He made his fortune flipping houses in New Orleans, but Sidney Torres is about to be known as a crime-fighting innovator! The man who inspired Fox’s new ‘APB’ drama answers 5 questions EXCLUSIVELY for HollywoodLife.com, about taking the law into his own hands, meeting Brad Pitt, becoming ‘The Bachelor’ and more!
At just 41-years-old, Sidney Torres has done a lot in his lifetime — and he’s just getting started. He built his fortune flipping houses and developing SDT Waste and Debris Services, which cleaned up New Orleans’ French Quarter after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Now, he oversees a real estate empire, including hotels, and has not one, but two shows hitting the air in 2017 – APB, a series based off of his adventures, premiering tonight, Feb. 6 on FOX at 9pm ET and The Deed, which premiers on CNBC on March 1. While talking EXCLUSIVELY with HollywoodLife.com, Sidney reveals how he reduced crime in New Orleans and what it was like to work with Lenny Kravitz, 52.
1. Why do you take credit for dropping crime in New Orleans by 45% in three months?
We had a really bad thing going on with crime in new Orleans. People were getting mugged, etc. So I called the mayor’s office and I said Mr. Mayor, “I designed an app.” It’s like the Uber of policing. If you see a crime, you [open the app and send a signal] to the closest police officer to you.
I also offered get some souped up cars [for the officers] and I would pay for a pilot program so [the city of New Orleans] could “drive the car” before having to buy it. The mayor agreed and I did a commercial, advertising the app to the people of New Orleans. They could download the app and report crime easier than calling 911.
I had [the city] sign an agreement to let me use their police officers for my own police force and in three months, we dropped crime by 45%. The New York Times did a story on me and now there’s a TV show coming out ( tonight) on Fox called APB.
2. What are the biggest mistakes people make when they buy a home or an investment property?
What a lot of people do is they get emotionally involved with a property. They fall in love. I always say, “don’t fall in love with real estate” because it won’t love you back. People customize their homes and lose track of how much they are spending and then they get priced out of the market. You don’t want to be the most expensive house in the neighborhood, especially when it comes time to sell.
3. Have you ever met Brad Pitt in New Orleans?
I did. I met [Brad Pitt, 53] at the Make It Right Foundation (an organization that builds affordable homes for people in need). Brad Pitt was a part of this foundation. He bought a house one block away from me in the French quarter. I was involved in helping with the cleanup so that they could rebuild homes and people could move back into them. He was a nice guy, really into his kids and very passionate about the project. He made sure that it was going the way he wanted it to.
4. You’re 41, well off and handsome – have you ever been approached to be on The Bachelor?
I actually have been asked to do The Bachelor. A few years ago I got a phone call from a guy in New Orleans who is a friend of someone at the network (ABC) and they said they wanted to talk to me about it. But I have so many things going on in my world right now I didn’t think I could do it.
5. How did you ever get to be Lenny Kravitz’s assistant when you were just a teen?
His father and one of my family’s friends would always come down to [New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival], so they told Lenny that he had to [come out and] meet young people for him to hang out with. So, that’s when we met.
He would always come to New Orleans and I was getting out of high school – he asked me to come to LA and hang out and be his assistant. I was working at a radio station on the graveyard shift and nobody would listen – probably one person. So, I decided I wanted to be [involved in] music. So I go there, a southern boy. He fired me about a year and a half because I got involved in the party life. I didn’t really work. Him firing me was the best thing that ever happened to me because it got me where I am today.
APB debuts on Fox on Feb. 6 at 9/8c, HollywoodLifers. Are you going to tune in to watch?