You lost in 1992.
I pulled out at the end because I didn't have the money. I spent $100,000. Peanuts. Now I have the money from the bordello. I will focus on making the streets safe. I will hire great deputies. I will get the best personnel and have a sane policy. And because I really love Florida. It sounds stupid, but I love this stupid state with its early-bird dinners and its weather. And the humidity is good for my cigars.
You mentioned your son earlier. Is he ashamed of you?
He worked as a district attorney for two years in the summers. When I called I would say, "Tell him Doctor Goldstein called," because this is the same district attorney that arrested me. I mean, what a dilemma. He's proud of how tough I am, and I've changed the law. He studied my obscenity cases and my libel cases. He knows how tough I am. His mother was overly protective, and I would say, "Oh, fall out of the tree, it's OK." So he's in the middle. But it is so important that he struggles to create his own identity rather than be overwhelmed by who I am.... He has no interest in Screw. His sexuality is monogamous and loving. I think he was sexually inactive until very late in life. He is the only person in New York who has never seen Midnight Blue.
Why are you so angry?
There's so much to be angry about, because people are ripped off, the election went to the wrong person, the good guys usually lose, society sucks, eight-year-old children are dying on cancer wards. By being angry I know I'm alive. My father was so passive. My father said "sir" to elevator operators. I am my father's revenge. But I also have such a joy with life. Eating pussy, having my cock sucked, going to Sharper Image. I'm getting this Sony dog that we are going to program to fuck fruit on Midnight Blue. There is so much to enjoy in life. To be angry is to be alive. I'm an angry Jew. I love it. Anger is better than love. I think it is more pure.... No bullets hit me, I have been in business for going on 33 years, I'm still here, and in this fucking house! I fucked all the people who handcuffed me and arrested me. Fuck them all. Larry Flynt has a movie, but he never had an original thought. He stole my editor, my lawyer, and the Screw concept in 1973. I'm an innovator, an original. I'm filled with rage and hate, but I'm loved in the streets in New York.
At 7 p.m., three hours and several diet root beers after the conversation began, Goldstein announces he's tired. The night before we met, he had flown in from New York, where he'd spent the day taping 14 "Fuck You" segments for Midnight Blue. "So get the fuck out of here," he says.
Two days later I'm back on Goldstein's front doorstep, above which in hand-lettered script are the words "El amor abre todas las puertas" ("Love opens all doors," in Spanish.) As I ring the bell, a man in an old Chevrolet Monte Carlo pulls into Goldstein's driveway and joins me on the stoop. Al answers the door shirtless, in striped boxer shorts, and sporting a pendant of a nude woman on thick gold chain around his neck. He ushers both of us to the back porch, then disappears with the Monte Carlo driver inside the house. It only looked like a drug deal, Goldstein explains to me later. The man is a cigar maker who went out of business, and he's delivering 100 boxes of Orient Express Cigars, which retailed for $250 a box. Goldstein bought them in bulk for the fire-sale price of $30 per box. He paid cash.
And that gets us talking money.
What are you worth these days?
I used to be worth about $15 million. I may have a negative worth now. I have things to sell. I am selling my land in Bimini. I'm selling my wine collection; it's worth $200,000. I'm doing that to meet bills until the prostitution kicks off. I live much flashier than I am. As a writer I'm getting paid from Penthouse. I have a monthly column. I'm not rolling in dough. My value is my name and my company.