One more rumor put to rest? According to Debra Villegas, her friendship with slain Rothstein attorney Melissa Britt Lewis was an extraordinarily close bond and a support system, not a sexual thing.
"She was my dearest friend in the whole world," Debra said in a 2009 interview with Plantation police. "I relied on her for everything... If you're wondering if we were lesbians, we were not. We were not lesbians."
The cops could be forgiven for asking the question, since both women were going through divorces and spending a tremendous amount of time together when Melissa was killed in March 2008.
They called each other Lucy and Ethel. They texted each other every night and ate lunch together nearly every day at the Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler firm.
Melissa, 39, did Debra's grocery shopping and cooked dinner for her kids on Saturday nights. She even took the Villegas clan on family vacations to Disney World. On rough days, Melissa was the person who would drag Debra out of bed.
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"She gets my mom food in the morning. My mom, with all her medical problems, if she's in bed and depressed, [Melissa's] like, 'Get out of bed, let's go, get dressed!' or putting her clothes on for her," Debra's daughter, Aimee, told police.
When Melissa was killed, police charged Debra's ex-husband, Tony Villegas, with the crime, saying he was jealous of Melissa and blamed her for his divorce. According to police interviews with Debra and her children, Tony also had a long history of physically abusing and threatening his family.
In fact, that's one reason Debra says she was so close to Melissa -- because she was married to a "nut bag" for 17 years.
"Melissa and Scott were all that I had," Debra said, referring to her boss, Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein. "She's all that I had."