Memoir: A Sex Slave, by Kirby Sommers
After I found the courage to walk away from the man who turned me into his sex slave in the fall of 1993, two entertainment attorneys approached me while I was still living in California. They talked about purchasing the rights to my life story. An offer shy of $10 million was discussed. I rejected it for what I believed were good reasons.
My youngest nephew was still a child and I didn’t want him to hear about my life via a movie or be subjected to scandalous news at his age. He was enjoying the sort of enchanted childhood every person deserves and I wanted him to grow up emotionally unscathed. He is now in his 30s.
Additionally, my mother was still alive and although I suffered enormous physical and mental abuse by her as a child, I didn’t want to inflict any injuries upon her. My mother passed away at the age of 88 in 2009 after falling and breaking her hip in in her apartment.
Different people at different times approached me with all kinds of offers to buy the rights to my story. Whether or not I discussed Ira Riklis, son of the once flamboyant and notorious Meshulam Riklis, often referred to as Mr. Pia Zadora, by name was optional. (An article about Meshulam “Rik” Riklis by the Los Angeles Times in 1986 is worth a read).
This was not the case with two other men who somehow stumbled upon me in New York in the spring of 2004.
The two men were Ron Friedman and Peter Rodino, III.
Ron Friedman is the son of Sidney Friedman. Friedman was an attorney who counted among his clients Audrey Hepburn and The New York Giants. He passed away in 1997 at age 83.
Peter Rodino, III is the son of Peter Rodino, Jr who was the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment hearings that led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation for Watergate. It was the most infamous political scandal in the history of the United States. Rodino J was as well-known for the Nixon impeachment hearings as he was for having attended the wedding of Johnny Dio’s daughter – the wedding that served as the opening scene of Mario Puzo’s ‘The Godfather.’ Rodino passed away in 2005 at the age of 96 remaining somewhat unscathed publicly for having friends like Johnny Dio and Hugh Addonizio. Addonizio was a Congressman and was the 33rd Mayor of New Jersey. In 1970 he was convicted for racketeering and extortion and sentenced to ten years in prison.
Friedman and Rodino’s interest in my story at the time was for a book and a movie to be worked on simultaneously. It’s important to note they didn’t seek me out – I met Friedman while waiting on line at a local FedEx store. We became engaged in conversation and he told me his sister worked for Lifetime movies and might have an interest in my book.
He then mentioned Rodino to me as one of his business partners and when I queried him as to why Rodino would possibly be interested in pursuing my story as a business project he confessed that Rodino had a personal vendetta against the Riklis’s based on the looting of McCrory and subsequent bankruptcy in 1992.. Apparently Rodino II was heavily invested and lost a ton of money. Rodino wanted revenge and I was to be the instrument.
The McCrory Stores were an American institution and had been around since John Graham McCrorey opened his five and dime store in Scottdale, Pennsylvania in 1882.
Meshulam Riklis purchased McCrory in 1960. In 1963 the company was the fourth largest retailer in the United States. By the time the elder Riklis, known for taking over businesses and stripping them of their assets, was done with McCrory it was left with liabilities of $110 million against assets totaling only $66 million and then it was gone. The people who worked at the stores were jobless and the people who invested in the company were left holding worthless pieces of paper.
Even the art work which was technically owned by McCrory such as Piet Mondrian's "Composition with Yellow" and Fernand Léger's "Contrastes de formes," was transferred by Meshulam Riklis to a Riklis family owned company. The same is true of the company’s assets. This allegedly put a lot of money into the Riklis family coffers but left both creditors and stockholders with nothing.
During 2004 with both Friedman and Rodino by my side, I approached The New York Post to make a statement about the forthcoming book and movie. The Post was very interested in my story and was getting ready to run a cover piece titled: “More Skeletons out of the Riklis closet.”
The reporter spoke both to Ira Riklis and his attorney Max Wild. In the end, I’m not sure what really transpired. I was told that Ira okayed the word “girlfriend” as told to me by the reporter which at the time I really didn’t really understand. In hindsight, years later, I know what he wanted it to mean to the journalist and to the world: I was his private whore. The journalist told me both Ira and his attorney applied pressure on the editor which resulted in stopping the story from going to press.
It seemed no matter what I did Ira swiftly thwart my efforts in the telling of my story – which shows he’s a lot more like his ruthless father than even he would like to admit. To try to boost my morale, Friedman told me I had an “evergreen story” and it would always be timely. A little after this the communication between myself, Friedman and Rodino dwindled into complete silence. I haven’t heard from either one in over one decade.
However, there was always someone who contacted me about my story. Or someone who wanted the “inside scoop” on the Riklis’s. For example when the Costa Concordia sank (Meshulam Riklis and Ted Arison were the two men who created Carnival Cruise) – I received multiple calls from attorneys on behalf of the people who’d survived the catastrophic sinking (referred to the Titanic of our time); or when ADT wanted insight into Ira probably because they were direct competitors. At one time I even received a phone call from a higher up at the State Department asking me if I knew the Riklis’s were spies.
All I knew was that I needed to get my story out. My life had been derailed by Ira Riklis at a time in my life when I was the most vulnerable and then when I walked away there was constant interference in my life. For over 30 years. This book. My re-telling the events of what happened is my way of getting that interference to stop.