South Florida radio legend Neil Rogers was running out of money when he died at 68 on Christmas Eve!
The former WQAM-560 AM curmudgeon is believed to have spent almost $3 million in the last 18 months of life, most of it on Christian Hernandez, a 21-year-old boytoy for whom he bought a $700,000 home in Toronto, according to court documents and two friends of Rogers.
“Neil used to love to take care of people,” said David Hine, Rogers’ friend of 25 years. “He used to tell me how he couldn’t say no to Christian. Even if there was no sex involved, he was infatuated with that boy.”
And then Rogers, who made of the fact he was gay and attracted to younger men a comedy routine on his show, reportedly hadn’t paid income taxes for several years before his death, and the IRS could become his estate’s biggest beneficiary.
“It’s fair to say that whatever’s left (about $500,000, according to probate records in Broward County) is going to the IRS,” said Fort Lauderdale lawyer Norman Kent, Rogers’ manager, agent, confidante and executor of Rogers’ will. “Had he known that, the words coming out of Neil’s mouth wouldn’t have been printed in a family newspaper.”
Already, Kent had to sell Rogers’ home in Plantation for $277,000 and collect Rogers’ life insurance, about $350,000, to prepare for the IRS payment. The talkshow host suffered from vascular dementia, diabetes and suffered several heart attacks shortly before he died.
Meanwhile, a legal battle over the scraps is brewing between Rogers’ friend in South Florida and Hernandez. Rogers had competing wills written within three weeks in November 2010. One splits assets between Hine, Hernandez and Jonathan Julian, Rogers’ longtime roommate in Plantation.
The other makes Hernandez Rogers’ sole beneficiary.
“Neil once made me change his will in favor of some guy on the same day he met him at the Sawgrass Mills Mall,” Kent said. “He made me change his will all the time. Then he’d feel bad about it and ask me to change it again.”