Editor’s note: This version corrects several errors in the final item below.
Bal Harbour Shops art gallery director Nikki Sapp became an Internet sensation this week, and not for ferreting out rare art.
She was officially outed as Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra’s squeeze after their appearance together on the red carpet of Saturday night’s yearly fundraiser by team broadcasters Eric Reid and Tony Fiorentino.
Some of the reasons for the nearly one million sudden references on Google for Sapp: She’s nearly 20 years younger than the notoriously private 42-year-old coach, and she was a Heat cheerleader for three years.
The buzz at the Reid & Fiorentino Call of the Game dinner was that Sapp and Spoelstra were an item for months before he introduced her to the public.
They were seen hand in hand at a Miami Heat Charitable Fund gala on Feb. 27, although no one seemed to have noticed.
Now, with hundreds of photos of Sapp, 24, in her Heat dancer outfits circulating online, everyone has noticed.
“I’m sorry, I can’t comment,” Sapp said when reached at the Guy Hepner Gallery. “We’re private people.”
Florida Panthers co-owner and influential Fort Lauderdale businessman Jordan Zimmerman filed for divorce this week, saying his marriage to socialite Denise Zimmerman is irretrievably broken.
Jordan, 56, and his wife, 46, were married in 2000, according to Jordan’s filing, and have two children.
Jordan’s petition, filed Monday, indicates that Jordan wants a prenuptial agreement enforced. Denise has yet to respond.
Jordan is the founder of Zimmerman Advertising, the country’s 14th largest advertising agency. It has an annual billing of about $2 billion from clients like Nissan, Papa John’s and Club Med.
He is among a group of businessmen who own the National Hockey League’s Panthers, including tycoon H. Wayne Huizenga, former Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar and auto dealer Mike Maroone.
A mother’s love
The mother of imprisoned Ponzi-scheming lawyer Scott Rothstein made a surprise appearance at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale.
Gay Rothstein, 76, materialized front and center at Tuesday’s presentation about the saga by Chuck Malkus, who just wrote the book The Ultimate Ponzi: The Scott Rothstein Story.
“I thought I saw the lady in the front row somewhere before, but when she started asking very pointed questions, I figured out who she was,” Malkus said.
Gay Rothstein, who moved to Weston from a posh Las Olas pad after her son’s conviction for organizing the $1.2 billion fraud, has steadfastly refused interviews. But Tuesday, she commented several times for the 35-plus in attendance.
“She wanted people to know that the victims would be paid at a higher rate than in any other Ponzi scheme,” Malkus said. “She wanted people to know that her son’s not so bad.”
Sources are telling Gossip Extra that Anne Owen, publisher at the luxury lifestyle glossy MIAMI magazine, is leaving this week.
Owen did not return calls for comment, and there’s no word on her replacement.