment,

and an opportunity to cover
the new wealth in China,

but the timing was rough.

When Noah was two weeks old,

Time Magazine sent me a fax
offering me the job.

I took it to Frank, crying, and said,

"I told you my career would be over
when I had a baby."

At that time, the women
who were successful photographers

had chosen not to be mothers.

Frank was like,
"What are you talking about?

You should go."

I asked the pediatrician
if it would be damaging to a baby

to be separated
from its mother at ten weeks.

And he said, "It'll be fine for the baby,

but it's too punishing for the mother."

I convinced myself
that Noah would be fine.

So, I pumped 300 ounces of milk...

and went to China for ten days.

Being away was hard,

but over the next 14 years,

I still made 11 more trips
to China and Russia,

because the stories were so compelling.

With histories of revolutions

that tried to abolish class
and inequality,

the desire for luxury and status
was even stronger.

Thirty years ago,
China was an incipient basket case.

I mean, it was total isolation,

everybody was on bicycle.

China's now the biggest market
for all the Western luxury brands.

What the modern day Chinese woman
is looking for today, is a guide.

Their mothers grew up
during the Cultural Revolution, right?

So, nobody could teach them
how to wear lingerie.

Whenever you carry your hat,
or you put your hat on your lap,

never show the inside.

It's like showing
the inside of your clothes.

How to eat a banana elegantly
with a knife and fork.

Some people have criticized me,

saying, "Oh, well, you know, why are
these people paying 16,000 US dollars

to go learn how to cut
an orange elegantly?"

But everybody who's taken the class

has said it's worth every penny spent.

In Russia, 20 years ago,

they have a small apartment
or a small house.

They don't have possibilities
to have big house like mine.

The new Russians, the rich Russians,

they build huge libraries, very expensive,

with fantastic books.

And they're not opening it.

And it's not touchable.

You cannot even,
"May I look at this book?"

"No, no, no, it's very expensive."

So what? It's a book.

In Moscow,

the debutante ball of the 19th century
has been revived.

But instead of aristocrats,

the girls coming out are the daughters
of oligarchs and celebrities.

The ball is sponsored
by Maserati and Chanel,

and is basically a way
to sell luxury brands to Russian women.

In thinking about the wealth project,

I started seeing connections
with work I had done

for a book called Girl Culture.

For years, I had been looking
at how girls learn from a young age

that their bodies have currency.

Beauty is how you win.

When I was single,
I dated all kinds of guys.

Yeah. I even dated Donald Trump.

Donald, we wanted you...

And why do we have to suffer
to be beautiful?

I guess it must be a man's world
out there.

Women get their legs waxed,
their bikinis waxed.

They do these cosmetic procedures,
they have to put on makeup.

Women get the short end of the stick,

because we work the same hours
and do all the same things,

and then have all this other stuff to do.

I first met Suzanne
for a story I was doing for a magazine

about who spends the most
on body maintenance.

And Suzanne spent the most, by far.

I think looking good
is important,

um, in any business, not just mine.

I'm out dealing with clients,

selling something, in a sense.

People like dealing
with attractive people.

Ifs human nature.

It's very apparent,
the weight that's put on

having longer hair
that's less, like, nappy,

and having lighter skin.

When I was in 11th grade,

like, some people started
to make fun of me

because I was darker-skinned,

and I kind of got down
on myself after that.

We base beauty off of one thing,

and however close you are
to that one thing

makes you prettier than other people.

When you were born,
you were in the 50th percentile for height

and the 90th percentile for weight,

so I knew that, you know,
being short and a little bit round

was your, uh, genetic body.

But it wasn't the body,

uh, you know, of the magazines
and television,

and so you weren't satisfied with it.

You know, I think, um,
I kept you on the right path

in terms of avoiding an eating disorder,
which you later studied.

When I made my first film, Thin,
about women with eating disorders... was really looking at the heart
of darkness of mental illness.

But a social historian told me,

"Psychopathologies come and go.

But they always tell us
about the historical time period

in which they're produced."

Eating disorders are really common
in the United States,

one in seven.

And they flourish
in countries of affluence,

where food is abundant,

and where withholding food has power.

Shantell had an eating disorder,

and she felt modeling was exploitative.

So she started cutting herself,

and she had really mutilated her body,

because she said
she "wanted to damage the property."

When she referred to her body as property,

that really brought home the idea
of the commodification of the body.

What does beautiful mean to you?

# That I get money #

- # And I'm gonna be a superstar #
- No, not... Forget it.

We've probably got
a hundred thousand dollars invested

in the last four-and-a-half years.

You have wardrobe, you have hair,

you have makeup, you have coaching.

The town that we are from
has a population of 566.

Just the fact that someone picked her
to be on Toddlers and Tiaras

was amazing to me.

Whoo! Get it, girl!

Mom here got to thinking,

"What would be the biggest thing
that we could do for a 3-year-old?"

That's how
the showgirl costume came to be.

And she won.

The connotations that come
with the Vegas showgirl

never crossed my mind.

Apparently, the derriere part
would be open, or topless,

but, you know, I wanted glamor
and feathers and glitz.

I always say that maybe if you think
there was something inappropriate,

then maybe there's something wrong
with your thought process,

because momma here
doesn't see it that way.

We're a completely pornified culture.

The images of porn are now so pervasive

and accessible throughout the society,

they've leeched into popular culture.

Oh, my god!

Are you serious?

It's TV, like, the Internet, ads.

I know like, a lot of, like,
kids and stuff,

like, watch, like, porn.

