Rothstein Pleads Guilty, Then Scuffle Erupts Outside Courthouse | The Daily Pulp | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

Rothstein Pleads Guilty, Then Scuffle Erupts Outside Courthouse

Scott Rothstein pleaded guilty today to five felony counts, then his wife Kim read a prepared statement to the press.

Then a fight broke out between Kim Rothstein's body guard and a TV reporter.

In other words, it was just another eventful day in the Rothstein scandal.

"Guilty," Rothstein said when federal Judge James Cohn asked for his plea.

A subdued and shackled Rothstein didn't have to say much more to the judge before he walked out of the courtroom. He glanced at least once at his wife but they didn't appear to communicate.

Kim Rothstein was accompanied by her attorneys, Frank Rubino and Scott Saidel, her friend Stacie Weissman, and bodyguard Alu. Also in attendance were Scott's parents, Gay and Harvey Rothstein, there to support their son.   

After Rothstein pleaded guilty the judge set his sentencing for May 6. For the diehards, here's a link to the Rothstein plea agreement.  

Outside the courthouse Kim Rothstein addressed the media. "Today is the saddest day of my life," she began.

Then she said that her life had been

devastated after marrying the "sweetest man" and that she has been "isolated and wrongfully maligned." She repeatedly declared that she had nothing to do with her husband's crimes and complained of the "public slurs and accusations" against her. We have video of her appearance on the way.

After her talk, Alu escorted her to a nearby white Cadillac Escalade SUV. As they approached the vehicle, WSFL/Sun-Sentinel reporter Jack Hambrick dashed over to get a question in with Kim, nearly outrunning the wires connected to his cameraman, who stumbled on the way. As Hambrick approached Kim, Alu blocked him physically and pushed him away.

The altercation escalated, and Hambrick drove Alu, a muscular and tattooed man who goes by the nickname "Meaty," backward and then down onto his back in some bushes. They wrestled in the bushes for a time before Hambrick was pulled off of Alu. "He's a cop, he's a fucking cop!" yelled Alu's son, Dominic, referring to Alu's service with Plantation Police Department. At one point Dominic and the cameraman nearly got into it themselves.

"You assaulted him," the cameraman said to Alu.

"No, he grabbed me," Alu said back. 

I didn't see any punches thrown, but it was a pretty good skirmish. A red-faced Alu rose, found his phone, and got in the SUV. Hambrick walked back into the parking garage. I walked over to Hambrick and asked him if he was OK. "I'm good," he said, still out of breath.

I spoke with Alu, who recently had a hip replacement surgery, on the phone after the altercation.

"He came charging up, and I said, 'Back up, back up,' and he ran into my arms. I pushed him back and said 'back off.' And he decides to charge at me," Alu said. "I just wrapped him up so he couldn't throw any fucking punches at me. I grabbed ahold of him, and when I fell backwards over the planter, I grabbed him with me so he couldn't throw any punches. I was just trying to protect Kim. I'm not throwing any punches; are you kidding me? He'll hear from my attorney."  

We have some video coming of that as well (sorry for the delay -- huge technical issues).

I didn't get a chance to talk to Harvey and Gay Rothstein, but one of numerous reporters who attended from the Sun-Sentinel got this quote from her: "My son is doing fine. Yes, it's very difficult. My son is a good man. My son has made some mistakes, but he is a brilliant, good man. He has done a lot of good for a lot of people, and he is very good to his family."

Also in attendance was attorney Bill Scherer, who represents victims of the Ponzi. He said there will be 20 Rothstein-related arrests in the coming days and weeks but didn't elaborate on how he knew that or the names of those being charged.

More coming.  

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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