In the waning afternoon light, the five-foot-nine blond with Tina Turner lips and Pamela Anderson physique opened the doorway of her cramped apartment on Boca Place Drive and began to scream.
Standing there beneath the palm trees in the sprawling parking lot was a darkly handsome man with thick, meaty hands named David Fioravanti. Behind the blond, Fioravanti saw a 7-year-old blond girl appear.
"Daddy?" she said.
But before Fioravanti could grab her, the woman went apoplectic. "Tell me your father beats you!" shrieked the 31-year-old Michelle Braun. "Does he beat you? Tell me he beats you!"
Then Braun reached for the nearest weapon: a wooden spoon. "I am going to take you to court, motherfucker!" she shrilled, weeping and hysterical, running after her ex-husband and waving the spoon. "I'm going to win custody!"
As told in court records, this is the hitherto-untold epilogue to the story of the California madam who replaced Heidi Fleiss and once ensured that Tiger Woods, Mickey Rourke, and Charlie Sheen got laid. For more than four years, her backroom antics roiled Hollywood. She schmoozed Turkish oligarchs, socialized with stars, and netted fawning features in Details and Rolling Stone until her 2009 federal conviction for transporting prostitutes.
According to court records and police reports, her life has devolved into a series of bounced checks, unemployment, stocks schemes, alleged drug abuse, and a bitter custody battle culminating in a lawsuit she filed in Palm Beach court last month against Fioravanti. Hers is the story of a meteoric flash rising from the desert sands of Bakersfield, California, and shooting overseas before crashing back to Earth and burning out in Boca Raton.
Since her arrival here, the local casualties have been legion: a battered Rolls-Royce, a stiffed furniture store, bewildered investors, and a pair of daughters she's taken along on her bizarre journey. "All of the problems are related to my ex-husband," the now-35-year-old explains to New Times in a baritone timbre. "I'm protective of my kids; I'm a mother."