Screw magazine founder Al Goldstein, who only a couple years ago was running the decades-old magazine and living in a $2 million dollar townhouse, is now homeless, spending his nights sleeping in the backseat of a friend’s car, at homeless shelters or, for three nights this week, on the floor of his in-laws’ Long Island, N.Y., home.
Goldstein, 68, is halfway through a three-year probation sentence, the result of a guilty plea he entered after being charged with harassing one of his four ex-wives. Goldstein published her phone number in Screw and encouraged readers to phone her at work and tell her she was a “cunt.”
Mitchell Spinelli recently offered Goldstein a $1000 a week job doing sales at Acid Rain Productions, a job he would have started yesterday had his probation officer not nixed his move to California and banned him from working in the adult industry.
“It’s sad, you know, probation doesn’t want me to be in the men’s field, as if it’s some illicit, illegal business,” Goldstein told AVN.com. “I’m sleeping in my car, I’m homeless, Spinelli offered me a job last week, I had a flight on Tuesday from Ft. Lauderdale to L.A. and I was supposed to start work for Mitchell beginning Wednesday. Probation said that I can’t go to L.A. and I cannot take any job in the men’s field. It’s not allowed. They’d rather I work at Burger King for $5.50 an hour than make $25 an hour. For 35 years I’ve been fighting and the bullshit never stops.”
Spinelli also expressed disappointment that Goldstein will not be joining the Acid Rain payroll.
“It could have been a cool opportunity,” Spinelli told AVN.com. “It would have been a roller coaster experience.”
Prior to the case stemming from harassing his ex-wife, Goldstein was convicted of harassing his former secretary, Jennifer Lozinski, who he allegedly threatened over the phone, printed her home address in Screw and called a “miserable lowlife” on Midnight Blue, his long-running (and now-defunct) cable television show. He was convicted and served nine days on New York’s Rikers Island before he was released pending appeal. In the meantime, one of his attorneys, Erika Dubno, was put behind bars after refusing to leave Rikers until Goldstein was set free. Legendary First Amendment attorney Harold Fahringer won the appeal 3-0 at the New York Supreme Court.
Shortly thereafter Goldstein was charged with harassing his ex-wife in a very similar manner.
“The reason I ran my ex-wife’s phone number — I have five ex-wives, no, four ex-wives and one current — was my one son, who I was very proud of, he went to Georgetown, he won a scholarship to Oxford, he graduated Harvard Law School with an MBA and LLB, and his mother turned him against me,” Goldstein said. “I was not invited to graduation, plus he stole a million dollars worth of watches. If I had those watches I would not be homeless today. I got so enraged that I ran her phone number and asked people to call her at work and tell her she’s a ‘cunt.’ People did and I got convicted as an accessory to harassment, even though I didn’t do anything.
“I think I would have won the case on the First Amendment basis, but I was waiting to go to jail on the previous one and I was beaten down, I was tired, so I pleaded guilty for no jail time and three years probation. What they want to do is not have me earn a living. They want me to be homeless. I’m 68 years old, a Korean War veteran and they hate me because I’m in the men’s field, because I published Screw and because I did movies.”
Goldstein used to own a mansion on Pompano Beach that featured an 11-foot statue of a raised middle finger in the backyard. The property was sold in June to pay off debts. The former kingpin who, at his peak, lived in a $2 million dollar townhouse and had amassed an $8 million dollar fortune, is now homeless, having lost his magazine, his house and all of his money.
He said that he lost the money in a variety of ways: A million dollars on his son’s Georgetown and Harvard education; sinking $2 million dollars into Screw during the last year and a half of its existence because he “didn’t want to admit that the internet was putting us out of business;” and, of course, the ex-wives.
“The wives have taken money,” he said. “Every wife walked away with money and my testicles. Right now I’m a he-she. I don’t even have balls or a dick. It’s a good thing I don’t have AIDS. I am a shell of what I used to be. What’s sad is, I have good mind, I know the porn business, and I really wanna work. Thirty-five years of harassment and it hasn’t stopped. I’m Lenny Bruce.”
His current wife, Christina, a 29-year-old psychology graduate student, suffers from Crohn’s disease, which Goldstein said doesn’t allow her to digest food. He said she weighs only 80 pounds today.
“I think she’ll be dead in a month or two,” he said. “If my wife wasn’t going to die I probably would have blown my brains out, but I really think she’ll be dead in a month or two. She’s down to 80 pounds. She looks like she’s been living in Auschwitz.
“It’s the first time in my marriages that I’m wearing a wedding ring – which I never did before, I’m a total slut – but I’m very loyal and that’s why in the New York Times I’m quoted as saying, ‘When she dies I will probably marry one of her three sisters.’ They’re 27, 25 and 21, and all pretty.”
Goldstein added that he has set his sights on the youngest one, “The others are too old,” he said.
Goldstein said Christina’s parents know he loves and is loyal to their daughter and, as a result, have helped him out. They put him up for three nights while he was in New York this week (he slept on the floor) and have been paying his cell phone bill.
“I have no money, [my in-laws] are buying me food,” he said. “I’m with a very pretty blonde now who’s interviewing me. I do interviews for lunch. It’s pathetic. I will work for food.”
When Goldstein returns to Florida later this week he will be back on the streets.
“I’ll be back in a homeless shelter probably Sunday or Monday night,” he said.
Today Goldstein is predictably more humble than the obnoxiously-outspoken pornographer the public has seen for the past few decades. Still, he is not ego-free: He is proud to say that he has lost 150 pounds since undergoing stomach-stapling surgery last year, leaving him at a svelte 165 pounds. And, just like old times, he is not above plugging his latest product.
“I’m fucking handsome, man, let me tell ya,” he said proudly. “I’m 165, I did a porno film, I was great. When I lost the weight I hadn’t seen my cock for 35 years and I can see my cock now and it’s a small Jewish cock. I eat pussy with the best of them. The film is Al Goldstein & Ron Jeremy Are Screwed [Metro], and I’d like to be nominated as Best Supporting Actor, which would be amazing for a 69-year-old man. I would have the American Association of Retired Persons come on stage with me at the AVN Awards. I’m really good. I also cum on camera. I took 40 milligrams of Viagra, but I popped a load.”
But, in the end, Goldstein’s number one priority is to find work. He is appealing the restriction that doesn’t allow him to work in the adult industry and hopeful that someone will offer him a job soon.
“Please stress that anyone who wants to hire me,” he said, “I really would like the job. I am so valuable. I ran a business for 35 years, anyone with a film company, but let people know to please call me. I want to work.”