And that's also where a lot of it
comes from,

like, the unrealistic, like, women.

I think most people, like,
probably including me,

were, like, exposed to porn at like...

seventh grade, maybe.

You're seeing stuff
that's just completely fake.

Ifs just, like, it's a movie.

And, like, there's a camera crew,
just like this,

everything's scripted.

People believe it,
'cause, like, they wanna believe it.

And they think that's, like,
how real interactions are.

Does that affect the kinds
of pictures your friends are posting?

Yeah. I see, like,
a lot of my friends

in, like, very revealing bikinis
to make sure they get a lot of likes.

I did an Instagram study.

The photos that didn't receive
a lot of likes

were stuff like family,

and stuff that, like, kids
were trying to get away from.

Guys want what's really demeaning
for women.

And to match, like, guys' expectations,

I think, like, a lot of women
probably try to replicate it.


I actually do have an interview
with that girl,

where she says,
"We wanna dance like strippers."

I wanna be a dancer.

Topless dancing showgirl.

I think it would be fun,
dancing with my tits shown off.

If I can accomplish being that,
then I can accomplish anything.

Booty up,
and tip your booty side to side.

So, it's almost like
a little back stretch.

There were even
trendy exercise classes

that taught cardio striptease.

So, we're half an arm from our pole,

right hand is up.

We step with your inside foot, spin!

Yeah, hips shift to the left this time.

You can just keep your handcuffs on
if you prefer.

So let's roll over and crawl
and act like we like it.

When you're documenting
the effects of popular culture,

it's almost like the air we breathe.

It's everywhere.

And so it's hard to actually see it.

In my work, I often look at the extremes

to understand the mainstream.

At Magic City,

beautiful girls use their sexual capital
to rise to the top.

We don't have movie stars in Atlanta,

so the strippers are the movie stars.

They're high class.

When I first started dancing here,

it felt like I made it,
like I was in Hollywood.

It was like you were in the middle
of a music video.

Shortcut, shortcut, shortcut.

Make it overnight, make it overnight.

Unfortunately, more and more people

are trying to find a way around
the hard work that it takes

to, um, be successful in life.

Being average
has never been an option for me.

Going to a nine to five would just be...

That would be hurtful.

It's just the fact
that I can throw money on a person.

And she likes it!

It's a rush.

I don't give a fuck,
gonna throw this money, like, yeah!

Throw it!

Ya know what I'm sayin'? It's not finesse.

Like, whoa!

She might get paper cut.

Order up another thousand! Fuck it.

Like DJ Esco,

I was both critic and participant.

Shooting for magazines gave me
the front row seat to the popular culture

that I needed for my own work.

Yeah, lift your leg up.

I was banging seven-gram rocks
and finishing them,

because that's how I roll.
I have one speed, I have one gear. Go!

It appears Charlie checked himself

before he wrecked himself.

Writing a 30,000-dollar check

for porn star and party animal,
Kacey Jordan.

Amy said he gave you
an unusual tip,

like a ball of coke?

It was huge.

My dream was always
to be an actress.

It really makes you feel like a movie star
when you're in makeup.

It was kind of like the film career
that I always wanted.

When I found out
that I could be an adult film star,

I was just like, "Let's go," I mean,
'cause when you have nothing else to do

in a town you don't want to be in.

Got a plane ticket, found an agent...

So, that was pretty cool.

It was definitely the feeling
of being really close to my dream.

You know, before I left Oregon,
I was living out of my car,

so I didn't have to live
under my parents' rules.

And I was living off Taco Bell,

because it was the cheapest thing
you could do.

I had 88 cents,
and the bean burrito was 89 cents.

I just broke down crying
at the Taco Bell cashier.

And then, a year later,

I was living across from the Grove,
on the top penthouse floor.

That was one of the coolest
moments of my life,

was that, that feeling of, of success.

You know, I was, like, buying my sister,
and my family,

I'm like, "Oh, here is a flat screen,"

like, "Let's just go to Best Buy
and just pick out whatever you want."

You know, it's just cash.

It was just like from zero to a hundred,

and I was addicted.

Okay, you guys ready?

I was determined
to make something out of myself.

Leaving Kansas,

I said, "Mama, one day,
you're gonna see me walk a red carpet."

I was a single mother
coming to Vegas.

I vowed to make that money

to be able to give my son something

and to always be able
to take care of myself

where I didn't depend on a man.

What I do in Las Vegas
is a pretty important business.

When it comes to VIPs,

everybody wants to feel like a rock star.

I gotta make sure that they've got
the best tables or cabanas

that are around 10,000 dollars,

that they have the best bottle service.

If you've got the girls,
you've got the game.

She's not a madam.

Just want to clarify that out right now,

from her son.

I mean, sure, blonde hair, big boobs.

Oh, yeah, I know a lot of those, but...

you don't compare to Tiffany.

Like, she's queen of Vegas,
you know?

And it's white.

- At least I have panties on, this time.
- Have some class, don't show ass.

Ooh, I like that.

Are you out tonight, question mark?
Trouble is a-brewing.

I've seen a lot.

You couldn't show me anything else
that would make my head spin.

I mean, I've seen everything,

from 5,000-dollar contests
to see who looks best naked, I've seen...

I've done bachelor parties

where girls are doing toy shows
on a hotel room floor.

Toy shows.
That means erotic toys?


I'm such an untraditional mom.

It's been like a challenge,

like, am I gonna bring him out
into this nightlife or not?

