Al Goldstein Is Not Dead

Al Goldstein and Penn Jillette. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage for ThinkFilm)

Al Goldstein and Penn Jillette. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage for ThinkFilm)

Contrary to what you may have heard, Al Goldstein, founder and former publisher of Screw magazine, did not die yesterday.

Although the website Real Porn Wiki Leaks reported that Mr. Goldstein had died, the news was retracted when Bleeding Cool wrote earlier today that the death could not be independently confirmed. 

Author Larry “Ratso” Sloman, who has notably worked with Howard Stern, told Bleeding Cool that Mr. Goldstein, 77, is alive and stable; he is, however, in a hospital in the city.

Though Real Porn reported the wrong information, the website could not be blamed for making up Mr. Goldstein’s death out of thin air.

Last night, magician Penn Jillette, a friend of Goldstein’s, tweeted, “I’m in NYC. Today I visited my hero and friend Al Goldstein as he dies in the hospital, and tomorrow night I celebrate Lou Reed’s Life. NYC.”

A misinterpretation of the present tense, perhaps. Earlier today, Mr. Jillette clarified his message on Twitter: “My buddy and hero, Al Goldstein is NOT dead,” he wrote. “He is unresponsive and not doing well, but he is alive. Try to stop the rumors. Thanks.”

Mr. Goldstein, who suffered from a seizure in 2002 and had a stroke in 2010, was a notable pornographer in his day whose weekly magazine, first published in 1968, was known for its raunchy approach to sex.

“Before Screw, no magazine in this country had ever come close to addressing sex with such unapologetic candor, and without the posturing of Playboy,” Lili Anolik wrote in a 2011 Observer profile of Mr. Goldstein, who served as the host of the cable TV show Midnight Blue

He was also a big promoter of cartoonists, and published such artists as R. Crumb, Art Spiegelman and Danny Hellman in Screw’s pages.

Mr. Goldstein once described himself, in his typically licentious yet self-loathing manner, as “an old condom somebody popped a load into, then threw away.”

But—for now at least—we haven’t seen the last of Al Goldstein.