Famed Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof found dead at ‘Love Ranch’
Famed brothel owner-turned-politician Dennis Hof died in Nevada on Tuesday, officials said.
The 72-year-old Hof was found dead at the Love Ranch in Crystal, Nevada, just north of Pahrump, according to the Nye County Sheriff Department.
A Love Ranch employee found Hof unresponsive and not breathing at about 11 a.m. PDT, according to Nye County Sheriff’s Lt. David Boruchowitz.
The brothel is about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
Hof owned several legal brothels in the Silver State, including the Moonlite Bunny Ranch. That location was center stage of HBO reality show and documentary about the sex industry, “Cathouse.”
In addition to the Moonlite Bunny Ranch and the Love Ranch, Hof’s other brothels included the Cherry Patch Ranch, the Kit Kat Ranch, the Sagebrush Ranch and the Love Ranch North.
“It is with a heavy heart that I share this: Another Pirate King has fallen,” Hof’s lawyer Marc J. Randazza said in a statement. “Rest in Slack, Dennis Hof. I am proud to have called you a client and a friend. Everyone who dies from this day forward will have a hell of a lot more fun on the other side.”
Adult film star Ron Jeremy, who was said to have been at a birthday celebration with Hof on Monday, tweeted that he was the one who found Hof dead.
“Today I lost one of my best friends. I am the one who found him. Every year we spend the weekend together for his birthday. He said this was the best year ever. I will miss him every day,” Jeremy said. “Rest In Peace Daddy D.”
Jeremy told NBC News Tuesday evening in a phone interview that “It was a great day. A lot of political people were there. He said it was the best night of our life.” He said that when Hof didn’t wake up for a planned event, he knew something was wrong.
“I said, ‘something’s wrong here. Dennis is very responsible,'” Jeremy said. “I see that he’s just not moving.” He said he and another woman tried to revive him. “His body felt cold. Just cold,” Jeremy said. He said that he ran into the office and 911 was called.
The hard-partying, always quotable Hof was running for seat in the Nevada state Assembly, after knocking off an incumbent Republican in June.
“I’m stunned. This is not the turn I would’ve expected,” his Democratic opponent Lesia Romanov told The Las Vegas Review-Journal. “My heart goes out to those who care about him. Just a crazy turn of events. Wow. All I can say is wow.”
Hof’s name will remain on the November ballot, according to the Secretary of State spokeswoman Jennifer Russell. If Hof wins, then county commissioners would need to appoint a Republican to take that seat until the next election in two years, Russell added.
The brothel owner had styled himself as a populist akin to President Trump. He called himself the “Trump from Pahrump.”
“I’m just confused and stunned,” his campaign manager Chuck Muth told the Review-Journal.
The 36th Assembly District spot is considered a safe Republican seat. Defeated GOP incumbent James Oscarson had won three terms, twice with more than 60 percent and once with no competition.
Hof had been dogged in recent months by an on-going sexual assault investigation by state authorities. Hof had denied all allegations and said the accusations were politically motivated.
The brothel owner’s birthday was on Sunday and he threw himself a party and campaign rally with guests including Jeremy and former Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the Review-Journal reported.
Arpaio said he left the party at about 10 p.m. on Monday and Hof appeared to be well and in good spirits.
“Boy, that’s shocking,” Arpaio said of Hof’s sudden passing. “The thing I liked about him: He was with Trump and was for the Second Amendment and lower taxes.”
Marc Risman, Hof’s friend and attorney who was at the party, told NBC affiliate KSNV of Las Vegas that Hof was “animated, he looked well, he adopted a dog that night.”
Jeremy said that when at the Love Ranch Hof was “in such a good mood.”
“Very bizarre and heartbreaking, because he was so happy,” Jeremy said.