Former Screw Publisher’s Plea Motion Denied

Jeff Berg
NEW YORK — Former Screw magazine publisher Al Goldstein suffered a legal setback recently when a motion to vacate his guilty plea in a harassment case was denied.

Goldstein, 68, pled guilty to three counts of aggravated harassment and one count of stalking last year while on more than a dozen medications that made him effectively incoherent, according to the motion.

The former publisher admitted earlier this year to asking Screw readers and viewers of Goldstein’s “Midnight Blue” cable show to call ex-wife Gena Goldstein after he wasn’t invited to their son’s Harvard Law School graduation.

“They’re really trying to break this guy," said Charles C. DeStefano, Goldstein’s attorney. “It’s obscene.”

Manhattan Supreme Justice Renee White’s decision comes just weeks after a destitute Goldstein, listed as homeless on his probation papers, found a job working as a sales manager at New York’s Second Avenue Deli.

“I’m only getting $10 an hour but I eat like a pig,” Goldstein told the New York Post after getting hired in late August. “I look at the counter with all the cold cuts and I walk around with a semi-erection.”

The recent legal setback is yet another in a long list of problems that have plagued Goldstein, who has been vacillating between New York homeless shelters and sleeping on a couch at the apartment of his new wife's relatives for the last three months.

Two years ago, SWAT members swarmed Goldstein’s estate after a heavily armed prostitute barricaded herself in his guesthouse and, just days later, Goldstein was taken off an American Airlines flight after he made sexual comments to a security worker. Goldstein was also sentenced to 60 days in jail for harassing a former secretary.

The now-defunct Screw magazine and Goldstein’s Milky Way Productions filed for bankruptcy in 2003 after 34 years in business, leaving roughly $1 million in debt and forcing Goldstein to sell off his 10,000-square-foot Florida mansion and the huge middle finger statue he placed on his deck for passing boaters.

Goldstein received support in his motion from magician Penn Gillette of “Penn & Teller.”

“He’s a dirty, filthy, annoying, national treasure,” Gillette wrote Justice White. “The United States of American will be a little less free and beautiful when he’s gone.”