It’s a feather-weight battle.
Famous former madam Heidi Fleiss is accusing Brandi McClain, a woman who once allegedly worked for her, of reneging on a custodial agreement over four macaws. But McClain says the birds were a gift and have been well taken care of.
“I bought four birds and entrusted them to Brandi,” Fleiss told The Post, alleging McClain gave the birds away without permission. “The instructions were for them to never be confined or traded; the agreement is that if there is any problem, the birds revert to me.”
Fleiss acknowledged that the purported agreement was verbal. But she has hired an attorney to gain custody of the macaws.
The 56-year-old believes that all macaws should be uncaged and flying freely. That is why she’s got 40 of them under her care in Pahrump, Nev., where she lives on 50 acres.
The fowl situation began this past June, when McClain, 51, wrote to her old boss. The mother-of-four expressed an appreciation for what Fleiss does with her birds and wanted to help.
Impressed by the acres of forested land that surrounds McClain’s home near Memphis, Tenn., Fleiss said she purchased four birds and brought them to McClain.
“I visited Brandi four times, making sure that the macaws were being properly cared for,” said Fleiss. “I spent $40,000 [on the birds, a barn for them and travel costs] and hoped everything would be fine. I like Brandi.”
Countered McClain: “Heidi spent $18,000. The birds were gifted to me. I took to [their care] very quickly and did not want to cage them.”
Then, within six months, according to Fleiss, “I found out that she had one bird in a cage near the window — her neighbor told me it was because Brandi thinks the bird likes looking outside — another had disappeared, which is ridiculous because birds don’t just disappear; and two others had been given to [a man who runs a non-profit animal rescue] in Texas. He gave them to his neighbor.”
Acknowledging that she gave them to Nick Phomkasornsri, who goes by thegaysiancowboy on TikTok and has 69,500 followers, McClain said that the birds are being well cared for by the neighbor.
“They fly all day,” said McClain. “They go ‘night-night’ in the cage. As for the bird that flew away, that’s the risk of them living in the wild.”
McClain claims that she gave the birds away for their own safety. “Temperatures were dipping below the 30s and the birds were shivering,” she said. “I was in a panic that they would freeze to death. The one I kept doesn’t fly because his wings had been clipped.”
Fleiss said that she is offering a $3,500 reward, via Craigslist ads in Memphis and Nashville, for the missing macaw’s safe return.
She discovered two of the birds’ whereabouts, she said, “by hiring an Internet sleuth. In one day, he found the birds. It was heartbreaking. I contacted [Phomkasornsri]. He said he will not return them. I said these birds are legally mine and I will get them back. Brandi claims that they are her birds.”
Phomkasornsri told The Post that no money traded hands when he took on the birds or gave them up for adoption. “The people who now have the birds are phenomenal bird owners,” he said. “Brandi provided me with documentation that they are her birds.”
McClain, who has also hired an attorney, said, “if she wants the one bird I have, I will give it back.”
Whatever the outcome, Fleiss expresses no desire to surrender any of her high-flyers. “I am so dogmatic in my beliefs. They already have a cage: it’s called the sky,” she said. “Someone giving away my macaws or restricting them is someone begging for a huge problem.”
Last year one of Fleiss’s birds was shot with a pellet gun, which led her to consider relocating her flock to the Ozarks. She’s instead planning on moving to a home in Las Vegas, situated near a cemetery, which will allow plenty of open air for her macaws.