Thursday, April 22, 1971

Case of Alvin Goldstein

Case of Alvin Goldstein
(AKA: Al Goldstein)

Executive Editor - Milky Way Productions, New York, NY
(Williamsburg) Brooklyn, NY
Pompano Beach, FL
Amsterdam, Holland
West Hollywood, CA

Alvin Goldstein was born on Jan. 10, 1936, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  He was one of two sons of Sam and Gertrude Goldstein. His father was a news photographer.

Back in 2004, Goldstein was named in an indictment along with Milky Way Productions after Eugene Abrams a advertised for girl models between the ages of 4 and 14 years of age in issues of Screen magazine which is published by Milky Way Productions of 11 West 17th Street, Manhattan.  There have also been several allegations of sexual harassment made against Goldstein over the years.

In 2004, Goldstein has been attending classes for men who batter after being convicted of verbally harassing one of his four ex-wives.

Disclaimer: Inclusion in this website does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement. Individuals must decide for themselves if the resources meet their own personal needs.

Table of Contents:  

  1. Pornography Ring Broken Up in Nassau   (04/22/1971)

  1. Porn To Be Mild   (02/25/2002)

  1. Screw Mag publisher detained after sexual comment to airport worker (01/09/2003)
  2. Prosecutor Erred, Goldstein's Harass Conviction Reversed (07/17/2003)
  3. Porn mogul apologizes (10/23/2003)
  4. Plane harassment (12/23/2003)

  1. Ex-porn king trades sex for salami at 2nd Ave. Deli (07/17/2004)


  1. My Dirty Life and Times (11/19/2006)

  1. Al Goldstein, Publisher of Screw Magazine, Dies in Brooklyn (12/19/2013)
  2. Al Goldstein, Jewish King of Porn, Dies at 77 (12/19/2013)
  3. Al Goldstein, a Publisher Who Took the Romance Out of Sex, Dies at 77 (12/19/2013)

Also See:


Pornography Ring Broken Up in Nassau
New York Times - April 22, 1971

MINEOLA, L.I.; April 21-- Nassau County District Attorney William Cahn said today that his office had broken a nationwide, $250,000 - a-year pornography business, which allegedly used little girls, including the photographer's own three-and-one-half-year-old daughter, as models for lewd photographs.

In a 75-count indictment returned by the grand jury, Eugene Abrams, 37, of 1033 Little Neck Avenue, North Bellmore, was charged with one count of rape, five counts of sexual abuse, four counts of sodomy, one count of incest and nine counts of endangering the morals of minors.

Mr. Cahn said Mr. Abrams advertised for girl models between the ages of 4 and 14 years of age in issues of Screen magazine which is published by Milky Way Productions of 11 West 17th Street, Manhattan. The models were paid $200 a sitting and, according to Mr. Cahn, were allowed to return for subsequent sittings though, in at least one case, the parents knew their daughter had been molested while being photographed.

The magazine and Milky Way Productions were named in the indictment along with the executive editor, Alvin Goldstein, 35, of 61 Jaine Street, Manhattan, and Mr. Abram's wife, Joyce, 28, in two counts of obscenity, 45 counts of endangering the morals of minors, and two counts of sexual abuse.


Porn To Be Mild
Newsweek  - Feburary 25, 2002

The sexual harassment trial of Screw Magazine publisher Al Goldstein shows just how much has changed since pornographers led the fight for the First Amendment.

Feb. 25 — Any doubt about the passing of the era when pornographers waged principled, meaningful battles against the forces of government censorship, vanished in a grimy courtroom in Brooklyn last week at the trial of a fat little man named Alvin Goldstein, the publisher of Screw magazine.

AS BEAUTIFUL AS THE First Amendment can be when wielded by crusaders for justice or for the rights of the oppressed, it can also be an extremely nasty business watching it get trotted out to protect an old smutmonger whose glory days, such as they were, are more than 30 years in the past. "My magazine has pictures of people f—-ing!" Goldstein thundered from the witness box, employing an odd method of self-defense that made several members of the jury squirm noticeably. (The case is expected to go to the jury early this week.)

"People call it `engaging in sexual intercourse,' but I say `f—-ing!'" Goldstein continued, sounding like a sailor with Tourette's. And he was just getting started. "I'm proud of it! I'm proud to use words like c—t, p—sy, c—k! Screw magazine is a publication of sexual honesty!" If Goldstein—the passionate defender of the right to be profoundly mediocre—were on trial for obscenity, millions would be lining up to drink his skunky Kool Aid.

But Goldstein is not on trial for publishing porn or violating some government definition of good taste. He's on trial for bending the definition of free speech so far that he believes it also covers his right to make abusive, harassing phone calls to a former secretary who had quit on the spot after being cursed out by Goldstein because he had to wait on line for a rental car she'd booked for him in Los Angeles.

"You smelly c—t!" Goldstein said in one of several calls to the former secretary, Jennifer Lozinski. "I'll take you down! You loathsome turd. You're a piece of s—t!"

Goldstein even devoted his cable-access show "Midnight Blue" to haranguing Lozinski. (Could people really be watching Goldstein's self-proclaimed "Naked 60 Minutes" to see a fat guy berate ex-employees? In a country where pornography is the biggest consumer entertainment product, Al Goldstein has found a way to make it unprofitable.)

The People v. Alvin Goldstein is just a misdemeanor case, but it still teaches us that our country is a long way from the days when the First Amendment's staunchest defenders were manning the barricades to defend their right to show pubic hair or publish cartoons of the president of the United States having sex with Soviet premiers.

Today, obscenity trials are as rare as they were common 40 years ago. Hugh Hefner is a mainstream figure (and practically a spokesman for Viagra). You can see "mature content" on cable channels that would've put people in jail in 1970. And even Goldstein's writing shows up in mainstream publications from time to time.

Far from being under attack, pornography has become as American as flag waving, as mainstream as pro wrestling and as readily accessible as the sports magazine swimsuit issues that are its spiritual brethren. It's telling, after all, that the only controversy Goldstein's porn magazine can drum up comes from its racist, jingoistic and sadistic editorials, not from the pictorials that any 13-year-old can download from millions of Internet sites.

