Dennis Hof Dennis Hof at the 2006 Adult Video Network Convention in Las VegasPersonal detailsBorn (1946-10-14)October 14, 1946
Dennis Hof (born October 14, 1946 – October 16, 2018), self-designated the "Trump from Pahrump," was an American brothel owner, entrepreneur, restaurateur and star of the HBO series Cathouse. He was best known as the owner of seven legal brothels in Nevada. In the state of Nevada, prostitution's legality is determined on a county-by-county basis. Several of his brothels are in Moundhouse, Nevada, a few minutes outside Carson City. His best-known brothel is the Moonlite BunnyRanch. Hof's autobiography, The Art Of The Pimp, was a best-seller, and he lectured at Oxford University in England, Trinity College Dublin and the Sorbonne in France.Contents
Hof purchased and remodeled The Moonlite BunnyRanch in 1992, which was founded in 1955; he then purchased a second brothel, Kitty's, and renamed it The Love Ranch North. Hof purchased two additional brothels from longtime Nye County brothel proprietor Joe Richards: the Cherry Patch in Crystal, Nevada, renamed the Love Ranch Vegas, and the Cherry Patch II in Amargosa Valley, Nevada, renamed the Alien Cathouse. On September 8, 2018, it was announced that the Alien Cathouse was sold to business owner Raman Sharma.
In contrast to other Nevada brothel owners who prefer to keep a low profile, and despite Nevada laws banning brothel advertising, Hof maintained a high profile to create publicity for his brothels. A gregarious man, Hof was the president of the Nevada Brothel Owners' Association, and its lobbyist; the Bunny Ranch is the closest brothel to the state capital, Carson City.
Hof operated a website and the "working girls" are encouraged to cultivate online relationships with both potential and past clients. He often appeared on talk shows, which have included Oprah Winfrey, The Today Show, The View, Fox News, Howard Stern, Lex and Terry, and many others. Hof employs adult film stars, including Sunset Thomas, with whom he also had a romantic relationship. He also gave free offers to soldiers returning from duty.
In early 2009, due to the recession, State Senator Bob Coffin (D) had proposed legalizing prostitution statewide for tax purposes. Hof was prominently featured in a number of media reports saying he would expand into Las Vegas given the opportunity, and was looking at some closed casinos as property. However, the Nevada lawmakers had refused to consider the proposal of statewide legal prostitution during that legislative session.Series
Hof and the Moonlite Bunny Ranch brothel were featured in the HBO series Cathouse, which ran from 2002 to 2014. Two documentary series followed. In 2005 Cathouse: The Series premiered. Cathouse 2: Back in the Saddle appeared in 2007. Dennis Hof also was the producer of the Showtime series "Working Girls in Bed".
Both featured a look at the inner workings of a legal house of prostitution as well as the life of a number of the working girls, borrowing some techniques from reality television, such as camera-only interviews and staged spontaneity.Filmography
Hof appears as himself in an "underground" mall shop called "Pro-Life Sex" in the 2014 indie film, Alongside Night.Public speaking and television appearances
Hof had speaking engagements at Oxford University and Trinity College, Dublin. In 2001 the New Yorker magazine ran an 11-page article by Rebecca Mead about him entitled "American Pimp".
Hof appeared on Walton and Johnson, Brand X with Russell Brand, Rover's Morning Glory, The Johnny Dare Morning Show, Todd and Tyler, American Pimp, The Tyra Banks Show, Lex and Terry, the Opie and Anthony Show, The Adam Carolla Show, The Howard Stern Show, The Mike Calta Show, Loveline with Stryker and Dr. Drew, Derek and Romaine, and on Dr. Phil, as well as giving a tour and interview to conservative pundit Sean Hannity on Hannity and Colmes.Author
In March 2015, Hof released a book, The Art of the Pimp. Unusually, the memoir includes personal accounts from women who worked for Hof in which they detail sexual abuse at his hands. It also includes a psychological profile of Hof from psychotherapist Dr. Sheenah Hankin. Dr. Hankin found Hof to be a narcissist with no empathy, and states of his relationships with his employees, “Like any pimp, he exploits them. This is sadistic behavior, and it is both unrecognized and denied.”Legal troubles
In 1999, Lyon County sheriff's deputy Brian Putzer filed a police report accusing Hof of death threats. According to Deputy Putzer, the threats were spurred when Putzer did a routine walk-through check of one of Hof's brothels and discovered documents showing that Hof was setting up sexual encounters in counties where prostitution is illegal. Putzer states that his superiors "didn't want to challenge Hof" as the county is poorly funded and Hof's brothels were a major contributor to the local economy.
In 2016 a woman who had formerly worked for Hof, Jennifer O’Kane, publicly accused Hof of nonconsensual sexual contact, rape, sexual harassment, and having sex with his workers without a condom. O'Kane stated that Hof regularly gets away with the sexual abuse of his employees due to their status as sex workers, and that she had reported the rape to the D.A.'s office in 2011 but nothing had been pursued. The accusations were similar to statements made in Hof's own memoir by former Hof employees Krissy Summers and Cami Parker, who noted abusive behavior and coerced sexual encounters in the brothel. A detective interviewed O'Kane regarding the accusations but charges were not pursued as there were no other direct witnesses and Hof was running for political office at the time. Deputy District Attorney Katrina Samuels again declined to prosecute the case in 2018, stating that the statute of limitations had passed.
In December 2017 another former employee, Diana Grandmaison, reported a non-consensual sexual encounter with Hof to the same detective who had investigated the O'Kane case. Grandmaison stated that Hof regularly initiated such encounters with the young girls who worked for him and detailed other forms of work abuse. No further action was taken.Politics
Hof endorsed Ron Paul in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. He joined the Libertarian Party in 2015.
In December 2016, he became a "Trump Republican."
In 2016 and 2018, he ran for a seat in the Nevada state legislature, the former as a Libertarian and the latter as a Republican; he lost the first race to James Oscarson but beat him in the GOP primary in 2018. He prevailed in the primary after Nye County officials attempted to remove Hof's campaign signs. However, in an emergency motion before the Federal District of Nevada, Hof prevailed in a First Amendment claim against the county. He was represented in that matter by First Amendment attorney, Marc Randazza.Personal life
In Cathouse: The Musical, Hof revealed that he only dates prostitutes. "I don't date civilians (non-working girls)." The documentary series has shown several of his relationships with employees, such as adult film star Sunset Thomas and Heidi Fleiss. In his memoir, Hof disclosed a lack of interest in monogamy and details how every one of his relationships has broken up due to his own infidelity. Hof was a close friend of Fox News personality Tucker Carlson. He once stated that he communicated with Carlson daily to give him ideas for his show.Death
Hof died in his sleep at his Love Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada, on October 16, 2018, following a party for his 72nd birthday that had been attended by Flavor Flav, Joe Arpaio, Grover Norquist and Ron Jeremy, the last of whom found Hof unresponsive. Police did not suspect foul play at the time of his death, and no one who was with him the night before noticed any signs of ill health.See also