By Jacob Katel
By Karli Evans
By Jose D. Duran
By Pablo Chacon Alvarez
By Kat Bein
By Abel Folgar
By Laurie Charles
Only when Primer Impacto, a Spanish-language investigative news program, traced Diaz's cellular number to a recent New Times ad for an escort named Mario did the classified staff realize the banned client had continued to place ads through third parties. When asked to produce further documentation of his identity, the client who had been placing the Mario ad for at least six months withdrew the account. "It's hard to keep track of these people who pay cash and use cell phones," a classified rep points out.
According to a New Times advertising manager, Diaz owes the paper $300. Publisher Michael Cohen adds, "We still want our money."
So does Emilio Estefan, Jr., who has sued Diaz for defamation. He's seeking one million dollars in damages. "I never touched him in my life," Estefan claimed at his own press conference on January 31. Instead the mogul said that for two years, "he followed me and drove me crazy with wanting to be a singer. Every day he would say, “I want to record a disc; I want to record a disc.'" But the star-maker admits such persistence did not particularly distinguish Diaz from other Estefan wannabes. "I hear that all the time."
Judging from our back pages, it's easy enough to sell yourself as someone people can touch. With the come-hither images of Shalim, Shakira, Thalia, and even the sainted seductress Gloria, Estefan's enterprise stokes an even hotter desire for what can never be sated: the desire for what can never be touched.