Of course, misdemeanor trials are as rare in New York as a mayor with humility. But this case generated a special buzz after Goldstein published a doctored photo of the head of the Brooklyn District Attorney, Charles J. Hynes, atop the body of a naked woman.

And that is what Goldstein and his three lawyers—three lawyers for a misdemeanor?—seized upon. The goal last week was to create such a media circus—with Goldstein as the fat man, bearded lady and the guy who cleans up after the elephants all rolled into one—that few would notice the actual substance of the case. And with Goldstein promising a Fellini-like procession of "character witnesses" such as comedian Gilbert Gottfried, "Munsters" star "Grandpa" Al Lewis, and the porn auteur Ron Jeremy, the media came out in droves. No one left without a notebook or videotape full of enough material to fill an after-hours Cinemax special, not that any of it could be printed in a family newspaper, of course.

"You look like you're a good lay," he told a female radio reporter on the trial's first day. "Oh, yeah, how do you know?" she asked, playing along. "Your station manager told me."

He next focused his attention on the courtroom sketch artist. "You have nice t—s," Goldstein said. A second artist seemed to take offense. "That's my daughter!" she said. "Really?" Goldstein replied. "Well, you have nice t—s, too."

Later, Goldstein pulled aside a New York Times reporter to praise him for a positive article and to offer as a reward a sex act that was once popular in the Biblical city of Sodom. Finally, he got down to the facts in the case. "The DA is a piece of s—t and a scumbag." And speaking about Judge Daniel Chun, Goldstein reveled in his First Amendment rights to invoke ethnic stereotypes. "I like what he does with lo mein, but he always puts too much starch on my shirts. But I'm going to bring him down, too," he said of the judge. Is this the same First Amendment that soldiers died in the Ardennes and on Iwo Jima to protect?

In the flesh, Al Goldstein is not hard to like. In conversation, he grabs your forearm like a loving grandfather—a grandfather who hands you copies of Screw magazine at the slightest suggestion that you haven't seen the magazine lately. "I should be an old Jew retired in Century Village," he said. "But here I am, with a passion for eating pastrami and eating p—-y." He grabbed my forearm again, pulling me closer in the implied suggestion that I shared his twin culinary passions. (The man is no dummy; I do love a good deli sandwich.)

But when I suggested that threatening a judge is no way to win friends and influence juries, he unleashed a tirade, "Have you read the First Amendment, schmuck? This is protected speech. It's not violence. It's words." Later, when the cameras had gone, he pulled me aside and apologized for "going off" on me. "But," he added conspiratorially, "it makes for great copy, doesn't it?"

It does, but no matter how entertaining Al Goldstein can be, he remains as insatiable for attention as a neurotic comedian who does not know when to turn it off. The press plays along—no one, after all, wants to pull the plug on the quote machine that is providing our life-support—but Goldstein's is the tired act of a tired man, desperate for cultural significance, desperate for sex and, of course, desperate for a Golden Age that probably never was.

After a break in the "trial," a lawyer not involved in the case grabbed the only available seat next to me. He picked up my copy of Screw and started flipping through it. "Man, I haven't seen this in years!" he said, gradually becoming disappointed. "When I used to read this, it was like your own personal revolt against mainstream America. Now, it's just sad."

Inside, Goldstein again played the battle-ready free speech activist rather than sit there as the sketch artists painted the real picture of him as a harassing former boss. Sure, "Grandpa" testified to Goldstein's peaceable nature, but prosecutor David Cetron fired back by pulling out a recent Goldstein editorial in which he encouraged terrorists to crash jet planes into Hynes's office. He had only to pull out a copy of the editorial before Goldstein became a One Man March on Washington.

"That's protected speech! That's words, not actions!" Goldstein screamed.

"At long last, have you no shame? Are you going to cut out my tongue next?" His pre-scripted outburst continued even as Judge Chun hustled the jury out of earshot (Newark was a good bet) and ordered the court officers to slap on the cuffs. As Goldstein, 66, was being removed from the courtroom, silent at last, he turned back to the defense table. "Don't forget my medication," he said.


Screw Harvard Law - Father of Porn Renounces Son, Blames Harvard
The Crimson (Harvard) - Thursday, February 27, 2003

After having not been invited to his only son's graduation from Harvard Law School (HLS) last June, porn purveyor Al Goldstein, publisher of SCREW magazine, has pleaded guilty to harassing and stalking one of his four ex-wives, served 10 days in Rikers Island prison in New York City on unrelated charges and accused his son, (Name Removed), of stealing $880,000 worth of watches from him. "Truthfully I am a broken man," he tells FM during a phone interview. "My son made me a broken man."

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 (Name Removed). 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 (Name Removed)'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 (Name Removed)'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 (Name Removed) 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 (Name Removed) a gift worth $10,000 every year, that (Name Removed) had never had to work and that he had paid for all of (Name Removed)'s education. After (Name Removed) 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 (Name Removed) 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 (Name Removed) 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."

(Name Removed), who now works at (Law Firm Name Removed)  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."


Screw Mag publisher detained after sexual comment to airport worker
Associated Press - January 9 2003

FORT LAUDERDALE -- Pornographer Al Goldstein was pulled off an airplane and detained by sheriff's deputies after he made some sexual comments to an airport security worker, authorities said.

Kelly Nobles, Transportation Security Administration screener at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, told police that Goldstein looked at her Wednesday and asked, according to a police report. Other screeners also heard the remarks.

Nobles told police she felt ``really uncomfortable and began to cry.''


Prosecutor Erred, Goldstein's Harass Conviction Reversed
By Tom Perrotta
New York Law Journal - July 17, 2003

Pornographer Al Goldstein, whose profane and volatile remarks to a former secretary earned him a harassment conviction and a jail sentence, was granted a new trial yesterday because of a prosecutor's inflammatory language.

A unanimous panel of the Appellate Term, Second Department, said that a "line was crossed" by Assistant Brooklyn District Attorney David B. Cetron when he improperly accused Mr. Goldstein of lying, denigrated Mr. Goldstein's attorney, and incited the emotions of jurors.

