By Ashley Zimmerman
By Dana Krangel
By John Hood
By Ashley Zimmerman
By David Von Bader
By Sayre Berman
By Steve Brennan
By Ashley Zimmerman
Jackson fumed as Storch left stars such as Janet Jackson sitting in the studio for several hours. Gossip flies fast in the music business, and before long, Storch was branded unreliable. Label honchos decided to spend their money elsewhere.
More than once, Storch's manager showed up at Villa Ferrari to try to coax him into getting clean. The inside of the mansion resembled a crack house, strewn with garbage and paraphernalia. Storch was surrounded by "takers" — fellow addicts, gold diggers, and bumbling handlers.
Constantly snorting bumps of coke, he now paired his jewelry with shirts stained from "blood that would just gush out of his nose at any given time." Storch seemed to Jackson like an animal, capable of viciousness but not reason: "Scott didn't give a fuck. You can't be humiliated while you're high. You're not conscious of the destruction you're wreaking on the lives of people around you. You feel nothing, you see nothing but the drug."
Jackson finally quit managing the producer in late 2007. He now talks about Storch like a bogus stock he bought too much of. "I didn't diversify," Jackson says. "I lived Scott day and night. I crashed and burned with him."
Like a washed-up Vegas lounge singer, Storch sold his services to the highest bidder. He produced tracks for girlfriend Hilton, teenybopper favorite Jessica Simpson, and wrestler Hulk Hogan's daughter Brooke. Perhaps his most bizarre foray into atrocious music came when Storch flew to Moscow to hire himself out for Russian rap and R&B duo Timati and Nox — a strung-out gig mercilessly preserved on YouTube.
But rubles would not be enough to lubricate Storch's Storch's personal finances, which were in the midst of a Ponzi-like implosion. Since 2005, he's been hit by 28 lawsuits in federal and county courts as his Tony Montana lifestyle was stripped from him piece by piece.
His vehicle collection went first. Repo men came for the Ferrari Scaglietti, the custom-made $160,000 HARD "Bones Bike" motorcycle, and even the 2007 Cadillac Escalade entourage transporter. In December 2008, Broward Sheriff's Office deputies arrested him and charged him with felony grand theft auto. He had kept a rented Bentley more than a year after it was due to be returned. The charge was eventually dropped, and Storch blamed Lil' Kim, saying he had leased the car for her.
East Coast Jewelry sued him for $170,000 in allegedly bounced bling checks. A jilted electronics company demanded $22,000 for Villa Ferrari's video surveillance system. Even the artist whose work adorned Storch's walls threw his beret into the ring: Parisian minimalist Kirk Hughey claimed in Miami-Dade court that Storch stiffed him $150,000 of a $300,000-plus bill for 23 paintings.
The civil judgments against Storch were staggering. He was ordered to pay almost $2.2 million in damages to JK Entertainment, a Delaware company that had loaned him $1 million, and $750,000 to Miami Beach movie producer Matt Sinnreich for breaking a $25,000 business contract. Storch was hit with a $509,000 judgment for failing to repay Los Angeles music manager David Menefield a $100,000 home loan. The creditors garnished his royalties from Sony BMG Music.
Meanwhile, Villa Ferrari went into foreclosure. He owed more than $500,000 in back property taxes on the house. And he pawned Tiffany, his beloved $20 million yacht, on eBay for $600,000.
Even as TMZ reporters circled buzzard-like around the corpse of Storch's fortune, the out-of-work producer was too blasted to care, regularly ignoring court dates.
Jackson visited him once in 2008. He recalls sitting in the passenger seat as Storch drove his Ferrari along I-95. The producer began hacking uncontrollably as blood spurted into his fist. Jackson shuddered: He's really on the cusp of death.
As 16-year-old Steven pulled their luggage out of the car, Vanessa Bedillo stared, teary-eyed and exhausted, at the cramped maroon couches that were their new home. She was having murder fantasies involving Scott Storch, sure, but she was angrier with herself: What the hell did I get us into? Once again, she had let herself be deceived by the same flashy white boy in the European sports car. And once again, he had burned her.
On May 15, 2008, she and Steven had been evicted from their Plantation apartment after Storch failed to pay the rent as they had agreed, according to a claim she filed in court. They were forced to sleep on couches in the two-bedroom home of Bedillo's parents, who had moved to South Florida.
Worse, Scott had fallen behind $5,000 on his honor-student son's tuition at Plantation's American Heritage Academy, and Mom had to beg school administrators to keep him enrolled. Vanessa, a saleswoman for a security-system company, couldn't afford to sustain the lifestyle Scott had promised them. "Steven's life was upside down," she says. "He [Scott] can be mean, but that was just plain old cold."
Steven wasn't the only son Scott had ditched in his cocaine haze. He had stopped making support payments for 8-month-old Jalen and allowed the baby's health insurance to run out. Asked about that lapse, he had told the Miami Herald he would "never, ever be a deadbeat dad," saying he had missed his obligations because he was in Saint-Tropez.
Scott continued to live on Palm Island, ignoring Vanessa's phone calls and dodging court officers attempting to hit him with contempt papers. A server named Joseph Torres told a judge that in one such attempt in September 2008, Storch had a handler use a black Mercedes S550 as a "blocking ram," plowing backward into Torres' legs to allow the producer to escape in his blue Rolls-Royce Phantom coupe. As Storch, accompanied by a blond in the passenger seat, drove past the beleaguered server, he peered out the window and muttered, "Good luck, asshole."