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Al Goldstein Apologizes

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Oct 23, 2003 12:00 AM PDT    Text size: 
A year after Al Goldstein, the outlandish publisher of "Screw" magazine, was convicted for harassing his former secretary Jennifer Lozinski, the down-and-out porn publisher once again found himself facing the judge's bench.

The reason for Goldstein's return to a New York courtroom this week was because an Appeals Court ruled that the prosecutor in the case had "overstepped his verbal bounds."

Goldstein's conviction, a misdemeanor that originally sent him to Rikers Island for 60 days, was thrown out and regressed to a violation.

Goldstein, 68, was summoned to court to plead guilty to the violation of harassment in the second degree. He was sentenced to time already served in jail by the same judge who sentenced him to Rikers.

Lozinski and her attorney reportedly approved of Goldstein's plea deal and were present in court.

Goldstein was also asked by the court to apologize to Lozinski for prior acts of harassment, which included calling her names on his cable television show, printing her home address in his magazine, and making threatening phone calls to the woman's residence.

"I apologize to Jennifer Lozinski for any pain I have caused," Goldstein was quoted by The Daily News as saying. "It's a violation, not a misdemeanor. I accept it, because I'm not healthy."

Despite marrying his fifth wife earlier this year and losing 40 pounds from stomach-staple surgery, signs that Al Goldstein's publishing business was beginning to crumble had become increasingly apparent to the public eye.

"Screw" magazine's circulation took a dive from 120,000 to 35,000 news sources reported, and his advertisers began drying up right and left.

In August of this year, around the time Goldstein was trying to appeal his conviction from the Lozinski case, the porn publisher reportedly filed for bankruptcy and mortgaged his house to keep "Screw" in publication.

The offices of Goldstein's Milky Way Productions in Manhattan were seized by his landlord for back rent, and Goldstein took out a bridge loan against his 15-room mansion in Florida to stay afloat. The porn publisher was also suffering from an array of illnesses, including diabetes.

At the time, Goldstein was quoted as saying: "We're having money problems. The men's field sucks. Sales are off 70 percent. After 34 years of being outrageous, we're fighting for survival."

Goldstein alleges that a former employee, not Lozinski, embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from him and is to blame for his financial downfall.

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