"There was nothing in the defense summation that could be said to have provoked the prosecutor's extreme and persistent mode of discourse," the appellate court wrote.

The court said that though not one statement from Mr. Cetron was enough to warrant a mistrial, taken together the remarks — including that Mr. Goldstein's trial attorney, Charles DeStefano, had told "an outright lie" — deprived Mr. Goldstein of a fair trial.

However, the court dismissed Mr. Goldstein's claim that his treatment of his former secretary, Jennifer Lozinski, was protected by the First Amendment, and that the state's aggravated harassment statute had been misapplied to his case, People v. Goldstein, 2002-754.

"A jury could properly find from the People's evidence that [Mr. Goldstein] used abusive and profane language extensively in all the communications at issue, knowing [Ms. Lozinski's] sensitivity to such language constituted threats, indicating both intent and that [Ms. Lozinski] was an unwilling recipient," the court said.

Herald Price Fahringer, Mr. Goldstein's appellate attorney, applauded the ruling on prosecutorial misconduct, saying it was warranted.

"Today more than ever prosecutors are taking too many liberties in their final arguments to the jury," Mr. Fahringer said. "What pleases me about this opinion is that it really sets some guidelines."

He agreed, however, that the court clearly believes prosecutors have a valid case against Mr. Goldstein, and said he was disappointed with the court's constitutional findings.

A spokesman for the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office declined to comment.

Mr. Goldstein, 67, was convicted in February 2002 of six counts of misdemeanor harassment and sentenced to 60 days in prison for harassing Ms. Lozinski after she resigned. He served seven days of his sentence, Mr. Fahringer said, and was then released on $25,000 bail.

Mr. Goldstein, who was also acquitted of six harassment charges, left Ms. Lozinski obscene phone calls, wrote about her in his magazine, Screw, and put her down on television. In one letter, Mr. Goldstein told the secretary, "I will take you down" and "you are finished as a secretary." He also called her a "slimy piece of shit."

This conduct, the court said, "falls squarely" into the core proscription of the harassment statute, as explained in People v. DuPont, 107 AD2d 247, and Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15, which says that aggravated harassment applies to communications made to an unwilling recipient where "substantial privacy interests are being invaded in an essentially intolerable manner."

The Appellate Term went further and said prosecutors did not act improperly when they referred to other remarks Mr. Goldstein published in Screw, saying terrorists should fly airplanes into the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office and send anthrax letters there.

In a pretrial ruling, Criminal Court Judge Danny K. Chun forbid the use of those published statements to impeach Mr. Goldstein's character, but the appellate court said Mr. Goldstein "opened the door" to the evidence by "placing his character for peacefulness at issue."

Mr. Goldstein "put forward the proposition that while he says many outrageous things, it could be reasonably expected that any of them might be acted on," the court wrote. "While this might have been true on September 10, 2001, the temporal context of these statements is important. They were made in early December 2001, less than three months after the World Trade Center attack."

Shulamit Rosenblum represented the prosecution on appeal.

Justices Michael L. Pesce, Gloria Cohen Aronin, and Joseph G. Golia concurred on the ruling.


Porn mogul apologizes - Sorry he harassed secretary
New York Daily News - October 23, 2003

Porn potentate Al Goldstein wasn't spewing filth yesterday. Instead, he apologized in court for harassing a former secretary and was sentenced to time already served in jail.

Goldstein, who limped humbly into a Brooklyn courtroom with a cane and wore a rumpled gray suit, was a far cry from the foul-mouthed Sultan of Smut who was convicted last year of harassing Jennifer Lozinski, his former secretary.

After an Appeals Court ruled that the prosecutor overstepped his verbal bounds and threw out the conviction, Goldstein was back in court to plead guilty to the violation - not a crime - of harassment in the second degree.

"I apologize to Jennifer Lozinski for any pain I have caused," he told Judge John Carter. "It's a violation, not a misdemeanor. I accept it, because I'm not healthy."

Goldstein, who suffers from diabetes and several other ailments, pleaded with the judge for mercy, saying he had filed for bankruptcy for his Milky Way Productions and Screw magazine.

"I'm homeless. I'm selling my house. I'm going to be in a homeless shelter," he said. "I'm nearly 68 years old. This is not right. I served nine days at Rikers and seven days in a nut house!"

He charged that Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes has focused on him because Goldstein was an outspoken "controversial political figure."

But Hynes' spokesman Jerry Schmetterer said the case had nothing to do with First Amendment rights.

"It was always about the harassment of that woman," the spokesman said.

Goldstein had been sentenced to 60 days on Rikers Island for victimizing Lozinski by calling her names on his cable TV show, printing her home address in his paper and making phone threats.

The barrage of harassment began after she quit her job.

Schmetterer said Lozinski had agreed to yesterday's plea deal, which effectively ended the case.

Goldstein said that he had filed criminal charges in Manhattan against a former employee for embezzling nearly $200,000, forcing him into bankruptcy. He declined to elaborate.

But he was much more subdued than in his original trial, when he spewed ethnic insults about Criminal Court Judge Danny Chun.

Goldstein also wrote an editorial back then, urging terrorists to hijack a plane and crash it into Hynes' office.


Ex-porn king trades sex for salami at 2nd Ave. Deli
By Mary Reinholz
The Villager - Volume 74, Number 20 | September 15 - 21 , 2004

Al Goldstein, the once portly clown prince of porn who made a mint publishing outrageous raunch in Screw magazine for over more than three decades, said he is now broke, basically homeless and attending classes with "wife beaters" after being convicted of verbally harassing one of his four ex-wives. But Goldstein seems grateful for a new job he landed late last month in the East Village.

His title? He is a host at the 2nd Avenue Deli near 10th St., making $10 an hour for now and claiming that turning people on to the joys of chopped liver, gefilte fish and brisket of beef is far more pleasurable than selling the more decadent forms of cheesecake. His duties include greeting customers and showing them to their tables.

