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Jordan Belfort is a convicted criminal. He served 22 months in prison for scamming investors out of $200 million and after that, he wrote a book about what he’d done, which Martin Scorsese adapted into a movie, which made Belfort feel cool and first name basis-y with Leonard DiCaprio. Currently, he charges people money to hear him give speeches about being a crook, which appears to be the only way he supports himself and pays back his clients (or doesn’t). You might say that Belfort has capitalized on the fact that he’s an ex-con, and profited from the attention paid to his fraudulent activities. And if you said that, you’d be right.
Unfortunately, not everyone knows the rules regarding how Belfort’s most valuable asset– that is, his cheating ways and the time he did in jail for them– can be discussed about. They are:
1. Only Belfort may talk about all the years he spent ripping Stratton Oakmont investors off, and only in the context of him being totally rehabilitated now.
2. No one else (interviewers, journalists, his mother) can mention the stuff he’s done, allude to it, or even give him a look that suggests they might be thinking about it.
3. If rule No. 2 is violated, Belfort has the right to fly off the handle and make unintentionally hilarious statements about the quality of someone else’s work. “60 Minutes” reporter Liz Hayes had not been apprised of the ground rules prior to her sit down with the Wolf of Wall Street auteur, and that’s this had to happen:
In the explosive one-on-one, the former stockbroker loses his temper and terminates the interview in a rage. “I’ve said enough about this, let’s move on, since you’ve stonewalled me at every step!” Belfort spits at Hayes. “I’m done with this, I’m not gonna get attacked here — you’ve got a lot of nerve boy, I‘ll tell you!” he adds, before storming out. The surprised reporter asks: “Why can’t I ask these questions?” But what does Hayes ask to make Belfort crack?
She asks: “The last thing is that you have an oral contract with your management, the Fordham company, is that an attempt to hide your income?” This tips Belfort over the edge and he rises from his chair, declaring “no one’s ever treated me as disrespectfully as you have,” leaving the reporter dumbfounded. Belfort eventually returned to the room, but not before accusing Hayes of doing “a hatchet job” of the interview.