It’s an odd situation when the Wolf of Wall Street Jordan Belfort is raising questions over moral conduct, but as the disgraced former stockbroker lashed out at 60 Minutes presenter Liz Hayes - labeling her a ‘‘f-wit’’ - their war of words doesn’t appear to be dying down as yet.
The row between 60 Minutes and Belfort has plunged to new depths this morning with both sides launching personal attacks following Belfort’s appearance on the Kyle and Jackie O show on Kiis FM.
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'Wolf of Wall St' storms out
Why did Jordan Belfort, the jailed US stockbroker and subject of a Hollywood movie, storm out of a 60 Minutes interview?
Belfort urged a boycott of the TV show, after criticising Hayes for a ‘‘one-sided’’ agenda. ‘‘It wasn’t even an interview, it was trying to do a public lynching for ratings,’’ he said. ‘‘It was honestly the lowest form of journalism I’ve ever seen. I think that every person in Australia should boycott 60 Minutes because it’s a worthless show.’’
He told the radio duo that he has faced many interviews in the past, but this had been a complete waste of time. ‘‘I’ve been asked every single question you can imagine,’’ he said. ‘‘I’ve done probably 1000 interviews and I’ve had some really tough journalists that were unfriendly and not nice... but this was very different in that this was a complete attack.’’
He claims Hayes repeatedly asked him the same question, which did not appear in the edited version of the interview. Viewers watching the broadcast on Sunday saw Belfort storm off, after angrily saying: ‘‘You’ve got a lot of nerve.’’
‘‘It was idiotic at best,’’ he told the Kiis FM pair. ‘‘She was more concerned with hearing her own voice and her own idiotic opinions than listening to me.’’
Executive producer of 60 Minutes Tom Malone hit back by calling Belfort a ‘‘sad, pathetic narcissist’’ who ‘‘ratted on his mates to save himself’’.
‘‘Liz Hayes legitimately questioned why Belfort only repaid $21,000 to his victims in recent years despite making millions from the sales of books and the rights to the movie, but Belfort is only comfortable with people laughing at his debauchery instead of scrutinising his deceit,” Malone said.
Hayes’ questioning had included a line as to whether Belfort’s oral contract with his Australian management, the Fordham Company, was an attempt to hide his income.
Belfort, who was played by Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese’s hit movie last year, served 22 months in jail over 2004-06 for money laundering and fraud. He was ordered to repay $US100 million in restitution to his victims, of whom he allegedly defrauded more than $US200 million. However, there are widespread reports that he has repaid very little despite the income he has racked up from the film rights and other avenues.
He has in recent years reinvented himself as a motivational speaker, and is on the publicity circuit in Australia to spruik seminars here in June.
Either way, 60 Minutes was a ratings winner on Sunday, winning its timeslot with a national audience of 1.7 milllion viewers.