ORLANDO – David Wasserman, the First Amendment attorney turned nightclub owner, and former board member of the Free Speech Coalition, was shot in the chest on Dec. 19 by a thief seeking the club's receipts – but miraculously, Wasserman was nearly unharmed.
"It grazed my heart, it grazed my aorta, it grazed my liver and it grazed my esophagus, and it came out and didn't do any damage at all," Wasserman told AVN in an exclusive interview.
Wasserman described the night's events in detail.
"I have a nightclub that a lot of people have been trying to buy from me and I wouldn't sell," Wasserman explained, "and so I came home from the nightclub with the deposits, got out of my car at 4 in the morning, and all of a sudden a black guy stepped out of the shadows, put a 9mm to my chest, pulled the trigger and said, 'I'm gonna kill you.' I continued to struggle with him, and he asked where the deposits were, so I knew it was not just a robbery; it was a set-up from the club. I told him the deposits were in the trunk and let me bend over and press the button so he can get in, and he did, and as soon as he walked around to the trunk, I laid on the horn and having just had a gunshot fired and the horn honking, I'm sure he got worried about the noise and stuff, and he took off running without the deposits."
Terming his survival a "Christmas miracle," Wasserman said he was treated at a local hospital and returned to work that same night.
"I figured for the morale of my troops, they had to see me, you know," he said.
Wasserman's Fantasy Gentlemen's Club is adjacent to Disneyworld, and is the only club in the 80-mile stretch between Orlando and Tampa, he claimed. As such, it's a popular business that other club owners would be interested in acquiring – and not necessarily by legitimate means.
"I had a gentleman come in and tell me that if I didn't sell him my club, he would have me killed – the owner of another club," Wasserman said. "He came back two nights ago, and said, "You know, I've been trying to buy the club from you' and stuff; he said, 'Let me make you a partner in the club; let me be a partner in your club; let me buy your club, anything, whatever.' I said, 'No, I'm not selling; I'm gonna keep my club.' He said, 'Then I'm gonna kill you.'"
As a result, Wasserman, who reported the threats to police, now has bodyguards, has installed a new security system at the club, and carries a gun on his person.
"The words I have for those who try to do me harm is, I'm gonna get you before you get me," Wasserman warned. "My words are to everybody in the industry, that I hope they will reexamine the security of the situation that they're in; that with an adult nightclub, people see money going everywhere and so you always have lots of attacks, and even in the video industry and the video stores, there's lots of cash, and I would wish everybody a happy holiday and to please check on their safety procedures and stuff so nobody else suffers like I did."