If you’ve seen “The Wolf of Wall Street,” you will recall the real life story line of Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, taking Steve Madden’s shoe company public in 1993.
The IPO was a smashing success — until it all came crumbling down as Belfort ratted out Madden and others profiting from the brokerage firm’s illegal activities.
In the film, Madden is portrayed as a shy, baseball cap-wearing, shoe-selling Jew from Long Island, played by Dustin Hoffman’s 32-year-old actor son, Jake Hoffman — who is real life best buds with “Wolf” co-star, Jonah Hill.
In Madden’s first interview since seeing the film, he tells PageSix of his on-screen portrayal: “The guy was too nerdy.”
Director Martin Scorsese did, however, nail the baseball cap that never leaves Madden’s head.
While the real Belfort went on to serve 22 months in federal prison, Madden refused cooperate with the feds and wound up spending 31 months behind bars.
While in prison, Madden fell in love with Wendy Ballew, an employee he corresponded with, according to PageSix. They got married as soon as he got out and now have three children.
As for whether he holds any grudges against Belfort, Madden says, “He ratted me out to save himself, but it was a long time ago, and I try not to live in the past. You’ve got to move on, and I have.”
In fact, “We’ve done very well,” Madden said of his current shoe line that boasts over 185 stores across the globe. “Our stock has gone up about 100 times. We started with a $US20 million market cap, and now the company is worth more than $US2.3 billion.”
“Not to get all Gandhi or anything, but I had to go through all that to get where I am now,” Madden said. “No regrets.”
And Madden’s “Wolf of Wall Street” 15 minutes of fame aren’t up just yet. A documentary on Madden, produced by former gossip columnist Mitchell Fink, has been shooting for the past six months.
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