All true, says a former M2 employee: He "spent 80 to 100 grand a month on his Platinum Amex card
alone. The kid would go into the Disneyland store and spend $13,000 on ceramic statues of the Seven
Dwarves. He'd spend $5,000 a night in strip clubs. He bought a place in the Oceania and decorated it with
a waterfall and a smoke machine. It was like a Vegas show." Sylk compared life during his SoBe period
to that of a "classy drug dealer." Women were also a significant expense. For Sylk, there was no such
thing as a cheap date. Cristal Champagne, Chanel frocks, Bulgari jewelry and breasts. One ex-girlfriend's
estimates Sylk referred at least ten girls a year to Dr. Lenny Rudner. A plastic surgeon whose specialty
was breast implants. Rudner who Sylk praises as an "amazing artist" has, according to one sex industry
insider, "performed tit jobs on 90 percent of the strippers and porno stars in Miami." Sylk was such a
valued customer that Rudner gave him the "professional" rate -- $3,500 a set.
In the midst of battling law suits filed by his Canadian partners, the phone sex king graduated from Nova
in 1993, barely squeaking by with a 2.01 grade point. "They were happy to get rid of me," he says. Of
course he had no intention of practicing law. He had finally perfected a technique to make "ridiculous
money" in the phone sex business, and he wasn't about to walk away. He was, however, going to lay
down a new rule: No more investors. Instead, he would ask his stepfather for a loan. Ron Itzler said he
didn't have the money, but he promised Jason that he'd help raise it. He approached one of his clients,
Mel Roslyn, whose bankruptcy case he was handling at the time. He told Roslyn that his stepson, who was
something of a legend in the phone sex business, was about to launch another 900-number and was looking
for investors. Roslyn, who was terminally ill at the time didn't think twice. He cut a check for $100,000,
and M2 Communications was launched in 1993. As a finder's fee Ron Itzler was given a cut. But Sylk
and Roslyn would split the bulk of the profits. And there were lots of profits. From the beginning, M2 was
a gusher. Much of this had to do with the tweaking of Jason's field tested business model. Improvements
he had made here and there saved considerable expense and increased revenue. For instance, he paid the
Baby Bells a fee so that he could place charges directly on a customer's phone bill. Thereby, eliminating
the need to hire a billing company. This alone saved $1.5 million a year.
Within three years, Sylk claims M2 Communications was grossing $1.2 to $1.4 million a month. "M2 was
making a ton of money," confirms a former employee. "When I was there, it was a $500,000 a month gross.
Then (Sylk) stepped it up after I left. And he was probably downplaying the numbers to keep the I.R.S. off
his back." Gill Traub, who owns a company that sells adult advertising, says Jason's $1.4 million figure is
completely plausible. "Anybody in the phone sex business in those days was grossing big money. You didn't
even need to be smart. If you had the capital to buy ads, you were making $1.5 million on the low end.
There were many who were making $10 million a month." Convinced he was financially secure Sylk
bought a 5.5-carat heart-shaped engagement ring and proposed to his college sweetheart, Jenine Davey.
They flew to Las Vegas and were married at The Little White Chapel. The marriage lasted nine months.
Jason's father, Lenny Sylk, blames his son for the breakup: "The first thing he did was get her a nose job,
the second thing he did was get her a boob job, and then he made her crazy." Lenny Sylk sighs. "We just
felt bad for her, because she was such a lovely sweet girl. Jason's a sick kid." To fill the void in his life,
Sylk dated strippers, bought exotic sports cars (including a $400,000 Aston Martin Varage), gambled
(blackjack at the Hard Rock Casino), stayed in five-star hotels (he enjoyed the TK in Aspen), shopped
for real estate (he had $150,000 deposit on a penthouse in Il Villagio, "next to David Geffen"), and went
on marathon shopping expeditions. He says he was making $2 million to $3 million a year and spending
half of it on "lifestyle."
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