And I, I am bringing him in.

I'd love to DJ for as long
as I could possibly use my fingers.

But I'm also really big
into lizards, so...

if I ever retired one day,

I would just probably own a pet store,

probably would make me happy.

It's not a moral discussion.

Sex is, of course,
an extension of commerce.

What isn't?

We're in the VIP suite
of the Artemis Wellness Club.

Some would say bordello in Berlin.

I used to be co-investor
in here.

We're matching buyers.

Well, technically,
you call them Johns in America,

and the sellers,
which we would prefer to call sex workers,

not even prostitutes.


I lost my virginity when I was like 15
to a prostitute in Amsterdam,

and my dad was the one
that actually took me there.

My son was driving me absolutely nuts
with this girl and that girl,

and, like, having bets in school,
who will kiss the first girl.

And I said, "We're going
to Amsterdam, young man."

And he's like, "You're almost turning 16.
I can't believe you're still a virgin.

I lost my virginity when I was 14

to a prostitute that I paid with,
with a jar of coins."

It's like a rite of initiation.

Yeah, I can't let my son pay for it.

He paid her, like, a bonus
for teaching me how to...

how to have sex properly.

Unfettered, unregulated capitalism
does what it's designed to do,

which is commodify everything.

Even human beings become
commodities that you exploit for profit,

until exhaustion or collapse.

Did you ever take painkillers
or drugs to get through a scene?

Uh, yeah, a lot of times.

Like, I've actually had my ass torn,

um, last year.

And I took a lot of painkillers,
uh, for that one.


I did a 58...

uh, 58-guy bukkake.

Is there more than 50?

I doubt it.

Is there less than 50 in the jizz?

Guys! Quiet! Listen!

Fifty-eight loads to the face.

So much for makeup and hair.

And I am still remembered,
like, "Aw, I love that scene you did."

And it's, like, I get a lot of clients
from just the fact that I did that scene.

Chin up a little more.

- Nipples out.
- Not yet.

As much work
as I've gotten from it,

it was worth it.

Good job!

But I actually got salmonella.

It's, like, a food-borne illness,
and I got it.

- Yeah. Good job!
- Oh!

- I wanted to make sure...
- Oh, my god!

It's probably someone had it,

and it went in my eye or something.
It was so weird.

I wanted to do something cool,
or something, you know,

for what I could be remembered, but...
Yeah, and it worked.

Yeah, I always say, uh,

Kim's my inspiration
for I can still make it, you know?

Because I have lots
of sex tapes to show,

and maybe I'll still come out
on top somehow.

This is pretty hardcore.
Maybe we should, you know,

not think about it too much.

- And then, um...
- Oh, my god.

When we started, we thought
we were going to go through about...

five file cabinets of pictures.

And then, we ended up going through...

half a million pictures.

Almost everything I had done
related to this theme and this project.

Going through the pictures,

I realized wealth
was much more than money.

It was whatever gave us value,



even youth.

When I was in my 20s,

I went to the dermatologist
for a routine checkup.

And, unsolicited, he offered me Botox.

I was so shocked to find out that I had
a problem I didn't know existed,

that I realized this could be a project.

People were not aging
like in prior generations.

So, I started documenting
the value of staying young,

and the cost of not being who you are,

and yearning to be something different.

Cosmetic procedures weren't just
for the rich anymore.

Most people who got them
made less than 50,000 dollars a year.

I looked at many cable shows
of people who have had plastic surgery.

She has worked harder on herself

than she ever has before in her life.

I ate it up.

It's almost like
there's a new version

of the American Dream.

The physical makeover
as the rags to riches success story.

Cathy was a school bus driver
and single mom.

I took a raw look at myself.

I was no longer married.

Um, I didn't have the financial stability
that I wanted,

didn't own a home,
that had been one of my goals for years.

I could let that go.

What really mattered in life
was to be in the best body that I could.

The summer of '07 is when all
the opportunities seemed to converge.

I went to Brazil to get plastic surgery.

I had, um...

a pregnancy that really
had distorted my body.

Carrying so large with a nine-pound baby,

I had a lot of skin.

And how did that make you feel
when you looked in the mirror?


And I had contemplated
how it affects my daughter.

She was an early bloomer,

and she was about to enter into an age

where her body would change
even more rapidly.

I had always come to the conclusion

that me satisfying my own body issues
was the best thing I could do for her.

If I said to your kids,

'Where's your mom now?",
what would they say?

"In Brazil, getting her stomach...
her tummy tucked."

They're very happy for me.

I've also added to the list
a breast lift

and, um, breast augmentation.

I've been convinced
that I would look wonderful

with a little Brazilian butt lift.

And we are sculpting
under my neck with lipo,

and we are reshaping my nose to refine it,

uh, refine the tip, and get rid of a bump.

I paid for it on credit.

I didn't have all the money at the time.

It was son of a miracle
unfolding in front of me.

Um, but my parents did help me some,

which was not a position
I wanted to put them in.

But my mother, I believe, recognized

that this was a once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity for me.

Is the plastic surgery here
the same as in the United States?

It's different.

The anesthesiologists, uh, like, um...

like to use this technique.

I was thinking,
it's not like buying a purse,

I could take a purse back.

What if I make the wrong decision?

I'm a little overwhelmed.
I'm a little confused.

And I'm more alone than I thought.

Okay. Okay.

Do I know what I'm doing?
I know what I'm doing.

I'm a good mother, I'm a good person,
I might be indulgent.

Oh, I can't tell. I'm sleepy.

