Dennis Hof, a legal pimp who gained notoriety for an HBO series about his business and who has fashioned himself as a Donald Trump-style Republican candidate for the state Legislature, has died, Nevada authorities said Tuesday. An employee at Hof's Love Ranch brothel about an hour outside of Las Vegas summoned authorities a little before 11am Tuesday after Hof was found unresponsive and not breathing, said Nye County Sheriff Lt. David Boruchowitz. He declined to say where on the property Hof was found, and said people at the business were being questioned, the AP reports. "Preliminarily, there is no indication of foul play," Boruchowitz said. Hof, who starred in the adult reality series Cathouse, owned a handful of brothels in Nevada, the only state that allows them to legally operate; his Love Ranch brothel is where NBA player Lamar Odom was found unconscious in 2015.
Hof, who turned 72 on Sunday, was the Republican candidate this year in a heavily GOP state legislative district. He had been celebrating his birthday at a hotel in the rural city of Pahrump that Hof had said would be attended by porn star Ron Jeremy, rapper and reality television star Flavor Flav, and Joe Arpaio, the former six-term sheriff of metropolitan Phoenix. It wasn't immediately clear Tuesday if they all attended, but Arpaio confirmed he had been at the party Monday night and was astounded to hear of Hof's death. "Boy, that's shocking," Arpaio said. The former sheriff said Hof was in good spirits when Arpaio left the party around 10pm Monday. In addition to his legislative campaign, Hof faced a push to outlaw brothels and had problems with local regulators in the two counties where he runs the licensed bordellos; Love Ranch was temporarily shuttered twice this year by regulators who said Hof had failed to renew licenses and get proper permits for renovations. Hof had also been accused of sexual assault on at least four occasions. (He also once helped a 20-year-old sell her virginity.)