Reporter says Florida lawyer tried to sell tape of client Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale prostitution case denies charge of "Inside Edition" reporter.

September 11, 1991|By Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The Broward State Attorney's Office is investigating accusations that attorney Ellis Rubin tried to sell videotape of prostitution suspect Kathy Willets having sex with a Fort Lauderdale city official.

"I believe this amounts to profiting from criminal activity, selling of the tapes," Assistant State Attorney Joel Lazarus said. "I can guarantee that there was some agreement cut with Rubin and Kathy Willets where he'd get money for the tapes, whether it be 100 percent to zero."

Steve Wilson of the television show "Inside Edition" said Rubin's office, which is representing Kathy Willets, offered to sell him a video showing Willets having sex with former Fort Lauderdale Vice Mayor Doug Danziger.

"It's the most amazing thing I've seen in 20 years as an investigative reporter," Wilson said.

At a news conference last night in Miami, Rubin angrily denied offering to sell videotapes to anyone, and said it was the television people who tried to trick him into an illegal deal.

"This office is only involved in this escapade to ensure that criminal behavior on the part of the media would not have an adverse affect on the criminal case," Rubin said.

Rubin said representatives from Inside Edition were angry that their TV rival, "A Current Affair," had scored a coup on Monday night with footage of the Willetses' vacation at the Hedonism II resort in Jamaica.

The videos were made by Jeffrey Willets as he hid in a bedroom closet, watching and taking notes while his wife had sex with clients, Lazarus said.

The couple charged clients from $50 to $150 an hour, investigators said.

Rubin had planned to argue that Kathy Willets, 33, was a nymphomaniac who needed to have sex with many men because of her husband's occasional impotence. The nymphomania defense appeared to have been scrapped when Rubin announced the couple would plead guilty to the prostitution-related charges against them in a hearing today.

But any deals between the State Attorney's Office and the Willetses are in jeopardy, Lazarus said.

L "The plea agreement needs to be re-evaluated," Lazarus said.

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