The greatest relief was seeing myself...

...uh, changed, better.

When considering one's own body,

that's a life skill, a coping skill
that every young woman has to develop.

My daughter,
that was hard for her.

It was the changing emotions
of emerging on adulthood.

She went in her bedroom at the time,
and she cut herself.

She cut... She carved...

She carved letters in her forehead.


As if she wish she were dead.

And that was the hardest thing
I've dealt with in my life.

The hardest thing.

Why would you...

intentionally distort,

uh, um, deface your body?

I felt it was a failure of myself
to impart to her how much she's loved,

and how much she's worth.

I always wanted children.

I waited till 40.

I thought it was time to get married.

We had already seen
a fertility specialist who said,

"You know, you should start yesterday,
not tomorrow."

As we sit here today, I'm in the process
of doing my fifth IVF cycle.

We're not talking
about 500, 600, 800 dollars.

We're talking about...

Five times in, you're,
you're at a hundred thousand dollars.

You know, our charity dollars this year
went towards trying to get pregnant.

The process has cut
our social life way back.

It's not romantic, it's not,

"Oh, let's drink
a wonderful bottle of wine,

and make love, and, you know,
here we got pregnant."

I had hired the best doctors,
I was paying top dollar.

If I read somewhere that, you know,
exercising wasn't good,

I stopped exercising.

If I read somewhere
that Mayan uterine massage was good,

I went and had Mayan uterine massage.

I've cut back on the Botox more,
because I'm concerned

about injecting botulism toxin
into my body.

You know, maybe that's not such
a good idea if I'm trying to get pregnant.

Um, so I've kind of done it less.

You know, it's funny,
after my failed cycle this summer,

I hadn't had Botox in like...

I went right in
to make myself feel better.

My time was running out
in terms of getting a viable egg.

I knew somebody through business who said,
"Get my surrogate to do it for you."

My doctor, when he first
examined Jennifer, said,

"You know, this woman
is like a walking baby carrier."

Like, this is, like, great.

When you surrogate,
you just have to have a strong mind-set

that you're kind of babysitting
for nine months.

You know, I'm holding on to it,
I'm gonna take care of it for you,

and then I'm handing it off.

Was it expensive
to do a surrogate?


And what did you need
the extra money for?

Right now, we have a three bedroom,
one bath,

which I'm okay with it.
It... But, I don't know.

Bigger is better, right?

Jennifer was great
in the sense that it was my thing.

She did what I wanted her to do.

And so I micromanaged
pretty much every aspect of it.

She thinks about things
like I never thought about.

Not standing in front of the microwave,

because it would affect me
getting pregnant,

or don't drink out of Styrofoam cups,

no sugar substitutes.

Was your husband
equally committed to having a baby?

Um, you know, the answer is no.

The reality is,
after the fifth or sixth try,

he was no longer that interested.

So, it was really
a very solo journey for me.

It's me, myself, and I, and my worth,

which is net worth, nothing else.

I had homes
of 20,000 square feet

I'd never spent a night in,
because I was too busy working.

Hard to believe if you do the math,

but in busy days,
300 to 500 telephone calls a day.

I think the first time he retired,
he had a lot of money already.

I don't know how much.

He could have stopped working
and led a family life if he had wanted to.

We were renting a castle
in France, in the boondocks.

There was no cell signal.

My kids still today laugh,

when they say I was climbing
on the highest peaks,

holding up my telephone to get a signal.

That vacation cost me at least
three or four million in foregone profit.

My dad was always, like,

completely disinterested
in the family life.

We found out he had an affair.

I think she was either a stripper
or a go-go dancer?

How is she different
from your wife?

Uh... This is hilarious,
yes, fake breasts.

Very commercially-minded.

Well, tell me about this intense, uh...

love for excess,
whether it's money, women...

- Work.
- Work.

How can a 100-hour workweek

not compromise your relationship
with anything that's worthwhile?

As I went deeper
into my subjects' obsessions...

I was surprised they reflected my own.

We're rolling.

Here you go.

And I remember
when I photographed Shelly,

one of the anorexic girls in Thin.

She said, "Work is your addiction."



Why do you think
I have a problem?


You're filming every second of our lives.

Do you...
Do you think I'm a workaholic?

A workaholic?

Yeah, like...

And your mom is even more than you.

And do you think Noah's similar?

Yeah, Noah is a little Lauren, definitely.

Noah might be more intense
than me.

One, two, forty-one, three,

four, light and quick.

Where did the addiction
to work come from, do you think?

I think it came from you.

I think you're a way bigger workaholic
than I am.

No, you're a way bigger workaholic
than I am.

How long is the longest
you've gone on a shoot?

I would say six weeks or two months.

I never went away that long. Never!

I don't know,
I had a lot more time with Dad.

- Did Dad kind of compensate?
- Yeah.

# Nothing's gonna change my world #

It made Frank have
that very close connection...

which has sustained us since that time.

It allows me to travel
and do the work.

- Mommy!
- What?


I just kind of grew up
with you not really being around.

It sounds kind of bad,
but I think the damage is already done.

Are you okay?


Your call has been forwarded

to an automatic voice message system.
At the tone...

I haven't gotten to talk
to him yet.

He called Frank, and...

Noah just got a perfect score on his ACT.

Hey, Noah, it's Mom.

Give me a call, uh,
when you're out of class.

Okay, bye. Love you.

I think he's just happy.

He worked hard.
It's his achievement, you know?

He didn't even call me to tell me.
It's just like he's happy.