"I love it because I've always preferred food to sex," said a slimmed-down Goldstein, 68, looking as somber as a banker in a dark thrift-shop suit during an interview at the iconic kosher eatery where he also works as a salesman for its catering services. "It doesn't tell me I'm not big enough. It doesn't take my house and it doesn't take a testicle. So for me, as I walk by windows of foods, it's better than being in a topless club. But I have to watch it," he added, noting he shed 150 pounds via a stomach stapling operation last year and has to fight a "homosexual relationship with Ben and Jerry's" ice cream.

Goldstein claims that Screw folded last year "because the Internet will give you all the porn you want" and he subsequently lost his Florida mansion in bankruptcy proceedings, forcing him into the streets. He said he walked into the 2nd Avenue Deli with a hungry camera crew who had filmed him at a homeless shelter on W. 23 St. There he spoke to Jack Lebewohl, who has run the deli for the last nine years, ever since the unsolved 1996 murder of his older brother, Abe, who had been a longtime crony of Goldstein's.

Jack Lebewohl, 56, said he had already read a story in the New York Times about Goldstein's misfortunes in August when Goldstein suddenly showed up.

"I went upstairs and said to my wife, `Terry, I want to hire him,' " Lebewohl recalled. "She looked at me and said: `What will people say?' And I said if my brother was still alive, he would have said, `Absolutely.' And that was it. I said no one needs a friend when things are going well."

"I cried and said my life was over and Jack said, `What would my brother do?' I swear to God it's true," Goldstein said. "And he hired me on the spot. A man is what he does and for a year I didn't have a job. I felt hollow. I felt doomed. Ninety-five percent of your friends abandon you. Jack is one of the three percent of the people who stayed with me."

According to Lebewohl, the bad boy purveyor of smut is working out "fantastically" in the food trade. "He's an excellent host. I want him to learn the product and he's going to learn sales catering. We're going work out the financial stuff as things evolve. My mother had a saying in Yiddish, which I'll translate: `It's better to lose on a smart person, than to win with a fool.' And Al is no fool. He's intelligent and honest and hard working. What more do you need?"

Lebewohl noted that he first met Goldstein through his brother in the late 1970s after Abe catered a "huge party" at Plato's Retreat when Goldstein celebrated an acquittal in his obscenity trial in Witchita, Kan.

Goldstein's fall as the high-profile publisher of Screw and host of the now-defunct cable show "Midnight Blue" can be traced to his more recent legal problems, beginning with his 2002 conviction in Brooklyn Criminal Court for harassing a former secretary, Jennifer Lozinksky, whom he allegedly threatened on the telephone. Although he now admits his behavior was "inappropriate," he said his conviction was overturned 3-0 on appeal in New York State Supreme Court. He was convicted on similar charges for harassing his ex-wife Gina, after he published her telephone number in Screw and encouraged people to call her because, he said, she had turned his Harvard-educated lawyer son against him. By pleading guilty, he was able to get three years of probation, but the conditions are dire, he claims.

"I don't have to serve any time but I have to report every other week, and I can't be in the sex business," he said. "They check up on me. They're very judgmental."

Goldstein said he was denied permission by his probation officers to relocate to Los Angeles for a job in the X-rated men's field because of his verbal harassment conviction in New York. He can't work in the adult industry in New York, either.

"They said you can stay in New York, but you can't work in the men's field," he said. "They would rather I die of starvation, or make French fries at McDonald's.... They're looking for me to make one false step."

Jack Ryan, a spokesperson for the New York City Department of Probation, said he has found no records indicating Goldstein would be prohibited from working in the sex business. But he also noted that there are limitations on travel and relocation for people on probation.

Goldstein is now living at the Queens home of his fifth wife, Christine, 28, a "psych major" whom he said he met two years ago. He said she has developed Crohn's disease and could die from it, noting that he tries to joke about her illness by saying that "when she's dead, I'll date her three sisters." The couple married in January on Goldstein's 68th birthday. "She really loves me," he said. "She likes people who are rebellious and iconoclastic."

But Goldstein has nothing good to say about former flames including a live-in lover in Florida who, he claimed, dumped him over his financial problems. "Women are despicable and vile and I prefer salami any day," he said. "Suddenly I became ugly and smelly because I was poor. Before I was an Adonis. If women feel they're sex objects, men are just money objects."

Despite such slings and arrows for a man who successfully peddled eros for years in its earthiest forms, testing the outermost limits of free speech, Goldstein seems peaceful and somewhat subdued now that he has a job and a supervisor. He claims that former Mayor Ed Koch was friendly to him when Koch came into the deli just before the Republican convention "and he told Jack that `Al had once put my head in the toilet bowl' " in the pages of Screw magazine, which once featured a ribald enemies' list.

But Goldstein complains about having to attend weekly wellness classes on Roosevelt Island for people who batter women as another term of his probation. "I'm with 10 kids in their 20s who have beaten their girlfriends and I've never hit a woman in my life. But my mouth is a weapon."

He plans to put that weapon to use starting at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 18 at Joe's Pub, which is part of the prestigious Public Theater on Lafayette St. Goldstein will perform in a bawdy "low brow" musical review called "What I Like About Jew," produced by Ron Tannebaum and Sean Altman and smacking of the old Borscht Belt, said pub director Bill Began. "Nothing but the best for Al Goldstein," deadpanned Bill Bregan. "We love people who tweak our audience's expectations a little."


My Dirty Life and Times
By Steven Heller
New York Times - November 19, 2006

At age 17 I was the first art director of Screw, the infamous underground “sex review” that grew out of the 1960s sexual revolution, co-founded by the notorious Al Goldstein. For the better part of my subsequent 39-year career (32 of them at The New York Times), in accordance with my grandmother’s deathbed wish, I’ve tried to distance myself publicly from this dubious past. Although, in truth, I have used any flimsy excuse to tell my war stories from the porno trenches.

