Colorful and controversial shoe designer Steve Madden has signed a deal for a tell-all memoir entitled, “The Cobbler,” Media Ink has exclusively learned.
“He won’t hold back,” promises Diversion Publishing CEO Scott Waxman, who said the book is expected to hit from his Radius Books imprint in May 2020—which is the 30th anniversary of the founding of Madden’s eponymous shoe empire.
To be sure, the 61-year-old convicted felon has a lot to tell. He rose from humble roots in Far Rockaway, Queens, the son of a Jewish mother and Irish Catholic father and started selling his designer women’s shoes out of the back of a truck. Through a childhood friend, he became pals with the famous “Wolf of Wall Street” Jordan Belfort, whose “pump and dump” brokerage house Stratton Oakmont handled the IPO for Madden’s fledging shoe company in 1993.
Madden was busted in by the feds in 2000 and charged with stock manipulation, money laundering and securities fraud involving 22 companies handled by Belfort’s company, including for Steve Madden Ltd, which trades under the symbol SHOO.
The feds wanted Madden to cop a plea — and when he didn’t he spent 31 months in jail before being released in 2005.
Known for his shoe-tossing temper tantrums and intense business approach, Madden once told the Post’s Richard Johnson that he did not like his portrayal in Martin Scorsese’s movie about Belfort, where he was played by Dustin Hoffman’s son Jake, because he said it made him appear “too nerdy.”
“I’m just a guy who started a company with an investment of eleven hundred dollars and built it to its most recent valuation of three billion,” Madden said of the book deal, which will be announced Wednesday. “I made a lot of mistakes along the way—including some that landed me in prison and at the mercy of addiction. Honestly, I just love shoes. Oh, and the hustle. I love that, too.”
The book deal is what is known as an author-centered deal where the author bears most of the production costs but also then retains the copyright and keeps up to 80 percent of the revenue.
Byrd Leavell at United Talent Agency was the agent and Jodi Lipper is the ghostwriter. In addition to conventional book sellers, the book will be offered through Steve Madden retail stores.
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