Lawyer: Rothstein Paid Clerk for Companionship, Not Sex
A lawyer and friend of the late Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler law clerk Julie Timmerman said that Scott Rothstein swooped in on the young bartender while she was working at Riley McDermott's and basically offered to put her through law school in exchange for her occasional companionship.
"She didn't know the guy was a complete douche, and he told her, 'You go to Nova and I'll pay your tuition, and when you're done, you can come work for [RRA] as an employee,'" said Fort Lauderdale lawyer Greg Lauer, who discovered Timmerman's body after she took a massive prescription drug overdose on January 16. "Within six months, she knew it was the worst mistake she ever made."
Lauer, whose wife was Timmerman's best friend, said he wanted to clear up misperceptions about Timmerman's relationship with Rothstein and the reasons underlying her suicide, which occurred about ten weeks after Rothstein's implosion. RRA bankruptcy records indicate she received her fourth $15,000 "loan" from Rothstein on September 29, less than a month before Rothstein initially fled the country for Morocco.
He said that it's understandable that other firm members believed the two had a sexual relationship but that it never happened. He said that although Rothstein took Timmerman out on the town as "eye candy" and called her his little "mishka" and "Jewish princess," she never slept with him.
"She was smart enough to get a scholarship out of this guy," Lauer said. "Rothstein is such a loser that if you hang out with him, he'll give you money. He's a pig. It's disgusting, and Scott is so pathetic, you don't have
to sleep with him for him to give you money."
Sources close to the law firm said they dated, which Lauer said was technically accurate, but he said she resisted his advances.
"I wanted her to sue him for sexual harassment, but she wouldn't do it," Lauer said. "She thought he was too powerful. She said, 'He's from Brooklyn; he'll take it personally, and he'll destroy me.'"
He said that he was aware of one instance when Timmerman literally ran from Rothstein.
"There was an incident where he took her to the W [hotel on Fort Lauderdale Beach] and in the back of the Bentley he put a move on her," Lauer said. "She said, 'What are you doing?' and he told the driver to take them to the secret elevator at RRA. When they got there she was close enough to the Camden [apartment building where she lived] that she jumped out and ran home. There were text messages where he apologized. I connected her with an employment lawyer in Miami. I wanted to bury the guy, but she thought he was too big and powerful and would ruin her career."
Lauer said that although the Rothstein relationship was stressful for Timmerman and the firm's implosion led to financial issues for her, he didn't believe it contributed to her suicide. He said that when bankruptcy attorneys indicated they wanted to claw back the $60,000 he loaned her to attend law school, several lawyers told her that she likely wouldn't have to pay any of the money back.
"She realized that [the RRA firm is full] of losers, but at that point, it's a little difficult for her to get out of there," he said. "So it actually worked out really well that he destroyed himself. It was a relief to her. You don't understand: People thought it was great to work at RRA, but it was a horrible, horrible existence. It was a huge relief because she knew she wouldn't have to work for those dirtbags. Her suicide had absolutely nothing to do with him and the collapse of his firm."
He said her psychological issues, trauma from abuse she suffered as a child, and academic problems led her to make what he called the "adult decision" to kill herself.
He pointed to her hand-scrawled suicide note as evidence that Rothstein wasn't involved. The note begins "I'm so sorry" and tells her mother she loves her. "I can't live this misery anymore. I don't want to be a lawyer or anything else... I'm damaged. I always was and always will be and I can't live like this anymore."
She finished it with a mention of her father. "I hope Joe Timmerman burns in hell."
"She had a very hard life," said Lauer. "But her death didn't have anything to do with Scott Rothstein."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss New Times Broward-Palm Beach's biggest stories.
- Hollywood Looks to Build Affordable Housing for Artists
Thu., Feb. 11, 7:00pm
Fri., Feb. 12, 6:00pm
Fri., Feb. 12, 7:30pm
Sat., Feb. 13, 6:00pm
- Divers Protest Beach Renourishment Project in Broward
- UniverSoul Circus Still Uses Elephants, Draws Protesters in Miramar