I've always thought
that balance was kind of overrated.


Oh, fuck.

I'm often chasing my own obsessions
with as much adrenaline as my subjects.

Even though I wasn't going
for tons of money,

or the perfect body,

I was always looking for more and more.

I'm gonna be pretty wide,
so you'll have to be behind me.

Let's see, let's see how this works.

Okay, look at me.

Right. You can look up like than,
like you were a second ago. Yeah.

Look up again like you just were.


I don't think I'm meeting
my fitness goals.

I would love to see this fixed.

I would love to see my thighs fixed.

My butt needs to be fixed!

I saw a similar addiction

among women with eating disorders.

I would lose five pounds,

and it still wasn't good enough.

And I'd lose five more,
and it still wasn't good enough.

The fame, it's such a rush.

You know, the instant tweets
and instant posts.


Every day, I see some dancers
that are addicted to the pole.

Um, to the pole money.

Success becomes
its own perpetual vehicle.

You're part of this game
where the more, the better again.

And a billion is better
than a hundred million.

I was a hamster...

in a diamond-studded gold wheel.

You sell your soul to the devil,

'cause you get burnt out so bad,
that you just numb it.

Where you don't feel
the hand on your ass anymore.

We detach.

And then you put on the game again.

If not, it destroys you.

There is this place
that is too far,

and everyone ends up there.

When money is success,

it's impossible to not want to keep going.

Why wouldn't you?

'Cause if a lot is good, more is better.

You were trapped
in your own ambition.

Right now, breaking news here,

stocks all around the world are tanking
because of...

Capital, like any other resource
in excess,

will cause utter social
and economic havoc.

When the financial crash
of 2008 happened,

it felt like a global tsunami
of devastation.

There were eerily similar scenes

in all the places hardest hit.

Which I followed.

And what about your house?

We are in foreclosure.

And what's it like as a man,
as the breadwinner, to go through this?


You know, after trying so hard
to keep something you love so much...

and then they wanna come and take it.

I was just...

I was just trying to make a home
for me and my daughter.

That's all I was trying to do.

When even David
and Jackie Siegel's dream home

ended up with a fetid pool
and facing foreclosure,

for me, it was almost like a symbol

of our collective greed and its price.

In my path
to fairly quick wealth,

that made some enemies.

You know, I would get a threat
or a lawsuit, I said,

"Take a ticket,
walk to position 134 in the line.

Fuck off."

There were allegations against me.

They basically said I've conspired
to defraud.

Our CIO, Florian Homm,
resigned unexpectedly,

in a rather dramatic way.

Florian Homm
absconded to Colombia.

The FCC alleges
that he defrauded investors

out of about 200 million dollars.

I packed up a few things
and I found my way to Colombia.

Tell me about packing up
a few things.

You know, the Euro bills are so compact,

500 Euros, it's like almost
a 700-dollar bill.

And you can literally pack
half a million bucks on you.

You have these elastic bands which...

uh, in your Calvin Klein underwear,
that you can stuff them there,

and they rarely pat you
in your, well, genital area.

At the time, I was very attached
to money still, literally.

Well, after five years
on the lam,

Florian Homm finally nabbed.

He faces four counts of conspiracy,
wire fraud, and security fraud.

The American justice
had me arrested in Italy.

I end up in Florence prison,
in a cell of 20-square yards,

with mentally deranged, violent criminals.

I felt horrible.

Abandoned. Completely abandoned.

I was completely estranged
from my children.

So if a provider no longer provides,
what's his purpose?

What's my purpose?

As a kid who came
from a rock star family

who had every advantage,

I just kind of, like,
"I shouldn't even try."

I'm never going to get here.

So, why try to get here?
'Cause that's never...

That's not good enough.
You know what I mean?

I'm not a rock star. I'm a bartender.
I'm a server, I'm a...

whatever job I had to, you know, get by.

I had to numb just to be able
to deal with the mundane life.

I definitely didn't set out

to become addicted to,
you know, pretty hard opiates,

and for, like, two or three months,
I started smoking crack.

You know, I did any type
of painkiller,

and those kind of make you feel
warm and fuzzy,

and I used to say it was like the hug
I never got as a kid kind of thing.


"Some days I wear legacy like a weight,

too big a burden to bear,

like something that's just out of reach.

Legacy is how I run some days,

trying to keep up
with my family's achievements.

Legacy is my brother getting
a perfect ACT score,

36 out of 36.

And I remember crying that night,

'cause I didn't know if I would be able
to get such a good score,

and wondering if my parents
would still be proud of me.

Some days, legacy haunts me,

like an idea that's stuck in your brain,

and no matter how much you try
and ignore it,

it never gets out of your head.

Legacy is my life."

Very good.

That's great. Wow.

You wrote that today?

Yeah, I did.

How did you feel
the pressure of legacy?

Uh, because both my parents
went to Harvard.

You're such a weirdo!

Dad, do you see this?

Why do you feel the pre--

Why do you feel the pressure
of legacy?

- I'm asking Noah.
- Why do you feel the pressure of legacy?

I don't want Noah
to feel the pressure of legacy.

But why have you acted like someone

who's had enormous pressure
of legacy on you?

I had that, too, with my parents.

My parents went to Harvard, too.

And do you think
I was a happy child?

Do you think you were a happy child?

I don't know, I remember
a lot of anxieties and insecurities.

Really? What kind?

Just, uh, I don't know.

I think probably coming
from divorce, and...

