In an interview last night with Piers Morgan, the ex-con said that while he initially felt bad about screwing over countless individuals, he's since decided to move on. Shame's not good for the bod, so Belfort has chosen to leave it behind. Instead, he's been making things up to investors by talking a big game about paying back the money he stole, in addition to the untold weeks and months he spent ensuring Leonardo DiCaprio dotted all his i's and crossed all his t's in his depcition of Belfort's coke binges and orgies.
Having written his autobiography five years ago, as what he describes as a "cathartic" experience, Belfort admitted that the early nineties offered a glimpse of him at his worst: "You picked probably the highlight of what I considered myself to be the most depraved year of my life," he revealed. Though he's traveling America sharing his cautionary tale, and using income earned from motivational speaking engagements to help repay his victims, Belfort noted that he's yet to meet any of those that he personally impacted: "I have not ... no one has sought me out," he said. Morgan, though, pressed forward, suggesting that such a meeting ought be part of his penance: "Why haven't you sought them out," he asked. "Wouldn't it be part of your self-redemption, to actually track some of these people down, we know some of their names, know what they're saying about you, if you actually called them up and just said, 'I actually would like to talk to you, I would like to apologize to you personally for what happened?'"
Insisting that his "action speaks louder than words," Belfort maintained that financial retribution is the single most-valuable form of repayment he can offer: "What I'm doing here, by turning over 100 percent of the profits, is probably the most genuine thing I can do," he said. "Honestly I feel terrible about what happened. You asked if I had shame: back then, yes. Now, no. I'm not going to live my life in shame. I think that's a toxic emotion. I live with remorse, and that means I go out and do things actively to make up for the wrongs that I committed in the past."
Also, he got a contact high from the fake cocaine use in the movie, or something.
A month since Martin Scorsese's three hour epic premiered, Belfort offered his reaction after viewing the film himself: "It was shocking ... I saw the movie with my fiancee the first time, and we were speechless afterwards," said the man who spent 22 months in prison for securities fraud and money laundering. "I had come to terms with my old life. I wrote this book, and that was like a cathartic experience for me. But to see it on film like that, with someone that did such a good job, I literally, I felt myself sweating at certain points, when some of the cocaine was being snorted. I got almost sympathetic reactions to it."
Jordan Belfort on seeing "The Wolf of Wall Street": "I felt myself sweating at certain points" [CNN]
Jordan Belfort on the victims he swindled: "I feel terrible about what happened...I'm not going to live my life in shame" [CNN]