Saturday, May 11, 2013

Meet Filomena Tobias, The Femme Fatale Who Flipped Off Joakim Noah - Chicagoist

The photo of the woman who came thisclose to puncturing Bulls center Joakim Noah's eardrum flipping him off during Tuesday night's loss to Miami became another of the Internet's viral treasures.

She also has a name and a pretty sordid backstory.

Filomena Tobias's identity was confirmed by her daughter to the SunSentinel this morning. Tobias and her family are Heat season ticket holders and Victoria Racanati said Tobias was 'having fun just like any other fan' when she decided to let Noah what she thought of him.

'All she has to say is that people need to get a life," Racanati added.

The story could have ended there, except that the Internet has a memory like an elephant. Tobias was married to Seth Tobias, an investment manager and CNBC talking head who drowned in his pool in 2007. The ensuing struggle over Seth Tobias's estate pitted Filomena (or Phyllis) against his brothers, who accused her of murdering him in a civil complaint.

In a New York Times article on Seth Tobias's death, a former assistant told police 'Filomena Tobias confessed to him that she had cajoled her husband, who was on a cocaine binge, into the water, promising him sex with a male go-go dancer know as "Tiger." A lawyer for Filomena Tobias has called the claims outrageous.' Tobias drained and resurfaced the pool a few days later. Her attorney disputed any claims she had anything to do with her husband's death.

Seth Tobias turned out to be Phyllis's fourth husband. Her third ex-husband, Jay Jacknin, is a divorce attorney who introduced her to Seth Tobias. In a 2008 New York magazine article on the Tobiases, Jacknin had this to say about his ex-wife.

'She had a great body,' he says. 'Women love her. Men find her fascinating. I just couldn't afford her.'

Jacknin also said Phyllis was 'on a cocktail of Xanax, Vicodin, and Ritalin and kept coke in the house.' She accused Jacknin of assault in 2003, but he told New York she was also prone to her own violent episodes that had him locking himself in the nanny's room.

Looking at that photo again we aren't thinking twice that Tobias may have considered chasing after Noah to the Bulls locker room.