Scott Rothstein's Cheating Life
Every day like clockwork, Scott Rothstein would finish work at his law firm and go downstairs to his restaurant and headquarters, Bova Prime, where he would drink vodka and smoke cigars.
And that was just the start of it. During the day, Rothstein was busy with a 70-member law firm and billion-dollar Ponzi scheme. At night, he was busy juggling his women and other myriad social affairs.
His former bodyguard, Bob Scandiffio, who came forward to clear his name, said Rothstein had numerous women on whom he spent tens of thousands of dollars. Some he kept in apartments; some he put up at the Ritz-Carlton on Fort Lauderdale Beach. Some were blond, some were brunet; Rothstein seemed to have no preference. Some worked at Bova; some he put through law school. One he even sent overseas to China for four months, said Scandiffio.
He said he would either follow behind Rothstein on his excursions with his mistresses or he would drive them around, usually in Rothstein's Rolls-Royce Phantom, where they would sit in back.
When there wasn't a woman available, he would go to the strip club Solid Gold, where he was known to the staff. And at least one of the women he kept at the Ritz-Carlton was a blond dancer at Solid Gold. "He would go into the [Champagne Room], and I would sit there and wait for him at a table outside," said Scandiffio.
Meanwhile, Rothstein had a wife, Kim, waiting anxiously at home for him.
"I really felt sorry for her," said Scandiffio. "All she wanted in the world was for this man to pay attention to her, and there was nothing she could do to get him to pay attention. It was one of the saddest things I've ever seen. I hated it because I was paid in part to lie to her like he was doing. It was part of the job."
Scandiffio says he routinely worked 15-hour days with Rothstein, who loved to have him around and who he says gave him an "oral lifetime contract" to work for him.
He says that two or three times a week, he would escort Rothstein and whatever girl he was with to dinner, often at Cafe Martorano, a place he also often took his wife. Then he would take them for a nightcap, often at the Ritz-Carlton, another place he took Kim for
breakfast on the weekends, or at the girls' own apartments. Scandiffio said Scott even took women to the Princess Kimberly, the yacht he bought for his wife, when it was docked away from their home. He said Kim surely suspected something was going on and sometimes wonders how she couldn't have known.
"Kim went [to the Ritz] one time yelling and screaming, 'Where's my husband?'" he recalled. "Meanwhile, he wasn't there. He thought it was funny that she would get so freaking pissed off. She would call his phone 100 times, and she would call my phone 100 times. I had to lie to her all the time, and I don't like to lie."
He said the only night he could be pretty sure there wouldn't be reason to lie was on Wednesdays, during Rothstein's boys' nights out. That night, he would routinely go out -- usually at the old Jackson's Steakhouse or at Bova -- with friends like Ted Morse, Les Stracher, John Bria, and Ron Picou.
"I was working 100 hours a week following this guy around," said Scandiffio. "If you go to Bova, they'll tell you that. He gave a lot of money to a lot of girls. And any girl he gave money to, he did. He didn't give money to anyone he wasn't having sex with."
Scandiffio said all of the girls knew what was expected of them and all were paid handsomely, including lavish shopping trips.
"You take someone without money and put $5,000 in their face, they'll do what you ask them to do," he said. "He did almost every girl at Bova. He spent more time at Bova than he did the office. Everybody knows him, everybody knows how much money he had, and everybody knows how much he spent on the girls. Scott spent so much money on girls that it was ridiculous. I used to get pissed off because they were making more money than I was."
Scandiffio, who made about $120,000 a year, said Rothstein even offered a woman or two to him, but he says he never accepted. He said he never saw the vodka-drinking Rothstein take drugs, other than possibly Viagra to keep up with his appetites.
All the while, Rothstein kept his wife in the dark and routinely ignored her while at the same time proclaiming to newspapers and society magazines how much he adored her.
"He would never say anything to her," said Scandiffio. "She had her house, she had her money, and she got her hair done every day. He gave her a job [helping to run his properties] because she needed something to do. She spent plenty of money, but she wanted him to pay attention to her, and he never did. I think she has a lot of self-esteem issues with Scott never being home and never doing what she wanted him to do. I'm sure it had to be embarrassing for her because everybody knew. All his friends knew. And she loved the guy. It was horrible."
Kim Rothstein told her story here two weeks ago, describing a life of isolation and loneliness, saying that waiting for her husband was the hardest part. She told me he usually came home by 9; Scandiffio said it was often more like 11, though Rothstein almost never ventured out after midnight.
Kim and Scandiffio at Disney
She seems resigned to the fact that her husband rampantly cheated on her now. She said two weeks ago that she suspected her husband, who is now in prison, might have had the "time management skills of Tiger Woods."
"He was a double lifer, and it's scary to think of that," said Kim of her husband's compartmentalized ways. "Maybe he had 43 lives."
She was referring to Rothstein's own claim that he had 43 voices in his head. "When he told you about the 43 voices, he was telling the truth," she said. "I never knew who I was going to wake up to in the morning."
Scandiffio and Kim, because of their roles in Rothstein's world, were close friends when Scandiffio began working for Rothstein in the early summer of 2008. Scandiffio even accompanied Kim and Scott's daughter to Disney World (pictured above). He and his girlfriend spent New Year's Eve together with Scott and Kim in New York City that first year.
But the relationship deteriorated last year. Scandiffio suspected his former friend, Joe Alu, who was Kim's bodyguard, had turned her against him. But Kim says she came to intensely dislike Scandiffio because she resented his role in her husband's life, the same way she resented Scott's closeness to car dealer Ted Morse.
"Bob wanted Scott's attention, and so did I," she said. "He wanted to be the one, the man, the person that Scott went to for everything. It became overbearing for me. I resented things,but it's not Bob's fault. I resented that Scott wasn't there."
Scandiffio says that one of the reasons Rothstein had Alu bodyguarding Kim was so that he would know where she was at all times and that he wouldn't have to worry about running into her when he was with other women.
Now he says he just wants to apologize to Kim.
"I don't believe in doing what Scott was doing," said Scandiffio. "I don't believe in cheating. It's hurtful, and I'm a Christian who believes in God. Do you think I loved doing that? I hated it. You don't think I wanted to be home? I hated to be out at nighttime. It wasn't me, though; it was the man she married."
Get the Things to Do Newsletter
Find out about upcoming events and special offers happening in South Florida.