Ash & Burn

William Ash calls himself Mister Madam, but in the South Florida gay community, this ex-con's name is mud

Ash's predilection for fabricating easily refutable details is evidenced by his comments about Storm. In Ash's version of events, underage, not of-age, patrons were given wristbands and thus were able to tear them off and buy booze with impunity. Ash claims Storm's credibility was compromised when Kent's Express published the exposé about Ash's background. "It was in everyone's best interest to start pushing me into the background because I wasn't so clean, and Norm Kent knew this because he'd represented me as an attorney in the past." As such, Kent violated attorney/client confidentiality, Ash asserts.

Kent says he has never represented Ash, adding that this ludicrous claim doesn't surprise him. "His mind is so fertile, his imagination so great, there's no story he will not try to top," Kent says. "And he can't remember from day to day what story he's told because it's all a lie. He'll reverse himself in the course of a 15-minute conversation -- three times."

Ash still blames Kent for the failure of Storm, alleging that the attorney's interest in other gay clubs had him bent on Storm's destruction. Several weeks after the closing, Ash tried to exact his revenge. Kent received calls from reporters at The Herald and the Sun-Sentinelasking about a juicy tale concerning the Coliseum, a gay club he represented. The reporters had received letters from a man claiming his nephew had overdosed on heroin in the club. The Coliseum management threw the boy out on the street, and he was nearly hit by speeding cars, the letter stated. No such thing had occurred, Kent told the reporters, but the story made sense when Kent learned the letter's author was William Ash. Andreas Tzortzis, the Sun-Sentinelreporter who received the letter, confirms Kent's story. After talking with Kent, Tzortzis left several messages with Ash but never received a call back. No story about the incident ever ran.

"Bill Ash says that I'm responsible for shutting him down," Kent says. "And you know what? He's right. I gave the anonymous tip about underage kids drinking at Storm."

Ash remains unrepentant but has no plan for more promotions. He is, however, reconsidering an offer he claims to have had some years ago to write a book: The Memoirs of Mister Madam. At the time, the $15,000 he was offered didn't seem sufficient, as the revelations contained within the tome's pages might scare customers away from the escort service, he confides. But hey, everything's fair game for the right price. "I've had a crazy, wild life," he crows. "I've taken a lot of raps for other people's problems -- in exchange for them paying me a lot of money and a very, very good living."

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