Jose Menendez and the Madam

In the book “Blood Brothers: The Inside Story of the Menendez Murders”, authors Ron Soble and John Johnson write (page 326) that a prostitute contacted the television show Hard Copy and claimed that Jose Menendez had been a client of hers and that he had a “preference for brutality.” The story would later appear on television. An editor at Hard Copy acknowledged that “the woman had been paid for her story.” The editor also said that in order to confirm the accuracy of the woman’s story producers of Hard Copy checked out the woman’s madam with the L.A. police, who confirmed that the madam was legit.

In the 2017 “Truth and Lies: The Menendez Brothers – American Sons, American Murderers” documentary, journalist and author Robert Rand states: “Jose Menendez was carrying on affairs with a woman in New York, a woman in L.A. And he was also being supplied with prostitutes by a madam here in Los Angeles.”
https://abcnews.go.com/US/video/menendez-family-turmoil-beverly-hills-part-44586903

The “madam” referred to in both “Blood Brothers” and the ABC documentary is with virtual certainty the same person, and is with equal virtual certainty Hollywood madam Cheri Woods. In two New York Post articles, Ms. Woods made some damaging allegations against Jose Menendez. The full text of the articles reads as follows:

(The articles have been copied from Ms. Woods’ now-defunct website. It is unclear to me whether the bracketed portions of the second article actually belong in the article or whether they were added by Ms. Woods’ website. My guess would be the latter.)

Dec. 13, 1993
R. Johnson /K. Ryan

Madam: Menendez Dad Was Sadist

IF Jose Menendez treated his two sons the way he supposedly treated the call girls sent to him by Hollywood madam Cheri Woods, the boys’ claim of self-defense in their riveting Los Angeles murder trial might have merit.

As the case of Lyle and Eric Menendez winds down, Woods tells PAGE SIX that she can well believe the brothers’ charges of sexual and physical abuse.

Woods, former wife of recording star Stevie Woods and former madam, says she has evidence to prove that Jose Menendez was a sadist, and that the brothers had reason to fear for their lives when they gunned down their father and mother in 1989.

Woods, who counted the Hillside Strangler among her one-time clients, said that the serial murderer, who real name is Kenneth Bianchi, was a gentleman compared to Menendez, whom she calls a “savage.”

Woods said she met Jose Menendez in the early ’80s, when the Cuban immigrant first took his job as a top executive at Carolco Pictures.

For the next several years, Woods claimed, Menendez “called her every week to ask for girls.”

Menendez had firm specifications with his orders. “He insisted that the girls be no more than 13 years old and petite,” Woods remembered. “But I never employed minors, so I sent my youngest-looking girls.”

And every time, Woods claimed, the Caralco honcho would physically abuse his date.

“Once, he tried to strangle a very sweet girl as he had sex with her,” Woods said. “She was so scared she refused to go back to him – regardless of how much he wanted to pay her.”

On another occasion, Menendez slapped his date around. And, according to Woods, as he pretended to rape her, she shouted “nasty and macho language” at her.

The final deal between Woods and Menendez took place some six years before he and his wife, Kitty, were found murdered at their $4 million Beverly Hills mansion. On this particular date, Menendez severely injured one of Woods’ girls with whips and various sex toys.

“The girl came back with scratches and bruises all over,” said Woods. “I decided to stop taking his calls.”

Woods, who will go national with her allegations on “Geraldo” on Dec. 20, believes the brothers’ claim that they killed their parents out of self-defense – rather than greed, as alleged by prosecutors.

“I believe that Jose’s sexual appetite for teen-agers and his violent tendencies could easily spill over into home life,” said Woods. “Seeing what he did and could’ve done to the girls, his sons had good reason to think that Jose could hurt them if he wanted to.”

The case goes to the jury next week. If convicted, the brothers could face the death sentence. If acquitted, they’ll inherit their parents’ $14 million estate.


June 15, 1994
Neal Travis

The Madam & Mr. Menendez

The case of the Menendez brothers, who murdered their rich parents and claimed self-defense, is about to get a whole lot stranger.

A notorious Hollywood madam is prepared to give evidence that their father, video multimillionaire, Jose Menendez, was one of her regular clients and was a “sick pervert.”

Cheri Woods, the former madam, first shared her Menendez tale with Page Six last December. Now she confirms she has been approached by attorneys for one of the brothers, Lyle Menendez, and asked to testify when the pair are retried on the murder counts.

(Jose and Kitty Menendez were shot gunned to death in their Beverly Hills mansion; their sons eventually admitted they did it and claimed they “were terrified of their parents after a lifetime of sexual abuse.” Juries in both their trials could not reach verdicts.)

“I don’t want to go into that Van Nuys courtroom,” Woods said last night. “It has too many dreadful memories for me.” (This is the same court in which, in 1987, Woods was sentenced to four years for pandering.) “But if they need me, then I will give evidence,” she said. “I don’t want anyone to be wrongly convicted, and I do have some important things to tell about the boys’ father.”

Woods claims that Menendez stood out among her 2,000-odd high-rolling clients. “Jose was very cruel, perverse and overpowering,” she said.

“I realized something was wrong with him when my girls backed off from having follow-up dates with him. I grilled them about it and got the whole story.”

Woods, who at her peak ran 200 top call girls, owned three Hollywood Hills estates and drove a Rolls-Royce, says she’s no prude.

“But I learned that he was physically abusing my girls, that he was a sick pervert. I cut him off from our service.

Now she has overcome her reluctance and is prepared to help the Menendez brothers. “If it will save someone from the death penalty, then I must tell what I know.”

Woods, who eventually served two years in jail, feels for Heidi Fleiss, about to go to trial on pandering and drug-possession charges.

“Heidi worked for me for a while, but I had to fire her. She was a flake and she wasn’t pretty enough,” Woods says. “Then she tried to bill herself as the new Hollywood madam, when I’d taught her what little she knew.”

“But,” she says, “I’ll be happy to testify for her. Pandering shouldn’t be a crime, and I feel sorry for any woman who falls into the hands of the LAPD.”


In additon to her December 20, 1993 appearance on the Geraldo Show, Ms. Woods also appeared on Hard Copy on October 11, 1993. In 2001 she published a tell-all biography, “Death Row Madam: Exposing Sex and Drugs in the Entertainment Industry”. Having not read the book I am unaware of whether she mentions Jose Menendez.

But the question remains; can we trust what Ms. Woods says? Is there anything to substantiate her claims that Jose Menendez was a client of hers, or that Jose was physically abusive to the girls she (allegedly) sent him?

Make of it what you will.

One thought on “Jose Menendez and the Madam

  1. Hi Christian, I never interviewed Ms. Woods so I can’t speak to her credibility.I did interview three other madams who supplied prostitutes to Jose Menendez in both LA and NYC in the 1980s. The first draft of my book was 250,000 words long but my publisher limited me to 100,000 words so I’m sitting on another 150,000 words that I plan to release in an uncut e edition of my book in the future. The stories and interviews with those other madams will be included.

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