Kim Wendell: The Early Days, Part II

Before Kim Wendell became the girlfriend of her wealthy and well-connected love interest, he hired her to bartend at his parties, which led Wendell to meet more and more of South Florida's richest -- and sometimes raunchiest -- people.

She also tended bar at the Blue Martini, a place notorious as a place for young hustling women to pick up wealthy men or vice versa.

Wendell's friend, Summer, said she warned her about her new boyfriend and told her he as an alcoholic, but she didn't listen. Then Summer got a call from Wendell one late night.

"He threw me out of his car in the middle of the street," she remembered an upset Wendell telling her.

Summer had to go and pick her up. That was the end of that boyfriend.

Meanwhile, creditors were on their apartment like vultures, Summer said. Wendell had signed a one-year lease on a three-bedroom, three-bath place that she couldn't

couldn't afford and on top of it had filled it with thousands of dollars worth of furniture she'd bought on credit.

Summer took the master bedroom and bath while Wendell took the other two bedrooms and bathrooms for herself. Wendell transformed one of the rooms into a "witchcraft room."

"She made the extra bedroom into a witchcraft/seance/meditation/bullshit room," Summer told me. "She said, 'That's where I meditate and chant.' She got into it through her mother, and they would both go in there and burn sage and do whatever they did, wizardry and witchcraft. I said, 'I'm not judging you, but whatever, girl.'"

Finally, the debt was too much and the creditors were too close, and Wendell abandoned the apartment, leaving most of the furniture there. Summer -- who says she was "stripping for tuition" both out of town and at Pure Platinum in Fort Lauderdale -- graduated from FAU and started working in Miami, losing touch with Wendell. She learned that she'd followed another boyfriend up to New York but didn't know much about him. "I was talking with friends, and they said he was a scam artist," Summer said. "I told her, 'You don't know this guy; you shouldn't go to New York with him.' But she went anyway."  

Then, about two years later, Summer was in Las Vegas at a nightclub at the Bellagio. A woman came up to her and said hello, and at first she didn't even recognize her. Then she said, "It's Kim."

She had totally transformed herself.

[Look, I hate to do this, but I'm going to have to pick this up later. No choice.]

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman