The Sun-Sentinel's Michael Mayo today reports on his ultimately futile journalistic mating dance with Scott Rothstein, one that even included pet names between them, Brooklyn and Bronx.
There's not a lot of new information in there, but it does give you some insight into Rothstein's mindset. And I don't think that twisted mindset has changed one bit through the momentous events that have gripped this town and landed him in a prison cell.
In between whatever he was doing with the federal government, Rothstein texted Mayo, or Brooklyn, a dozen times, teasing him with promises like, "Sit tight. Say nothing. Write nothing. Brooklyn to bronx. I'll make u famous."
The Rothstein ego was obviously still alive and well. He predictably lied to Mayo all the way down the line, leaving the columnist high and dry. There's one text, though, that Mayo didn't write about. It was about me, and it shows that Rothstein hasn't changed a bit, no matter how much he talks about doing the "right thing."
On November 23, Rothstein spoke with my wife, Sentinel reporter Brittany Wallman, and his bully Bronx voice emerged, the same one he had during the Jewish Avenger interview prior to his implosion. I think what he said bears repeating here:
"I will not talk to you because you are pigs. Pay attention, clearly. Go fuck yourself. You're hurting my daughter; you're hurting my son. Print this, and I'm sure you will because you're running out of things to write... You're not judging anyone? You're in a town full of thieves, and at the end of the day, everyone will see. I'll leave it at that. They want to write a story about my family? Deliver this message: Tell them I said to go fuck themselves."
This was late on a Monday evening. That same night, Rothstein was also texting with "Brooklyn," and he sent a message through Mayo to my wife, aimed at me. I don't have the text, but it went something like, "Tell Brittany to go hang out with Bob Norman and his girlfriend
Sheila Alu. Tell her I have pictures. I'm serious."
Rothstein was on a roll. Now do you see why he claimed to have 43 "people living in his head"? This one was apparently the extorting "gotcha" voice he used while practicing law.
Of course, Rothstein was lying about the incriminating photographs, just like he was lying to Mayo all along. The rumor about myself and Alu, who is a Sunrise city commissioner and state prosecutor, first surfaced several months ago, right after I started breaking stories about one of lobbyist Judy Stern's favorite politicians, Josephus Eggelletion, who has since been removed from office after federal criminal charges. Good sources have confirmed that Stern was behind the rumor.
Now I wonder if maybe Rothstein didn't dream it up and Stern just perpetuated it. Anyway, it's not only false but also impossible by the laws of physics. I've never even met Alu in person and have never, as far as I know, been in the same room as her. She has been a source on some stories of mine, including a pretty major one about Judge Ana Gardiner, but that was all done with phone interviews. I'm hesitant to write about any of this for Alu's sake; she doesn't deserve this, especially after Gardiner spread malicious rumors about her under oath. But in Broward, you're not anybody if somebody isn't trying to hit with you damaging rumors. These aren't the first and won't be the last. What can you say? It's a rotten town, and in the end you just have to hope the truth will win out.
Rothstein, of course, hasn't dealt with the truth in years, if ever. He's boasted of basically blackmailing cheating husbands and bosses for years, claiming to have former detectives working for him with the best surveillance equipment in the world. Fittingly, though, he always said his best evidence came from other people's garbage. But now we learn that most of those cases were bogus -- as were the multimillion-dollar confidential settlements he sold to investors.
Here Rothstein has stolen huge amounts of money, left behind a trail of incredible fraud, is facing the rest of his life in prison, is giving information on former friends to try to put them behind bars, and the guy is still up to his old dirty tricks.
He'll never change, but let's hope the town that made him possible will grow up a little as a result of his story.