However, when the Book Review editors, who had heard these tales countless times, asked me to review “I, Goldstein: My Screwed Life,” I initially declined. Reason 1: Goldstein had been my friend, and a cardinal rule at the Book Review is never to review anyone you know well — friend or foe. Reason 2: I was convinced my wayward teenage exploits would be embarrassingly dredged up throughout the book, since I was not only present at Screw’s inception and other best-forgotten events, but also had quit the magazine tearfully after fighting with Goldstein about an inane logo he wanted me to use. I had then co-founded a short-lived competitor, The New York Review of Sex (and Politics). It folded after 20 issues, prompting our distributor to claim I was the only person in New York who could make a sex paper fail. A few years later, I returned for a two-year stint at Screw (the health benefits were quite generous), at which time it achieved a suprisingly high circulation and peak media attention — no doubt the result of my inventive art direction. After leaving Screw for The Times in 1974, I was subpoenaed as a hostile prosecution witness at Goldstein’s federal obscenity trial in Wichita, Kan., though my defiant testimony did not help the government’s case. (Goldstein was acquitted.)

Needless to say, I read “I, Goldstein” closely to see how I was treated, and found to my utter bewilderment I was mentioned only twice, both times in the same short paragraph, along with two other art directors who also later moved to The Times. “Heller was so young,” Goldstein writes, “that, during one of our busts, he was thrown in juvenile lockup.” Actually, I was busted not at Screw but at The New York Review of Sex. And I wasn’t sent to juvenile lockup, but placed in the adult lockup with the prostitutes.

Moreover, Goldstein says not a word about my groundbreaking typography for Screw, nor about my designs for other Goldstein publications: Mobster Times, Gadget, Smut, Smut From the Past and Gay. There is also nothing about how I hired the best illustrators from Time, Newsweek and The Times, knowing they would give the publication some legitimacy. Nor any hint that I once asked Salvador Dalí to design an entire issue (he considered it for two weeks and then demurred, saying the fee was too low). There is even a photograph I believe I should be in — I vividly recall the shoot and everyone in it — but I’m not. I’m guessing I wasn’t airbrushed out, but rather that the published picture was taken when, for a split second, I left the room.

Well, that was the final insult! Realizing my credibility would forever be challenged at the Book Review office, I accepted this assignment — if only to set the record straight.

Yet aside from the humiliation of being all but erased from the story, given my firsthand knowledge of everything from the founding (I was there when Screw was conceived, during a meeting at The New York Free Press) to the birth of Goldstein’s son (I was outside the delivery room), I can attest that the record is set forth faithfully, for the most part, and also entertainingly. And I believe this ribald, at times insightful and illuminating autobiography, written with Josh Alan Friedman, is overdue. In fact, Goldstein’s life and legacy actually deserve even fuller analysis to truly establish what, besides dirty words and deeds, he has contributed to American pop culture, and in particular to the cause of free sexual speech.

While Goldstein, over the years, has been vilified, satirized and marginalized, he has also been one of America’s more complex and interesting outlaws. His brushes with the law on First Amendment issues are legendary and significant. Even though he never had a case tried before the Supreme Court, he deserves at least the same cinematic treatment as Larry Flynt, the publisher of Hustler — a magazine Goldstein inadvertently sponsored, in his telling, since Flynt repeatedly “poached my editors over the years.” (Then again, “I have always considered my employees to be like Kleenex — meant to be used and discarded.”) Flynt had his Hollywood moment: after winning a free-speech case before the Supreme Court, which stemmed from a legal altercation with Jerry Falwell, and getting shot and paralyzed by a would-be assassin, he earned himself a critically acclaimed 1996 biopic directed by Milos Forman. That same year Goldstein, who has consistently played second fiddle to lesser outlaws, was the subject of a mediocre documentary, “Screwed: Al Goldstein’s Kingdom of Porn.”

And yet when he and Jim Buckley founded Screw, nothing like it — not Hugh Hefner’s Playboy or Ralph Ginzburg’s Eros or Barney Rosset’s Evergreen Review — had come close to addressing sex with such unvarnished candor and biting wit. Goldstein was an equal opportunity exploiter of men, women and art directors, but his raunchy humor raised the bar for porn from socially unredeemable smut to ironic social commentary. Sure, it was shocking, offensive and downright obscene — but as the motto on its early covers announced, Screw was “Best in the Field It Created.”

Before founding Screw, Goldstein was a radio car driver for Walter Winchell, a photographer for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (he was once jailed in Havana), a press photographer for Pakistan International Airlines (he accompanied Jackie Kennedy on her goodwill tour of Pakistan in 1962), and an industrial spy for a large corporation. He was also employed by the tabloid publisher of the “blood and guts” men’s magazines Hush Hush News and The National Mirror. (He used his friends’ names in stories with gory headlines like “Lover Shoves Icepick Up Lover’s Nose.”) As a respite from this sordid journalism, he approached The New York Free Press, an underground paper where I was art director, and sold us his guilt-ridden confessions of being an industrial spy, which I illustrated. He often railed about having to write such unremittingly gratuitous violence while sex, which his editors called “unmentionable acts,” remained taboo. He deemed his employers “bottom-feeders” and decided to start a publication along the lines of Consumer Reports that would “detail sex, but never violence.” He was also eager to experience his fair share of those unmentionable acts. And so, in 1968, Screw was born.

At the time, social and political underground papers, like The East Village Other in New York, were making considerable income from personal ads. The New York Free Press, as I recall, sold best when seminude women were featured on the cover even if the rest of issue was devoted to, say, the rioting at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The first issue of Screw I designed (if one can call it that, since I had no idea what I was doing) was a ragtag assemblage of typo-filled articles and stock photographs of simulated carnal congress. It also included “Homosexual Citizen” (to my knowledge the first gay-themed column published in a heterosexual magazine); Goldstein’s regular porno movie review column, with its unorthodox rating system; and a mildly pornographic comic strip I drew, which caused me some trouble during my freshman year at New York University because I’d named the protagonist after my philosophy teacher. How the school found out, I can only speculate. The cover showed a fairly plain woman kneeling in a two-piece bathing suit, staring fetchingly and holding a very long salami. As an afterthought we slapped a warning label on a corner of the picture.