- Mm-hm
- You know, maybe your being away,

I don't know.
But I just always remember being anxious.

Mm Mm-hm.

Wham do you remember?

Okay, let me actually go back.

When I had you, I had a PhD.

I was a graduate student
in culture and human development.

The women's movement was just starting.

Women are powerful! Join us now!

I suddenly realized
I was doing all of the childcare.

My career was going down the tubes.

Your dad was just focusing on his career.

We decided to separate.

And I knew I wouldn't lose touch with you

if I wasn't with you, um,
five days a week,

and I was just with you on the weekends.

Let's just talk about the fact
that you got a job

in another city from Dad,
and we lived with Dad.

He wanted to be
physically close to you most of the time.

And in general,
mothers don't need to be close

to their children geographically

to keep the attachment
in the relationship.

I understand, years later,
that you felt abandoned,

but, you know, then that's understandable,
because we had been very close.

And did you come
to visit us every weekend?

No, you traveled to Santa Cruz
every weekend with Mathew on the plane.

Was that unusual at the time

for a 5-year-old and a 7-year-old
to be traveling alone?

I had a very, very tortured relationship
with my mother.

My mother didn't work.
Her priorities were different.

We always had tons of help,

and people, other than my mother,
taking care of us,

even though she didn't work.

So you want to be different
than she was?

I think when you go through the journey
that I went through to become a mother,

like, you embrace every aspect of it.

Any time I would tell her anything,
she would freak out.

So, I started having contractions
early in the morning,

and I text her, and I'm like,
"Don't panic, but..."

And, of course, I panicked.

She came three-and-a-half months early.

I had left the labor and delivery room,
went out into the hallway,

and was really kind of losing it.

And the doctor came out and said,

"You've gotta come right now,
we're having a baby."

You know, I remember looking at him,
and saying,

"Where did you go to medical school?"

And he told me where, and I was like,
"That doesn't work for me!"

Um, to his credit,
he looked at me and said,

"Lady, I'm all you got right now."

And then around one, two o'clock
in the morning, our water burst.

It was over, and, you know,
they, they grab her.

I mean, she was the size of my hand.

Um, and they grab her
and they put her on a table,

and they put them in a plastic bag.

And there was a team
often people around her,

so you can't even see what's going on.

And I just remember being...

absolutely terrified.

'Cause they prepare you for the worst.

I wanted her more
than anything in the world.

After the Charlie Sheen
media blowout,

the, the scandal.

I was constantly getting followed,

like a normal celebrity probably would.

I started feeling really bad.


This is, like, a lifestyle
that maybe I would've wanted,

but the fame, it did more, like,

long-term damage to me
than I thought it could.

Hey, what's up, baby?

Hey, you okay?

- I can't do it!
- You can do it!

- You're doing good so far...
- You're doing good!

You're doing fine.

- You're doing good.
- No!

"What is she doing?
Oh, she tries to kill herself."

This is Alprazolam, a.k.a. Xanax.

This is Advil PM.

Let's watch me die.


I wanted to reinvent myself.

I needed surgery
just to make myself feel better.

I started off with my boobs.

I did three nose jobs.

Another reason for the bigger boobs
and the different me

was because the fetishes
were generally, like, me being underage.

It's rare for a grown adult
just like me, a woman,

to have the body of, like, a 14-year-old.

So, that was why it sold so much.

I've become this, like, new persona
that I've created. Daveney.

That was like my way of like,
kind of, finally growing up.

Speaking of...

The morning sickness.

Whew, okay, um...

I'm actually pregnant now.

Uh, it's my 11th time.

I think it's a good time,
so I'm deciding to go through with it.

And I just decided that on Sunday.



Immediately after Brazil,
I was never comfortable financially.

I was just thinking,
"How do I pick up normal life,

keep them in school,
and find ways to pay off this debt?"

And were you working full-time

- as a bus driver that whole time?
- Yes, yes.

So, why didn't you have enough money
if you had a full-time job?

Because they don't pay!

Money, dollars, dinero, is what it takes.

My parents supplemented
some of my monthly budget.

And after I'd had the surgery...

I couldn't have asked them
to keep paying for how we live,

when I went and got this thing
which could seem to be a luxury.

And how long
did you live in the car?

I can't even count how long.

You don't tally ii along the way.
You will go crazy.

My mother had wanted custody.

She knew that I couldn't pay my rent
in 2008.

And I never wanted
to surrender my children,

but I didn't have enough money
to keep them.

I know that if I had gotten
my crap together with more money...

she wouldn't be dead.

She wasn't just a self-destructive girl.
She was a good child.

And sometimes, I think,
"Oh, Jaz wants to come visit..."

...for a minute.

It's in my CD changer in the car.

Sometimes I'll forget or get distracted,

and the CD will tum over
and I hear the 911 call.

Fairfax County 911,
where is your emergency?

My emergency, uh,
my granddaughter, she was drunk.

I was taking her home, she...

I was probably going
about 30 miles an hour,

and she jumped out of the back seat

She opened the door, she...

The same place I birthed her
was the same place I saw her die.

They had just removed
the ventilator,

and I could sit with her.

I told her I'm sorry.

I apologized. I told her I was sorry
that I couldn't protect her more.

And I had to go on living.

I remember a long time ago,

my wife and I,
we were in the most posh harbor

in the Balearic Islands,
in the Mediterranean.

And there were plenty of boats,
30, 40, 50 million, some of them for sale.

And then we sat down for dinner,
and I said,

"This one, this one, or this one?"


That woman said...

