Real-life 'Wolf of Wall Street' blows $10M on coke & hookers
But a few years later I moved onto the ‘buy side’, investing and managing other people's money for hedge fund firm Galleon Group. We would have this huge pot of commission from private investors or institutions, and the rest of Wall Street was fighting for part of that pot. Everyone wanted my business and they would do anything to get it. I had access to every single restaurant, club and sporting event.
Soon I was making as much as $2m a year and being taken all over the country by people who wanted me to work with them. The benchmark for parties was the Super Bowl trip, which usually involved a private jet and every expense paid. One of the wildest was in 2002, in Ohio. I got invited to this super-underground party with about 40 guys and the same number of women. When I got there - I don’t know whether it was the cologne I was wearing or what - literally every single woman in the place wanted me. I was on fire. Everything I said was funny. It was only later I found out that all of them were hired escorts.
The first time I was offered cocaine was during the same period as the Ohio trip. I went to the bathroom with it but I didn’t take any - just pretended I had and handed it back. There was this ‘80s basketball player called Len Bias who took it for the first time and died when I was a teenager, so I’d always thought 'you take cocaine, you die'. But six months and a couple of promotions later, I was hanging around with a faster crowd and it didn’t look so menacing. The first time I really took cocaine, it was the most amazing thing ever. It was so good I knew it was going to be a problem.
By 2006 I was spending between $600-$700 a week on cocaine - that didn’t include the large amount I was being given or the booze I was drinking with it. I had a girlfriend and a baby daughter by that time but these were dark days. I was taking it five or six nights a week; if I took it easy I wouldn’t be shaking, sweating or bleeding the next day - but I still wouldn’t be able to go into work.
There was one point when I’d been up for about three days on cocaine and alcohol. I’d called in sick so many times that year that I knew I'd be fired if I did it again; I also knew I'd be fired if I showed up in the state I was in. I remember circling the block around my office, wondering what to do. I told myself (I obviously wasn’t having rational thoughts) that if I’d been mugged they wouldn’t expect me to work. I ran a few blocks and threw myself into a puddle repeatedly until my trousers were ripped and my hands and knees were all bloody. I got into the office limping and soaking wet, barely able to speak, and told them I’d been attacked.
Needless to say, 72 hours later I had left my job and was on a plane to my first rehab.
I was clean for a year before I relapsed and had to go back to rehab. After that I had the option of going back to Wall Street for a seven-figure paycheck, but it just didn’t feel right. I sabotaged the interview and walked away.
I don’t know if I have any regrets from that whole period. I do wish that maybe I hadn’t hurt some people, especially my family, but I don’t think I could be the person I am today without everything I went through.
Now I’m a writer - I turned my time on Wall Street into a book called The Buy Side and have just submitted a paranormal thriller - and I live on Long Island, two miles away from my daughter, who’s eight, so I can see her everyday. When I was writing the first book I made sure there were no cliches in the language, but I realized my character had become the biggest cliche there is - the stereotypical Wall Street douche-bag. Nothing’s left of the $10m I earned there; I made some bad investments and the rest went along the way.
But here’s another cliche: money’s not going to bring you happiness and none of the things I had made me feel better on the inside.
by Turney Duff
The Buy Side by Turney Duff is published in paperback by Constable and Robinson and available for £12.99
This post originally appeared at The Telegraph. Copyright 2014. Follow The Telegraph on Twitter.
Source: Business Insider