I spoke with Kim Rothstein's bodyguard, Joe Alu, this evening, and he provided some real news. Here are some the revelations that came from the conversation.
-- A former bodyguard of Rothstein's, Robert "Bobby" Scandiffio, went to Morocco to accompany Rothstein on his trip. Scandiffio did not fly with Rothstein to Casablanca but was with both Rothstein and William "Uncle Bill" Boockvor on the return flight, Alu told me. This is a strange revelation, in part because Rothstein had fired Scandiffio earlier this year for unknown reasons. There are rumors of macabre and ugly threats that were made as well. "Bobby was there on the plane," said Alu, who was at the airport to meet Rothstein. "I don't know how or why Bobby got there, but he got to Morocco somehow. He didn't leave with them."
Alu said he drove Uncle Bill home while Marc Nurik drove off with Rothstein.
Question: What was Rothstein so afraid of in Morocco that he had Scandiffio, an estranged ex-bodyguard, fly out to baby-sit him?
-- Alu was with Rothstein on the morning of December 1, when federal agents arrested him. So was Kim Rothstein. "We were all crying," he said. Alu said he left the room as Kim, who spent what could have been her last night with her husband, and Rothstein said
goodbye in the room in the undisclosed hotel in Broward County where they were staying.
Alu said that Kim spent a lot of days and nights with Rothstein during the 27 days between his return from Morocco and his stay in federal detention. Now that Rothstein is expected to spend decades -- possibly the rest of his life -- in prison, there is much speculation on what Kim will do. "She's totally devastated," Alu told me. "As far as what she will be doing in the future, I don't know... I've read what people say, and she's not going back to the fucking Blue Martini slinging drinks, I'll tell you that."
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-- Alu said that he went along on a recent retreat that Rothstein held for lawyers in his firm to Atlantis on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. No one is sure how much coin Rothstein dropped on that elaborate trip, which was attended by numerous lawyers, including Stuart Rosenfeldt, Russell Adler, David Boden, Grant Smith, and others. "Scott did it to build up relationships within the law firm," said Alu. "We had a lot of fun working there. Scott had a scavenger hunt, Olympic things, we had dinners on the beach. We had a great time."
-- Alu said that he has met federal agents but hasn't been interviewed. He said that an agent recently knocked on his door while he wasn't home and that his wife called him on the phone. "My wife called me and said they were knocking on the door," said Alu. "I said, 'Why are they banging on my door? Give me their fucking names and numbers.' They left a card on the door. I called it, and they never called me back."
-- Finally, Alu said his feelings about Scott Rothstein hadn't changed a bit. He said those who turned their back on him weren't true friends. He also said he is committed to protecting Kim for the rest of his life. I asked him how he was being paid, and he just said he would protect her whether he was paid or not. "I'm with Kim all the time, and I'll always be there," he said. "She's a victim in this thing. She didn't know a damned thing that was going on. We had no clue. She's still in the house, and she will stay there for as long as she can, before they put her out. She doesn't need to compensate me. I promised her I would stay with her and protect her, and that's what I'm going to do."