"Turn off your phone.

That's all I want. A nice dinner."

And it takes a long trip...

to come back to what matters.

The other stuff...

is a delusion.
It's a... It's a bullshit game.

All of us are following
a toxic dream.

What you're sold in this world,

is a bag of rotten goods.

At the end of a decayed culture...

we retreat into our own
comforting illusions.

We build walls
to cope with the reality around us.

It's not about me,
it's about you, believe me.

People have a hard time
separating reality from entertainment.

You know, because there is a line.

There's... It's a thick line,
it's not a thin one.

Corporate capitalism pushes people

towards this constant search
for the next adrenaline rush.

People seek that momentary ecstasy

to escape from a darker
and darker reality.

The population is diverted.

Sexual hedonism predominates
throughout the society.

We are dying in the same way

that other empires have died
throughout history.

- The difference...
- Whoo!

is that this time, when we go down,

the whole planet's gonna go with us.


Dear Lord, thank you for this day.
Thank you for everything you've given us.

Bless this food and bless this family.

- In Jesus' name. Amen.
- Amen.

When we talked in 1995,
you predicted you would be a millionaire.

I did.
And you know what so funny?

When we were gonna do this,
I was like "Man, you know what?

I told her...

I was gonna have 20 million dollars,

uh, on-hand cash,

and another 100 million dollars
in the bank."

So, did it happen?

Uh, no. Not, not at this moment.

I believe that the dream,
it's different now.

Success is showing my children
what a strong father looks like,

what a work ethic looks like.

He taught me
that just 'cause you have money

doesn't mean you're, like, all that.

A nice watch or a nice car
isn't gonna get you to college.

It's what you know, not what you have.

My daughter, she got a full-ride
scholarship to Cornell University.

She's a genius.

I have the big red Cornell sweater
right now.

I wear it every day.
I wear it around the house.

I would love to see all of them
go to college.

That's the true American Dream.

I wanted to come back home
to Oregon,

so I can make amends with my family,

and go through with the pregnancy.

But I lost, I lost the child, and...

you know, it's really hard
to kind of bounce back from that.

This whole year,
I've definitely felt myself

wanting to stop and change,
change a career path.

I, uh, work at Tan Republic,
which is the job that I had at 14.

It's very difficult going back
to minimum wage

from what I've made
these past eight, nine years.

There was a couple overdoses,

and I had over a million dollars
in medical bills.

I declared bankruptcy
just to start over fresh.

Now, anything porn or complete nudity,

I'm completely retired from that.

I really wanted to be me again.

I thought maybe Courtney was lost

amongst all the previous scandals
and my films.

And I feel like finally, once again...

I can really, really start off
with being Courtney again.

On any journey,

you sometimes have to go back
and find your roots,

and that's kinda what we've done
the last two years.

It was time to take a break.

We aren't, like, doing
that reality TV show.

We're just...

being normal right now.

Eden had been a winner
in everything she's ever done,

and I feel like the door just went...

It was a new scenario,

because up until that point,
it had been just...

You've got this child
that is extremely talented.

But you're so hungry for it,

you're blinded by that proverbial carrot
that's dangled out there.

You're just a commodity.

It's what the American people want to see.

They get off work,
they want to turn that clicker on,

and, you know, "Oh, ooh."
You know, whatever.

I didn't like who I had become.

I didn't like that other people
had been able to accomplish

ugly things through me in Eden's life.

I mean, major mistakes.

Would I do it all again? I think I would.

I think I would.

I really don't even have
to think about it,

because I wouldn't have had the awakening
and the knowledge any other way.

I was imprisoned for 15 months
without a trial.

And they let me go!

He's the luckiest man in the world.

He avoided getting extradited, and facing
a 20 or 25-year criminal sentence.

They put me on the list
with the likes of Osama bin Laden.

It was a global arrest warrant.

But I'm completely legally here
in Germany,

and I cannot be extradited
by the Americans.

So, I'm living in a very big,
beautiful prison called Germany.

If you think...

that money will buy you

anything and everything...

you've never, ever, ever had money.

Because I can't buy that smile
on my daughter's and my son's face,

and I can't buy the love in bed
of my wife.

I can't.

You think he learned a lesson
from being in jail?

I feel like a lot of his regrets

are that he kept pushing it
to the point where he fell,

and he just wishes that he had not fallen.

Yeah. That's...

I'm still, I'm still not sure how I feel
about everything regarding my father.

Three days after the birth,
I went home,

but, um, Suzanne was there
for almost two months.

She was very tiny, um...

She did really well, though.

I got the prize.

You know, she's here, and she's happy,
and healthy, and smiling,

and, you know, a terrific little kid.
And I...

So it doesn't matter anymore
how I got here, I'm here.

That experience changed me
so dramatically.

But my ex-husband left six weeks after
I brought her home from the hospital.

I mean, he's now with somebody
40 years younger than he is.

You know, I don't... I don't know
how you can be 70

married to a 30-year-old.

Nope, that's backwards.
You got to put it forwards.

Remember? Move the lever.

- All right, now try.
- Watch out, guys!

I think she knows not to touch the art.

Uh, wait. Stop!

Have your priorities changed?

Yeah, there's no question.

Okay, off we go.

How I spend money. Right?

A lot less art, a lot more ballet, or...

- piano, or...
- High five. Thank you.

front row tickets
to the Gazillion Bubbles Show.

I am not working as hard as I have
over the years.

You know, I take Sydney Bea
to school every day,

I pick her up, um..