Goldstein and Buckley hand-distributed the copies, which were surreptitiously printed at night in Brooklyn, and then waited for something to hit the fan. One outcome, in addition to their own frequent arrests, was that blind newsdealers were jailed for selling pornography. Goldstein, who leaned politically to the left, promptly translated this harassment into a constitutional issue and turned Screw into his soapbox against censorship. Those of us who worked for him also believed we were fighting for the cause. It was the ’60s, after all.

Goldstein was the archetypal pornographer — bloated, goateed, cigar-chomping, apparently eczema-ridden. But he also saw himself as belonging to a distinguished line of outlaws, including Lenny Bruce and Henry Miller, whom Goldstein proudly interviewed in Screw. Pornographers usually kept a low profile, but not Goldstein. He reveled in his role. He also attracted the likes of Gay Talese (who wrote about him in “Thy Neighbor’s Wife”), Philip Roth (whose alter ego Nathan Zuckerman impersonates a Goldstein-type figure in “The Anatomy Lesson”) and Jerzy Kosinski (who, Goldstein reports, accompanied him to Plato’s Retreat for a night of debauchery). He also hobnobbed with the stars who submitted to the Screw interview. He had a high-priced psychiatrist, Theodore Rubin, and a prestigious constitutional lawyer, Herald Price Fahringer (who was my lawyer first). He even befriended one of his ideological enemies, the conservative legal scholar Ernest van den Haag (who testified against Goldstein in his first trial).

Goldstein, in addition to being a porn king, made an art of self-loathing. It pervades “I, Goldstein” and was his most driving and destructive force. Despite his aggressively funny writing style, Goldstein doubted he was truly intelligent. A self-described “bed-wetting stutterer from Brooklyn” and a punching bag for neighborhood toughs, he feared he would become a milquetoast like his father, a photojournalist who exhibited courage in World War II, working alongside the likes of Ernie Pyle, but addressed elevator operators as “sir.” (He later toiled in Screw’s mailroom.) Goldstein, forever self-conscious about his weight, compensated by making voraciousness the cornerstone of his identity. He describes, touchingly, how as a teenager he was treated by a diet doctor — with whom it turned out his mother was having an affair, because “my father was so inadequate.” Thus he entered manhood primed to defy all who crossed him, and he fulfilled this wish, metaphorically flushing hypocrites and incompetents from President Nixon to his auto mechanic in a ceremonial toilet bowl.

Above all, Goldstein really wanted to be somebody. His memoir chronicles the improbable rise of a guy who each year renewed his taxi license just in case he hit the skids, and who was deeply in debt (his Jane Street apartment was stuffed with electronic gadgets bought on credit) but later owned a town house in Manhattan, a mansion in Florida, cars with drivers and millions of dollars’ worth of watches. Then came the spiraling downfall: the costly lawsuits, criminal battles and divorces. Screw went out of business in 2003. “Marshals were summoned for nonpayment of rent,” Goldstein notes. In the past couple of years he has been convicted of harassing a former employee and sent to Rikers Island, where he became gravely ill. He has lost his entire fortune. He has been homeless, living on the street. He currently resides in Staten Island in an apartment paid for by the comedian and magician Penn Jillette. The one-time pariah, the host of the pioneering cable TV show “Midnight Blue,” who enraged feminists like Andrea Dworkin, now wanders the Manhattan streets: a porn king without a crown, throne or Screw.

Goldstein was never as presentable or culturally palatable as Hugh Hefner, and Screw was never a beautiful and expensive production like Playboy. But had Al Goldstein not dared to create his “sex review,” the floodgates of a more expansive and liberating publishing culture might never have opened. As for me, had I not been Screw’s art director, and been given the freedom and encouragement to learn my craft, I would not have gotten my job at The New York Times.


Al Goldstein, Publisher of Screw Magazine, Dies in Brooklyn
The Sentry - December 19, 2013

Al Goldstein, the iconic publisher of Screw, and a former resident of Pompano Beach, has passed away.

Born Alvin Goldstein in New York, NY on January 10, 1936, Goldstein rose to prominence in the world of adult entertainment after co-founding Screw Magazine in 1968.

A self-described “bed-wetting stutterer from Brooklyn” with a history of diabetes, obesity and manic depression, Goldstein had an extraordinary life. As the New York Times‘ Steven Heller, who served as Screw‘s first art director, wrote in 2006:

"Before founding Screw, Goldstein was a radio car driver for Walter Winchell, a photographer for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (he was once jailed in Havana), a press photographer for Pakistan International Airlines (he accompanied Jackie Kennedy on her goodwill tour of Pakistan in 1962), and an industrial spy for a large corporation.

He was also employed by the tabloid publisher of the “blood and guts” men’s magazines Hush Hush News and The National Mirror. (He used his friends’ names in stories with gory headlines like “Lover Shoves Icepick Up Lover’s Nose.”)

"As a respite from this sordid journalism, he approached The New York Free Press, an underground paper where I was art director, and sold us his guilt-ridden confessions of being an industrial spy, which I illustrated. He often railed about having to write such unremittingly gratuitous violence while sex, which his editors called “unmentionable acts,” remained taboo. He deemed his employers “bottom-feeders” and decided to start a publication along the lines of Consumer Reports that would “detail sex, but never violence.”

He was also eager to experience his fair share of those unmentionable acts. And so, in 1968, Screw was born.

Screw predated Larry Flynt’s Hustler by six years, and Goldstein was arrested 21 times for his unprecedented indecency. At its peak, the magazine reportedly reached a a circulation of a half-million.
Following the extraordinary success of the film Deep Throat, Goldstein and his partner, Jim Buckley, decided to try their hand at producing a porn film. The result was It Happened In Hollywood (1973), featuring a young Wes Craven as assistant director and editor.

Goldstein debuted his television series, Midnight Blue in 1974. A local-access cable interview show with a recurring rant segment called “Fuck You,” Midnight Blue became an institution in the Big Apple, and a favorite guilty pleasure for decades of New Yorkers.

In 1977 — eleven years before the pivotal case of Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell — Alabama Governor George Wallace sued Screw for $5 million for publishing that the governor had learned to do sexual acts from reading the magazine. The two parties settled for $12,500, and Screw agreed to print an apology.

