Jordan Belfort is widely known as the Wolf of Wall Street. He has had his ups and downs. But how much do we know about his family? Namely, his spouse. Denise Lombardo was his first wife, one that actually managed to get some money out of the guy.
The marriage didn’t last long, and they parted ways after only four years. Decades after their divorce, Lombardo still has some fan following. After being a celebrity spouse, she went back to her studies, got her graduate degree, and began working as a real estate agent. Let’s find out more about the woman.
Who is her famous former husband?
Born Jordan Ross Belfort in July 1962, he is an American entrepreneur, speaker, author, and former stockbroker. He is also a financial criminal. In 1999, Jordan pleaded guilty to fraud and related crimes in connection with the stock-market manipulation and running a boiler room as part of a penny-stock scam.
He would go on to spend 22 months in prison as part of the agreement. After he got out of prison, he began using his experience as a motivational speaker and author. In 2007, he published the memoir The Wolf of Wall Street. Martin Scorsese adapted the memoir into a movie, with Leonardo DiCaprio in the main role.
Born in 1962 in the Bronx, New York City to Jewish parents, both his father and mother were accountants. He began using his skills for selling and scamming early on. Between college and high school, he and his childhood friend Elliot Loewenstern earned $20,000 selling Italian ice from Styrofoam coolers to people at a local beach.
Regarding his education, he would graduate from American University with a degree in biology. He wanted to use the money he earned to enroll at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and get a dental degree. But he left on the first day. The dean told him, “The golden age of dentistry is over. If you’re here simply because you are looking to make money, you are in the wrong place”.
So, he tried other ways. He became a door-to-door meat and seafood salesman on Long Island. Initially, his business was successful, but it ultimately failed.
He then went on to found Stratton Oakmont as a franchise of Stratton Securities and later bought out the original founder. It functioned as a boiler room that marketed penny stocks and defrauded investors with pump-and-dump stock sales.
During this period, he lived a lavish lifestyle with parties and intensive use of recreational drugs. At one point, the company employed more than 1,000 stock brokers and had stock issues totaling more than $1 billion.
The company was under near-constant scrutiny from the National Association of Securities Dealers, and in December 1996, the NASD expelled Stratton Oakmont, putting it out of business. Eventually, Belfort was indicted for securities fraud and money laundering in 1999.
His pump-and-dump scams led to investor losses of approximately $200 million, and he was ordered to pay back $110.4 million that he swindled from buyers. During his time in prison, he became friends with Tommy Chong, who encouraged him to write memoirs. The two remain close friends ever since.
Speaking about the scam, Belfort said, “I got greedy. … Greed is not good. Ambition is good, and passion is good. Passion prospers. My goal is to give more than I get, that’s a sustainable form of success. … Ninety-five percent of the business was legitimate. … It was all brokerage firm issues. It was all legitimate, nothing to do with liquidating stocks”.
He has written two memoirs, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Catching the Wolf of Wall Street. These books have been published in more than 40 countries and translated into more than 18 languages.
And then, he went on to become a motivational speaker. His speaking engagements run through his business Global Motivation Inc. He spends three weeks out of each month on the road for speaking engagements.
Now let’s talk about Jordan’s first wife, Denise Lombardo. Born in Ohio, the United States in November 1963, she was born to Italian parents. Her parents are Anthony Florito and Ann Lombardo. The family moved to New York following her birth.
Denise grew up with her three siblings, two sisters, Deanna Lombardo and Lisa Scordato, and a brother, Paul Lombardo.
Even as a child, she was a bright one, excelling in multiple languages. She could speak Italian, German, and English. Denise completed her graduation from Bayside High School.
There is not much more information about the early life of Jordan Belforts ex.
There, she met her future husband, Jordan. In 1984, she finished her English Literature degree at Adelphi University.
In 1985, the couple got married, but she didn’t stop her studies. Instead, Denise continued her education, getting a BA degree in Business Administration from Townson University in 1987.
Marriage to Jordan
As we said before, Denis and Jordan met at Bayside High School while studying merchandising. At the time, he worked as a door-to-door fish and seafood salesman on Long Island. They became best friends, and eventually, began dating and got married.
In the beginning, the relationship between Denis Lombardo Belfort and Jordan was going great. Jordan had the potential to make it in the business world. But they struggled financially, and at one point, he declared bankruptcy.
She focused on her studies and tried to be a pillar for her husband. In one interview, he described her as a submissive woman.
But once Jordan got successful in the business world, and started making millions, things changed. He started his own company, Stratton Oakmont, and could not manage his success. During his peak, Jordan became an alcoholic and drug addict and had many extramarital affairs.
During this period, he met Nadine Caridi, a beautiful model and actress. As money started to roll in, he realized he could make even more by making fake offers.
When Lombardo found out he had an affair with American model Nadine Caridi, also known as the Duchess of Bay Ridge, she filed for divorce. In 1991, in the documents, she cited infidelity as the reason for divorce.
Jordan left Denise and continued his relationship with Nadine. They eventually got married. Jordan married two more times after Nadine, with Anne Koppe and Cristina Invernizzi.
Denise has been married multiple times as well. Following her divorce from Jordan, she got married to her long-time boyfriend, Mladly. She would then go on to marry Robert Amato and had three sons with him, Brett Lombardo, Nick Lombardo, and Matt Lombardo.
In the Wolf of Wall Street movie, Cristin Milioti portrayed Denise. Yet, her name in the movie was changed to Teresa Petrillo. Denise didn’t want her original name to be used in the movie.
Following her divorce from Jordan, Denise decided to do something on her own. She began a career as a sales executive at Modern Medical Systems Company, working there from 1993 to 2000.
She then worked as a flooring expert at the Home Depot Company. In 2010, she found her passion again, getting her real estate agent license. Since then, she has worked as a real estate agent for different companies.
Is she on social media?
Denise wanted to live a low-key life following her public marriage with Jordan Belfort. Nowadays, she stays away from social media and doesn’t have a profile on Instagram or Facebook.
Her former husband, Jordan, has a profile on Instagram with more than 2 million followers.
Where is she now?
As far as we know, Denise lives with her family in West Babylon, New York. She works as a licensed real estate agent at Prudential Douglas Elliman Company. She has been married three more times in her life, currently happily in marriage with Robert Amato.
Here is a fun fact, Denise was one of the few women that actually got money out of Jordan. He paid a hefty fee of $3 million in alimony in 1991. That would be almost $7 million in current value.
Thanks to her alimony money, Denise made a successful career. And as of June 2023, she has an estimated net worth of more than $9.5 million.
Fun fact: she is now wealthier than her former husband. At one point, he was $100 million in debt. Jordan Belfort has a net worth of $1 to $2 million nowadays.