In fact, the activities
I don't take her to

is just where there's no value added
to me being there.

And how are your priorities
different than your mother's?

I don't know that I can answer
that question.


The last real contact
I had with my mother, I was...

22 years old.

So even if I knew,
I don't think I would know.

I mean, what do you know at 22?

And did you resolve with her
before she passed away?


- Delicious.
- I'm feeding you, Mommy.

Do you have any regrets
about how you raised your children?

About how I raised my children?

That's a really hard question.

I wish I had known
you'd felt abandoned sooner,

'cause I think
that we could've talked about it,

opened, opened up that conversation,
and it would've...

uh, it would've improved
our relationship earlier,

so you didn't have that,
sort of, inside you all the time.

Thanks, Mom.


Better than doing it at my funeral.

Conscious parenting
is about realizing

how your kids are teachers,
they're like mirrors.

And a lot of times,
they're here to spark things up,

you know, within you,

that, you know, you need to heal,
or you need to work on.

I feel protective over her.

She's so beautiful,

and I don't want her
to have to go through,

like, what I had to go through.

I think about that time
and how even I used to dress,

and now I'm like, "Oh, my god!"

I would never, you know,
want Sahiya to go out like that.

She doesn't watch TV.
We don't have a TV in the house.

Cutting that out
and just having her reality be

what she sees from her mom,
or dad, or grandparents,

it's been amazing.

I didn't get what I needed
as a kid,

and I'm not mad about it anymore,

like, I've done a lot of work
to get where I am.

It's just the hand that I was dealt,

and really, I just want to use that
as ammo to be a good parent.

Whatever causes good self-esteem

it's probably love,
it's probably nurturing,

it's probably just being there,

and letting her know
that she's perfect the way she is.

You are my favorite girl.

Giving her that feeling is my goal.

Little boo boo. Hello.

Oh, I miss having one like this.

Talk to Daddy, talk to Daddy.
What do you want?

What does he want?

So, later on, we can just dump
this onto the computer?

Oh. Oh, yeah, so, um...

Lori, you're going to change
the taxi to 4 a.m.?

- I did for 4 a.m.
- Okay.

You know we're leaving at 4 a.m., Frank?

- Yeah.
- Just for a week.

- Bye, sweetheart.
- Bye, Mommy.

- I love you.
- Love you, too.

- Have a good trip.
- Be good.

I will.

- Hey, Mom.
- Hey, sweetheart.

I think your French
is getting better than nine.

- It was really well-written.
- Really?

Let me just look at it one more time.

Oh, I found a mistake.

You have "un cellule"
and then you have "une cellule."


All right, well, you probably
have a lot of work, I'll let you go.

You wanna see Manila?

Here, I'll just show you out the window.

- Can you see?
- Yeah, I can see.

It's very blurry.

You see the streets a little bit?

Yeah, it reminds me of China.


Nice job!


Global capitalism has done

a very effective job
of destroying culture.

That inability to hear
the voices of the past,

to understand traditions,

makes it much harder for us to grasp
who we are and where we came from.

Authentic culture holds up other values,

forces us to be self-critical,
to look at ourselves.

So, this project, like,
it goes back for me 25 years.

Can you imagine
where you'll be in 25 years?

Could you imagine
where you would be 25 years ago?

- No.
- Yeah, I don't think I could, either.

Except for dreaming of you
and Gabriel.

So this is our 30-year anniversary.

I want to make a toast to Frank,

the love of my life,

who I can't imagine
or remember a life without,

and sometimes, don't even know
where you end and I begin.

For me and the kids,

Dad is the secret sauce
that makes everything possible,

who pushes us relentlessly
to make our dreams come true.

I'm filming the whole thing.


Keep going.

The proud Papa.

I'm always surprised
by the good things that you do.

But it's at an extraordinary price.


You're determined
to spend time with family

and make sure that happens.

But you're all over the place.

I realize there's no perfect balance.

Nobody has it.

But sometimes, I think you are pushing
a little bit too hard.

For the long run, not for the short run.

The work you're doing this time,

like, fascinates me
more than any other work, 'cause...

it's kinda like everything about wealth,
like, 25 years of wealth,

like the good stuff, like the bad stuff,
like the poor people, the rich people,

like the happy people, the sad people.

Like, I think that's cool.

- Yeah.
- Thanks, Noah.


It's dedicated to you and Noah.

You've come a long way.

- Just get my hair proper.
- Braden, you come here.

- Can you hold this with one hand?
- Yeah.

Okay. Go for it.

Okay, hold on.

Right, this way or that way?

It's kind of ironic
that I've chosen to raise my kids

in the exact same world that I grew up in.

Same neighborhood, same school,
same pressures.

And even though I can deconstruct
the culture in my work,

I'm still susceptible to its influence.

It's just who I am.
It's not like I can really stop.

I am in constant motion.

And I live with the consequences.

But it's also one of the things I love
that gives my life meaning.

Not much has changed.

Rock star, right there.

Just passin' a joint around,
you know.

Oh. Ver... Versace..


Oh, my god. That's me.

Yeah, this is my very first interview
I ever did.

My very first interview I ever did.

Yeah, that was my life back then.


The thoughts of a child, really.

Really. Yeah, mm-hm.

That's deep.

"When I was leaving Kansas City,
I told my mom,

'One day, you're going to see me
walk a red carpet.

I have lived on private jets,
Cristal-flowing nights,

and I have partied with rock stars,
and celebrities, and actors.

But you know what they say...

"Be careful what you wish for."