Goldstein mulled a run as Broward County, Florida sheriff in 1992, but abandoned the race because of an impending divorce and the need to spend more time in New York running Screw. 

After Screw folded in 2003, Goldstein’s fifth marriage failed and left him broke (he ended up taking a job blogging at for $1,000 a month, plus unlimited porn).

Goldstein’s company, Milky Way Productions – owner of both Screw and his long-running cable TV show – went into bankruptcy in 2004. His mansion in Pompano Beach, Florida complete with a backyard, 11-foot tall ‘middle finger statue, was sold that year to pay debts. The magazine was restarted by his former employees in 2005.

Goldstein, who claimed to have bedded 7,000 sexual partners, published an autobiography, I, Goldstein: My Screwed Life, in 2006. He suffered a stroke in 2010.

“I honestly think, down the road, one day, like Lenny Bruce, there’ll be an Al Goldstein article capturing his life and all the battles he’s waged,” he said in 2010. “It won’t matter because I’ll be dead, but I really think it will make something positive.”


Al Goldstein, Jewish King of Porn, Dies at 77
Pioneering Smut-Peddler Founded Screw Magazine
JTA - December 19, 2013

Alvin Goldstein, a pioneering pornographer who published Screw magazine and spent decades dodging obscenity convictions, has died.

Goldstein, whose Milky Way production company owned the long-running cable TV show “Midnight Blue,” died Thursday in Brooklyn. He was 77.

After a colorful early career that involved Army service, photojournalism, encyclopedia sales and industrial espionage, Goldstein launched Screw in 1968. The magazine’s primary innovation was its commitment to being “utterly tasteless,” Alan Dershowitz, who defended Goldstein in court, told The New York Times. Screw featured reviews of pornographic movies and brothels, as well as photo shoots of nude models.

His fights against obscenity charges included a legal battle with the Pillsbury company for depicting its Doughboy in a compromising position.

Over the decades, however, Goldstein found himself facing overwhelming competition as hardcore pornography became more mainstream, video and Internet pornography became ubiquitous, and free publications offered the same advertisements for services that had been Screw’s primary source of revenue. In 2003, a bankrupt Goldstein wound up in a homeless shelter and struggled to keep minimum-wage jobs in New York.

Married five times, Goldstein found himself estranged from his ex-wives and his son, Jordan. He spent his last years in a nursing home in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. He was a Brooklyn native.

Over the course of a career that saw waning fortunes and diminishing magazine sales, Goldstein battled illness, financial ruin and family break-up.

When he was not invited to his only son’s graduation from Harvard law school in 2002, Goldstein lashed out at his ex-wife and the elite private university.

Screw folded in 2003. Once at the top of a multimillion-dollar porn publishing empire, Goldstein lost his Manhattan home and was forced to sell a Florida mansion that came outfitted with a large statue of a hand with the middle finger raised.

For a time in the mid 2000s, the former porn king took an hourly wage job at Manhattan’s famous 2nd Avenue Deli.

In 2002, Goldstein was sentenced to 60 days in jail for threatening a former employee and leaving obscene messages on her answering machine.

With Reuters


Al Goldstein, a Publisher Who Took the Romance Out of Sex, Dies at 77
By Andy Newman
New York Times - December 19, 2013

Al Goldstein, the scabrous publisher whose Screw magazine pushed hard-core pornography into the cultural mainstream, died on Thursday at a nursing home in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. He was 77.

The cause was believed to be renal failure, his lawyer, Charles C. DeStefano, said.

Mr. Goldstein did not invent the dirty magazine, but he was the first to present it to a wide audience without the slightest pretense of classiness or subtlety. Sex as depicted in Screw was seldom pretty, romantic or even particularly sexy. It was, primarily, a business, with consumers and suppliers like any other.

The manifesto in Screw’s debut issue in 1968 was succinct. “We promise never to ink out a pubic hair or chalk out an organ,” it read. “We will apologize for nothing. We will uncover the entire world of sex. We will be the Consumer Reports of sex.”

Mr. Goldstein, who lived to shock and offend and was arrested more than a dozen times on obscenity charges, stuck around long enough for social mores and technology to overtake him. By the time his company went bankrupt in 2003, he was no longer a force in the $10-billion-a-year industry he pioneered. But for better or worse, his influence was undeniable.

“He clearly coarsened American sensibilities,” Alan M. Dershowitz, the civil liberties advocate and Mr. Goldstein’s sometime lawyer, said in 2004.

“Hefner did it with taste,” Mr. Dershowitz added, referring to Hugh Hefner, the founder and publisher of Playboy, which predated Screw by 15 years. “Goldstein’s contribution is to be utterly tasteless.”

Apart from Screw, Mr. Goldstein’s most notorious creation was Al Goldstein himself, a cartoonishly vituperative amalgam of borscht belt comic, free-range social critic and sex-obsessed loser who seemed to embody a moment in New York City’s cultural history: the sleaze and decay of Times Square in the 1960s and ‘70s.

A bundle of insatiable neuroses and appetites (he once weighed around 350 pounds), Mr. Goldstein used and abused the bully pulpit of his magazine and, later, his flesh-parading public-access cable show, “Midnight Blue,” to curse his countless enemies, among them the Nixon administration, an Italian restaurant that omitted garlic from its spaghetti sauce, himself and, most troubling to his defenders, his own family.

“I’m infantile, compulsive, always acting out my fantasies,” he told Playboy in 1974. “There’s nothing I’ll inhibit myself from doing.”

Alvin Goldstein was born on Jan. 10, 1936, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, one of two sons of Sam and Gertrude Goldstein. His father was a news photographer.

Mr. Goldstein spent much of his childhood stuttering, wetting the bed, getting beaten up by bullies and amassing the portfolio of grudges that would fuel his passions. A lifelong habitué of psychoanalysts’ couches, he blamed a meek father and an adulterous, insensitive mother for his complexes in his 2006 autobiography, “I, Goldstein: My Screwed Life,” written with Josh Alan Friedman.

