She grew up in Vegas where her father was the owner of a successful, mid-range chain of strip clubs/showgirl revues. She grew up in the club scene, witnessing open drug use and abuse. Her father eventually became involved with drug circles in Vegas and would become on the heavy players in the scene. He tried to bring his drug business into the clubs and it was successful at first. Eventually he developed a drug problem himself and would become abusive at home, especially towards Helena’s mother.
Helena has always been a perceptive and willful person. She has always been ready to fight to keep her mother and older sister safe from the abuse of her father, as well as the other seedy co-owners of the club.
Eventually her father became too brash with his newfound success and started to interfere with other bigger, more powerful players in the drug circle. In turn, one of these players stole Helena’s mother and older sister and sold them into a sex trafficking ring in Texas near the Mexican border.
Helena’s father was shattered by the loss of his wife and daughter, and spiraled into a drug fueled frenzy unable to provide anything for Helena. Luckily, Helena’s grandmother came to Vegas to bring her out of Nevada and take her to Brooklyn, to the city where her father grew up.
From one huge city to another, Helena devoted time to building up her street smarts as well as her skills in the classroom. She did not want to grow up and become helpless like those women she saw in her father’s clubs. She wanted to become strong and powerful enough to protect other people, and in some way make amends for losing her mother and sister.
She studies modern languages and international law at university. She receives scholarships for her previous academic achievements, but in order to finance her way through college, finance her comfortable lifestyle and help her grandmother—Helena enters contracted relationships with wealthy (sometimes powerful) men.