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FLEISS TRIED TO KEEP `BIT OF DIGNITY’ DURING HER PANDERING TRIALS

SHARE FLEISS TRIED TO KEEP `BIT OF DIGNITY’ DURING HER PANDERING TRIALS

Heidi Fleiss, supplier of high-priced, globe-trotting call girls to the rich and famous, said she tried to maintain some sense of dignity when details of her crimes made headlines for two years.

But the Hollywood Madam lost that battle Thursday on the courthouse steps, breaking into tears after she was convicted of hiding hundreds of thousands of dollars in earnings from her call-girl ring.After deliberating for six days, a federal jury found Fleiss, 29, guilty of eight counts of conspiracy, income-tax evasion and money laundering.

The jury said she concealed at least $300,000 in income through her family's bank accounts and the purchase of a $1.6 million Beverly Hills estate once owned by actor Michael Douglas.

Fleiss faces a maximum of about five years in prison. She was released without bail pending her sentencing Nov. 13.

"The whole two years has been a tremendous amount of pressure for me - it's been a nightmare. I've tried to keep a little bit of dignity and get through it the best way I can," Fleiss told reporters.

The jury deadlocked on two other counts concerning allegations that she lied on a loan application. Prosecutors said they would probably dismiss those charges.

Fleiss sobbed as the verdicts were read. She already has been sentenced to three years in state prison following a pandering conviction in December.

It was a rare breakdown for Fleiss, who was always clad in fashionable business suits and often had a sly smile for TV cameras.

Her attorneys said they were disappointed. "I thought there were flaws in all of the counts of the indictment," said lawyer Robert Bonner.

Prosecutors also will try to make her forfeit $550,000 in cash and property. A Sept. 18 hearing was set.