Al Goldstein has enjoyed notoriety since the late 1960s, when he began to publish SCREW magazine, almost six years before Hustler emerged on the adult literature scene. SCREW, a once nationally published magazine which will celebrate its 35th anniversary this year, prides itself on its political satire and raunchy photos. SCREW has published interviews with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Jack Nicholson and other stars (though most are preceded by the prefix porn). However, SCREW’s true claim to fame is its willingness to push the limits of printed pornography. Its best-selling issue was in 1973 when it printed nude photos of former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and sold 530,000 copies for 75 cents an issue.
For his role in helping to pioneer the adult entertainment industry, Goldstein himself has been featured in numerous publications, such as the New York Times Magazine and The Miami Herald, and has appeared on Court TV’s “The Johnny Cochran Show” and Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” among others.
More recently, however, Goldstein has received more attention from the law. On May 5, 2002, he was sentenced to 60 days in jail for leaving threatening and obscene messages on the answering machine of a former employee who he claims embezzled over $130,000 dollars from his company. In an interview before the trial, Goldstein told AVN Insider, an online trade publication for the pornography industry, that he was not afraid of prison. “I would like to find a big black guy and be his woman. I would like him to be a career criminal with a good night job. Prison doesn’t mean shit to me,” he said. Since then, Goldstein has changed his tune somewhat after serving only 10 days of his 60-day sentence at Rikers Island. “It was a horror,” Goldstein tells FM. “It was worse than any third world country. They performed surgery on me, the D.A. of Brooklyn [Charlie Hynes] told the correctionals that I would leave Rikers Island in a pine box.”
On January 9, 2003, Goldstein was pulled off a plane after he made sexual remarks to an airport security worker. According to the police report, Goldstein asked the employee, “Are you a real blond?” and also said, “If you and me were to have sex, I would want you to keep your uniform on.” No charges were brought against Goldstein.
Five days later however, he pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated harassment and one count of stalking in a suit brought by his ex-wife Gena Goldstein, mother to Jordan. In court, Al Goldstein admitted to making obscene phone calls to his ex-wife and asking readers of SCREW and viewers of his X-rated cable television show to call her. “My son’s mother is a contemptible vagina,” says Goldstein. Gena Goldstein reported that she received 13 harassing telephone calls after the publication of her number.
After taking on various government officials in defense of First Amendment rights, Goldstein turned his vicious tongue against his own family because he was not invited to his son Jordan’s graduation from HLS. Goldstein blames his ex-wife and the influence of Harvard itself for his exclusion. “Harvard is a disgrace. It took a perfectly normal son that I was proud of and turned him into an [expletive] unworthy son.”
When speculating why he was not invited, Goldstein says that during Jordan’s childhood, “my son knew who I was. But I guess he thought I was some sort of king [just not a porn king].” Goldstein says that he and Jordan had had a very close relationship. He read his son John Stuart Mill while growing up and fed him on Libertarian values. In addition, he said that he had bought Jordan a gift worth $10,000 every year, that Jordan had never had to work and that he had paid for all of Jordan’s education. After Jordan graduated first in his class from Georgetown, he received a full scholarship to NYU, but Goldstein offered to pay his entire tuition so that he could attend Harvard. “I was very supportive,” says Goldstein, “I was very proud.”
Goldstein no longer thinks of his son in such positive terms. On his magazine’s web site, Goldstein has compiled a slide show of digitally altered photographs of his son, which can be accessed through a link entitled “See what Jordan Goldstein does best.” The photographs depict the younger Goldstein performing graphic sexual acts with other men and farm animals as well as mutating into the Incredible Hulk.
During the interview Goldstein also accused his son of stealing $880,000 worth of watches from him. “My son is a despicable watch thief. He has broken me and Harvard should be ashamed of itself. Yale was the smart one, they turned him down.” He used the issue of the missing watches to explain his guilty plea of in the trial last January: “I don’t have $50,000 for the trial, and I am frankly exhausted. I pleaded guilty because I will not get jail time and the humiliation of Harvard-bred Jordan Ari Goldstein has so broken my heart. And I have no money. If my son did not steal my watches I would have money for the trial.”
Jordan Goldstein, who now works at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in New York City, refused to comment on why his father was excluded from his graduation and other questions in regards to their relationship, except to deny his father’s allegations.
In a parting offer of advice to future First Amendment advocates Goldstein says, “Follow what Al Goldstein has done, fight for freedom and do not have children.” In a parting offer of advice to Harvard students who may become like his son, Goldstein says, “someone should shoot you in the head.”