Skip to main content

No.2 At Noted Boiler Room Not Just A Lowlife On The Job

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Continue this week's series of first-person accounts by people who worked for or were screwed by Jordan Belfort and Danny Porush, whose story the upcoming Wolf of Wall Street is based on, today we hear from Porush's ex-wife, Nancy.

We moved into a two-bedroom apartment in the Bay Club in Bayside, Queens. It was a young, friendly, social building — like an extended dorm for young people starting their lives. But the commute to the city each day was hard because I became pregnant right away. There was a nice boy from our building on the same bus who always gave up his seat for me. His name was Jordan Belfort, and he worked in finance. I always liked Jordan. I’d see him at the gym in the building, and he was so friendly. I’d see how in love he was with his wife, Denise. I pushed Danny to talk to Jordan. By now, he was struggling with his latest venture, a private ambulette business, and I thought Jordan, who looked like a successful young man working in the city, could help him. After just one conversation, Danny came back and announced he was taking the Series 7 exam to get his stockbroker’s license. He studied in the library for two weeks and passed the test. Jordan helped him get a job at the company where he worked...We bought a five-bedroom house in Oyster Bay Cove on Long Island’s North Shore on two acres of land, with a pool and tennis court. Danny sunk hundreds of thousands into it, blowing it out. Our second son’s bris in 1990 was as glamorous as a wedding. We had over 100 guests dressed to the nines — mostly Stratton guys and always talking business...

The first time things really spiraled out of control was Labor Day weekend of 1997, the day after we’d moved to Danny’s new operating base in Boca Raton, Fla., where he’d been working for a year. There was a relentless rain, and I was in the kitchen busy preparing the kids for their first day of school. The phone rang, and it was Danny calling from his office. “You have to get here right away,” Danny said, adding that he’d been busted by the FBI. “They’re taking me to jail.” “What do you mean, the FBI?” I answered. “That’s something you see on TV!” My life is PTA, not FBI. Visiting him in prison in Palm Beach was like a bad dream. In his prison clothes, he was doing what he does best: selling me. He was totally calm and kept trying to reassure me that it’s going to be OK, that he’s going to get out of it. Jordan, arrested the day before, got out on $10 million bail, but Danny, Mr. Private Plane, was considered a flight risk and denied bail. He was shuttled back to New York and held in the Brooklyn Detention Center for more than three months. But still I stuck by Danny. Even if he had done wrong, he was still my husband and the father of my children. In winter 1997, we got word that Danny was being released from prison. We had a big welcome home dinner with steaks and started figuring out his defense. We tried to be a family again, and I was full of hope for the future and how we were going to put this behind us. But in April 1998, he dropped a bombshell on me. “I’m in love with another woman,” he announced. “She’s having my baby, and I’m divorcing you!”

I was the wife of a Wall Street 'Wolf' [NYP]