In the wake of a flurry of media reports about a missed December 15 Orange County court date, sports agent pioneer Leigh Steinberg—now 62—gave a several phone interviews last night, most notably to Laguna Niguel Patch editor Debbie L. Sklar.
He said he was particularly unimpressed by the coverage he received from CBS News. Although Steinberg acknowledged there was a mix-up with the court date and that he is currently dealing with some serious personal debt issues, he insisted the overall picture painted by CBS was laughable:
“CBS never fact-checked or made a point to reach out to me personally… They made a point in their story of making me sound like I vanished and I’m like Pancho Villa headed for the border,” he said. “If someone wants to find me, I have 5,000 friends on Facebook, I’m on Twitter and I speak once a week at various events…”
“I am simply amazed by all of this and what it indicates to me is this new era of drive-by social media,” he said. “No one asks questions; they just run with it. CBS filmed an empty office I had in Newport Beach. Sure, it was awesome with 180-degree views of the ocean at Fashion Island, but I haven’t had that office since 2009.”
Steinberg also dismissed media mentions of a “lavish lifestyle,” noting that he currently drives a ten-year-old car and lives with a roommate in a Laguna Niguel townhouse.
Update – 01/11/12: Steinberg has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, explaining on ThePostGame.com the context for his actions as well as recent struggles with alcoholism and ongoing battle with attorneys tied to a disgruntled former employee. It’s a heck of a post.