This past Thursday, after a marathon hearing in which he retained the right -- at least temporarily -- to represent the Willetses, there was a noticeable measure of pride in Ellis Rubin's stride as he left the Broward County courthouse, surrounded by reporters. At his shoulder, whispering in his ear, was George Martin-Trigona. "George is a smart fellow, a faithful and grateful former client who has volunteered to expose these apparent conspirators," says Rubin. "But I had no idea he had any connection to Wilson or Akre. He did ask me to autograph a book for her. I put a nice inscription on there, too. I didn't know that all the while she was plotting to get me."

Rubin has this to say about Steve Wilson and his alleged attempt at extortion: "The only person who committed a criminal act in my office has been granted immunity," a reference to Wilson's having been subpoenaed by the Broward State Attorney's Office for a sworn statement. Rubin also promises civil action after the Willets case is resolved: "I don't intend to let them [Inside Edition and Wilson] get away with this."

Channel 7 was represented at the Thursday hearing not by Jane Akre but by John Turchin. Microphone in hand, locked at the hip with a cameraman, he marched backward as Rubin and Martin-Trigona made their way to the street. But Rubin wasn't quite ready to talk to the press. "Come on," Turchin implored, somewhere between begging and baiting, "take a shot. Take your best shot."

Rubin paused. "Okay," he said. "What does Rick Sanchez's driving record have to do with all this?"

Vintage Rubin, and like the secret sex tape, a juicy snippet the news-hungry viewers of Channel 7 would probably never see. Turchin looked puzzled, but would later boast how well the sound bite would play to the crew back at the station.

Upon hearing the tale, Akre smiles thinly. No comment. And again, no comment about George Martin-Trigona, even though she should have reason to smile at the mention of his name. On Monday of last week, her persistent suitor was served with a 30-day restraining order that prohibits him from approaching within 500 feet of her, Steve Wilson, or Channel 7's studios.

Despite the ban, Martin-Trigona is also smiling. He has decided to fight the court order. In fact, the initial legal steps have already been taken, beginning with the filing of official notice to question Jane Akre in a sworn deposition, scheduled for October 8. He has hired an attorney, of course, a man whose skills and experience he trusts implicitly: Ellis Rubin.

As he and Rubin left the Broward courthouse this past Thursday, Martin-Trigona took a moment to point out an irony contained in the restraining order he clutched in his hand. The very document that was designed to separate Akre from Martin-Trigona had actually accomplished precisely the opposite. "Now we are locked in stone for the rest of our lives," he said. "All you have to do is go in the courthouse, punch the little keys on the computer, and it will come up on the screen: Jane Akre and George Martin-Trigona. Together forever.

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