Before he found his calling, Mr. Goldstein served in the Army, captained the debate team at Pace College and briefly followed his father’s footsteps into photojournalism, taking pictures of Jacqueline Kennedy on a 1962 state trip to Pakistan and spending several days in a Cuban prison for taking unauthorized photos of Fidel Castro’s brother, Raúl. He married miserably, sold insurance successfully by day and sought solace in pornographic movie houses and brothels by night.

After his marriage failed, Mr. Goldstein drifted. According to Gay Talese’s book “Thy Neighbor’s Wife,” Mr. Goldstein ran a dime-pitch concession at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair; sold rugs, encyclopedias and his own blood; drove a cab; and landed a job as an industrial spy, infiltrating a labor union. That experience so appalled him that he wrote an exposé about it for The New York Free Press, a radical weekly.

The article did not make the splash Mr. Goldstein was hoping for, but he became friends with one of The Press’s editors, Jim Buckley, and persuaded him that there was money to be made covering the growing commercial sex scene, which the establishment press mentioned only to vilify.

Investing $175 apiece, the two men published the first issue of Screw in November 1968: a 12-page Baedeker to the underworld featuring blue-movie reviews, nude photos, a guide to dirty bookstores and a field test by Mr. Goldstein of an artificial vagina.

Although they had difficulty finding a willing distributor for a tabloid whose first cover featured a photograph of a bikini-clad brunette stroking a large kosher salami, Screw’s circulation soon reached 100,000 — or so Mr. Goldstein claimed (it was never audited) — and the magazine stepped up its ambitions.

As quasi-legal, discreetly misnamed “massage parlors” multiplied across the city in the early 1970s, Mr. Goldstein assigned himself to visit and rate each one. He claimed that his early, enthusiastic review of the movie “Deep Throat” helped turn it into hard-core pornography’s first bona fide mainstream hit.

An issue in 1973 with frontally nude photos of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis sold more than a half-million copies, Mr. Goldstein said — a fraction of the seven million Playboy sold in those days, but enough to raise Mr. Goldstein’s profile considerably.

With renown came obscenity arrests and lawsuits, which Mr. Goldstein in turn milked for maximum publicity. (He also wrote numerous scathing editorials accusing his accusers of hypocrisy, often accompanied by crude photo collages showing them engaged in humiliating sex acts.) Mr. Goldstein, claiming First Amendment protection, beat most of the charges, occasionally paying nominal fines.

In 1973, though, a United States Supreme Court decision made it easier to prosecute pornographers. Before then, one legal test for obscenity was whether a publication was “utterly without redeeming social value.” The 1973 decision broadened the definition to include material that lacked “serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value,” and it empowered communities to set local standards for whether such material was obscene.

This led federal prosecutors to direct some postmasters in Kansas to order copies of Screw. Upon delivery, Mr. Goldstein was charged with 12 obscenity and conspiracy counts and faced up to 60 years in prison.

His lawyers argued that the anticensorship diatribes in Screw made the magazine sufficiently political, though Mr. Goldstein himself ridiculed this defense, insisting that a reader’s erection “is its own redeeming value.” After three years and two trials his conviction in the first was overturned, and the second ended in a hung jury. Mr. Goldstein’s company, Milky Way Productions, paid a $30,000 fine in return for the dropping of personal charges against him and Mr. Buckley.

Mr. Goldstein also won a copyright suit filed by the Pillsbury Company after Screw depicted its signature doughboy in flagrante, and an invasion-of-privacy suit filed by an actress in a cracker commercial that Mr. Goldstein repurposed for “Midnight Blue.”

Screw made Mr. Goldstein rich enough to afford a townhouse down the block from Bill Cosby on the Upper East Side. But as time went on and hard-core pornography became widely available, the magazine seemed less and less radical, and he began losing interest.
“There is a pattern to American life that what is avant-garde becomes commonplace,” Mr. Goldstein said in 1981. “The mass market eventually assimilates that which is innovative or revolutionary.”

Mr. Goldstein began a dozen other magazines, with titles like Death, Smut, Cigar and Mobster Times, all of which failed. He bought a mansion in Pompano Beach, Fla., where he made an abortive run for county sheriff in 1992.

Gradually, Mr. Goldstein’s empire declined. The Village Voice and other newspapers, many of them free, siphoned off the ads for escort services that were Screw’s mainstay. Mr. Goldstein failed to stake out strong positions in the booming sectors of video and Internet pornography.

Meanwhile, his vendettas came to seem more petty and personal. He was convicted in 2002 of harassing a former secretary in the pages of Screw, though that conviction, too, was overturned. After his son, Jordan, disinvited him to his graduation from Harvard Law School, Mr. Goldstein published doctored photos showing Jordan having sex with various men and with his own mother, Mr. Goldstein’s third ex-wife, Gena.

Mr. Goldstein eventually married five times. His survivors include his son. Mr. Goldstein was long estranged from his fifth wife, Christine.

In quick succession starting in 2003, Mr. Goldstein lost his company, his Florida mansion and a series of subsistence jobs in New York, including one as a greeter at the Second Avenue Deli. In 2004, while living in a homeless shelter, he was arrested and charged with stealing books from a Barnes & Noble store.

His long decline found him bouncing from his in-laws’ floor in Queens to Veterans Affairs hospitals to a cramped apartment on Staten Island paid for by his friend, the magician Penn Jillette, to the Brooklyn nursing home where he spent most of his final years.

There were some late bright spots, though. He was briefly a star catering salesman for a Manhattan bagel store. He blogged for Booble, a website devoted to the pornography business.

And at age 69, he was nominated for best supporting actor at the Adult Video News Awards for his age-defying role in “Al Goldstein & Ron Jeremy Are Screwed.”

“Only in America,” Mr. Goldstein said.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: December 19, 2013

An earlier version of this obituary misstated the name of a movie Mr. Goldstein starred in. It is “Al Goldstein & Ron Jeremy Are Screwed,” not “Al Goldstein & Ron Jeremy Get Screwed.”

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: December 23, 2013

An obituary on Friday about Al Goldstein, the publisher of Screw magazine, misstated the location of the Manhattan townhouse he bought in the wake of the magazine’s initial success. It was on the Upper East Side, not on the Upper West Side.



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