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As the Rams Turned

After a Soap Opera That Eventually Carried Him and L.A. Out of the NFL, Steve Rosenbloom Has New Bridges to Coss

January 11, 2000|LARRY STEWART | TIMES STAFF WRITER

She died after developing a blood clot during surgery.

Suzanne was married to Georgia's younger brother, Ken Irwin, and they had three children.

Suzanne came to Los Angeles from Baltimore in the late 1960s to take art classes. Irwin was living in Culver City.

"My father asked Georgia's brother to look after Suzanne and they ended up getting married," Rosenbloom said.

They later moved to Palm Springs and opened the La Mancha Resort, which Irwin still owns.

Rosenbloom's only contact with Georgia since they parted company in 1979 was at Suzanne's funeral. And, yes, they did speak.

"It wasn't a long conversation," Rosenbloom said with a smile.

But Dale Rosenbloom, who was also there, said the two hugged, there were some tears and they were together when the whole family had breakfast.

"I was hoping it was the start of a better relationship," Dale Rosenbloom said.

It wasn't, but Steve, Dale and Lucia have since become closer.

"The older you get, the more you realize life is too short to have feuds and built-up anger, particularly with family members," Steve said. "You've got to look ahead and not back. I would like to have an even closer relationship with Chip [Dale's nickname] and Lucia. They never did anything to me, and they are my half-brother and sister."

Said Dale, "I could never say anything bad about Steve. I consider him my brother, and I love him as a brother. I'm also extremely close to my mother. I think they're both good people."

*

The rift between Steve and Georgia was a long time developing.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and other publications, Georgia was Carroll's mistress for nine years. When they were married in 1966, Carroll became Georgia's sixth husband.

Velma never knew of the affair until she was told by a friend. She filed for divorce not long afterward, and Carroll and Georgia were married nine days after the divorce became final.

Carroll and Georgia met at a dinner party at Joseph Kennedy's mansion in Palm Beach, Fla., in 1957. Carroll Rosenbloom was a major contributor to the Kennedy political machine.

When they met, Carroll was 57, Georgia 30.

Said Dale Rosenbloom, "My mom and dad had a great marriage. She adored him and he adored her, and they were very devoted to each other. Even Steve has said my mom gave our father 22 great years."

Georgia divorced her seventh and last husband, Dominic Frontiere, in 1988, not long after he had spent nine months in prison. He had pleaded guilty to tax evasion for his involvement in a ticket-scalping scheme involving the 1980 Super Bowl, in which the Rams played the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Rose Bowl.

Requests made through the Rams to interview Georgia for this story were turned down.

Georgia, on the surface at least, was not the type of woman a son would embrace as a companion for his father. Making matters worse was that Georgia and Steve's first wife, Renee, did not get along. Renee would openly criticize Georgia to anyone who would listen.

Steve and Renee, after having two sons, J.C., now 24, and Skylar, 21, were divorced not long after Steve left the Saints.

His current wife, Shelly, came into his life soon after that. She was managing her aunt's restaurant in New Orleans, and they met through a mutual friend. Typically, Rosenbloom never mentioned his background to Shelly.

"I told a friend I was dating someone named Steve Rosenbloom," Shelly said. "The friend asked if that was the Steve Rosenbloom who was involved with the Rams. I said no because, I thought, he surely would have said something."

Rosenbloom and Shelly were married in 1985. When they moved to Covington in 1991, they lived in a remote area. Last July, with children Jonathan, 13, and Sarah, 4, they moved into a new home in a wooded area only a few miles southwest of town. It's a 6,800 square-foot, five-bedroom home.

"I couldn't afford this kind of home in L.A.," Rosenbloom said.

Last summer, Jonathan became ill with an infection and spent 11 days in a hospital.

"It was serious, very serious, before he came out of it," Rosenbloom said. "Chip called to ask if there was anything he could do and express his love and concern, which was terrific."

Said Dale, "I was very concerned, and I wanted Steve to know."

Said Steve, "I hope the relationship with Chip and Lucia continues to improve."

And what about Georgia?

"You trying to put me on the spot?" Steve said with a smile. "You know, she's never tried to contact me, but then I've never tried to contact her either."

It's understandable if this bridge is a tough one to cross.

*

Tony Capozzolla, a lawyer who at one time represented former Ram coach George Allen, was a friend of Steve Rosenbloom. He took an interest when he learned Carroll had drowned, and investigated both the drowning and the will.

"There was a draft of a will that left the team to Steve," Capozzolla said the other day. "The problem was, it hadn't been executed.

"If Carroll had died a few months later, Steve would have inherited the team. He would have been the greatest owner in the world."

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