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Scott Storch raked in hip-hop millions and then snorted his way to ruin

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By 2006, the producer commanded $100,000 per beat plus co-writer royalties and pumped out 80 commercial tracks a year. Rolling Stone estimated his net worth, including the value of his music catalogue, to be $70 million.

But Storch's spending habits could make Robin Leach hyperventilate.

He stocked his garage with at least 13 vehicles, including a $600,000 Mercedes SLR McLaren, a $500,000 Mercedes Maybach, and a $1.7 million black Bugatti Veyron — the most expensive car on the market.

A $3 million 34-carat yellow-diamond pinkie ring crowned his personal jewelry collection, which also included a diamond watch formerly owned by Michael Jackson. He paid $20 million for a 125-foot yacht. And the pièce de résistance: his 2006 purchase of a 18,000-square-foot white-columned Palm Island mansion, dubbed Villa Ferrari, for $10.5 million.

Storch shuffled through women who were equally expensive. He gave heiress Paris Hilton a Maybach and flew her to the French Riviera via private jet — at a cost of $275,000, according to XXL Magazine — and became full-fledged paparazzi prey by reportedly dating Lindsay Lohan, Kim Kardashian, rapper Lil' Kim, and porn star Heather Hunt.

Jackson now admits he was an "enabler" to his friend's reckless spending: "There were warning signs early that a crash and burn was in the future," but, Jackson reasoned, as long as Storch kept making hits, he could sustain his purchases.

Then Storch discovered the ego fertilizer known as cocaine. Soon he was snorting every day, Jackson says. "It started out light, and then it just escalated."

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Jackson can cite the exact date when the addiction took control of Storch's life: July 28, 2006 — just more than three months after the birth of his second son, Jalen Scott Storch, born to Miami model Dalene Jennifer Daniel. That's the day the studio rat set off on the first extended vacation of his career, heading to the South of France. "When he came back," Jackson says, "his personality had started to succumb to the drug."

Jackson fumed as Storch left stars such as Janet Jackson sitting in the studio for several hours. Gossip flies fast in the music business, and before long, Storch was branded unreliable. Label honchos decided to spend their money elsewhere.

More than once, manager Jackson showed up at Villa Ferrari to coax Storch into getting clean. The inside of the mansion resembled a crack house, strewn with garbage and paraphernalia. Storch was surrounded by "takers" — fellow addicts, gold diggers, and bumbling handlers.

Constantly snorting bumps of coke, he now paired his jewelry with shirts stained from "blood that would just gush out of his nose at any given time." Storch seemed to Jackson like an animal, capable of viciousness but not reason: "Scott didn't give a fuck. You can't be humiliated while you're high. You're not conscious of the destruction you're wreaking on the lives of people around you. You feel nothing, you see nothing, but the drug."

Jackson finally quit managing the producer in late 2007. He now talks about Storch like a bogus stock he bought too much of. "I didn't diversify," Jackson says. "I lived Scott day and night. I crashed and burned with him."

Like a washed-up Vegas lounge singer, Storch sold his services to the highest bidder. He produced tracks for girlfriend Hilton, teenybopper favorite Jessica Simpson, and wrestler Hulk Hogan's daughter Brooke. Perhaps his most bizarre foray into atrocious music came when Storch flew to Moscow to hire himself out for Russian rap and R&B duo Timati and Nox — a strung-out gig mercilessly preserved on YouTube.

But rubles would not be enough to lubricate Storch's personal finances, which were in the midst of a Ponzi-like implosion. Since 2005, he's been hit by 28 lawsuits in federal and county courts as his Tony Montana lifestyle was stripped from him piece by piece.

His vehicle collection went first. Repo men came for the Ferrari Scaglietti, the custom-made $160,000 HARD "Bones Bike" motorcycle, and even the 2007 Cadillac Escalade entourage transporter.

In December 2008, Broward Sheriff's Office deputies arrested him and charged him with felony grand theft auto. He had kept a rented Bentley more than a year after it was due to be returned. The charge was eventually dropped, and Storch blamed Lil' Kim, saying he had leased the car for her.

East Coast Jewelry sued him for $170,000 in allegedly bounced bling checks. A jilted electronics company demanded $22,000 for Villa Ferrari's video surveillance system. The artist whose work adorned Storch's walls also threw his beret into the ring: Parisian minimalist Kirk Hughey claimed in Miami-Dade court that Storch stiffed him $150,000 of a $300,000-plus bill for 23 paintings.

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Gus Garcia-Roberts