Teddy Forstmann: Okay, So I Did Bet Thousands That IMG Sports Clients Would Lose

By
Forstmann with non-white girlfriend Padma Lakshmi.Photo: Splash News

For the first time since the recent salacious lawsuit against him started making headlines, billionaire IMG owner Teddy Forstmann is speaking out against the accusations (which included allegations that he used company money to bet millions against its own sports clients, that he bet using "insider information," and that he was a racist and anti-Semite, using the term "schvartzes" to describe black people). Forstmann denied most of the allegations in a conversation with Charlie Gasparino for Daily Beast, calling the accuser, James Agate, a "stalker," a "shakedown artist," and a "scumbag lowlife." "I told my lawyer that I now want Agate in jail for extortion," Forstmann said. "At first this was an annoyance. But now the sheer madness of it all is having an impact on my business. By the way, I didn't even know what shvartze meant before all this came about. Can you imagine I adopt two black kids without a wife and I'm a racist? That shows he's really insane."

Forstmann also denies that he bet millions on sports — he says the real numbers were in the thousands — or that he used company money to do so. His only mistake, he says, was allowing Agate to help him place the offshore wagers. "My lawyers tell me I made more than $80 million over the past eight years. As for my total net worth, you can check Forbes 400," he said. "Can you imagine that, I bet a few bucks on sports?"

Well, it was more than a few bucks. And he did bet that certain IMG clients would lose. For example, during the French Open in 2007, Forstmann lost $40,000 by betting on Roger Federer (a client) against Rafael Nadal (also a client). Agate claims that Forstmann had talked to Federer that day and therefore had "insider information" on the match. Forstmann laughs off the claim, pointing out that he and Federer are friends and talk frequently, and in the end he lost the bet. Forstmann also bet $5,000 in favor of Vijay Singh (a client and friend) in the Masters one year, which meant wagering against Tiger Woods, who was also a client.

Naturally, Forstmann commiserated with his friend Monica Seles, who was also stabbed in the back — only, you know, literally. With a knife. "She told me the guy is crazy," Forstmann said of Agate. "And the only way to describe why the guy is doing this is because he has a wire crossed."

Ted Forstmann Lets Rip [Daily Beast]