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Ihosvani Rodriguez at the Sun-Sentinel has the scoop:
The woman whose one-finger salute has become an Internet sensation overnight is Filomena Tobias, the widow of former CNBC commentator and financial wizard Seth Tobias, said Filomena Tobias' daughter, Victoria Racanati, when reached by phone by the Sun Sentinel.
"She's embarrassed, but she is being a good sport," said the daughter told the Sun Sentinel on Thursday. "She was having fun just like any other fan. All she has to say is that people need to get a life."
In 2008, Stephen Rodrick of New York magazine wrote extensively about Seth and Phyllis Tobias and the story behind the former CNBC commentator's death:
Before Seth Tobias wound up dead in his pool; before the accusations surfaced that his wife was a thrice-divorced pill-popper and cocaine user who drugged Seth and killed him for his money; before the claims that Seth had led a secret life in which he drank too much, snorted a boatload of coke, and liked to pick up male hustlers and strippers, including one named Tiger; before Seth’s brothers filed suit in Palm Beach to block Phyllis from getting her hands on Seth’s estimated $25 million estate; and certainly before I found myself face-to-face with the main source of all the dirt—a 300-pound gay con man and Internet psychic with a long criminal history named Billy Ash who claims to have been the couple’s personal assistant and may well have fabricated all or part of his claims regarding Seth and Phyllis because he’s a proven liar and self-serving attention seeker … Before all of that, Seth Tobias was known to the world, to the extent he was known at all, as an upright cable-TV talking head and multimillionaire hedge-fund manager. But that’s getting ahead of the story. Let’s just start at the beginning.
The whole story is long and fascinating and all of a sudden the picture from last night makes so much more sense.
The New York Times reported details on Seth Tobias' family's civil law suit in 2007:
According to the brothers' lawsuit, Filomena Tobias caused her husband "to ingest one or more controlled substances that induced loss of consciousness and capacity to breathe."
They further claimed that she had caused him "to enter the swimming pool at their residence after his ingestion of controlled substances and in his stuporous and helpless condition he was asphyxiated and died."
Tobias's best friend, Patrick Bransome, said in a statement to the police that he had not seen Tobias go in a pool or swim in years.
In early 2008, ABC News reported that Filomena had been cleared of any suspicion by police. They also had more details on the family's civil suit:
Much of the brothers' case relies on the word of William Ash, a convicted felon and former assistant to Tobias, who police said has worked as a gay prostitute. Ash told authorities he had a recording of Filomena confessing to murdering her husband.
Ash has been arrested 11 times and is a known associate of Heidi Fleiss, the so-called "Hollywood Madam," according to police records.
In December, police said they had reviewed the alleged recording and did not find it substantial, but were waiting on the medical examiner's report before classifying the death a homicide.
And who was the toned, yelling man sitting next to Ms. Tobias in the infamous picture? A graduate of the Lindsey Vonn School of Questionable Romantic Judgment:
, SB Nation/Spencer Hall