Jeff Skilling On Early Prison Release: “Well, That Was a Freebie”
HOUSTON, TX — Jeff Skilling, the former CEO of Enron, will have 10 years removed from his prison sentence for his role in the collapse of the Houston-based energy company. Skilling could be out of prison as soon as 2017, at which point he will have spent nearly 10 years in jail. After hearing the news of his early release, Mr. Skilling sat down with The Flipside for an interview.
NF: What went through your mind when you heard about your early release?
JS: I was overjoyed. To be honest, it is still hard to believe that I could be out before I’m 70. Although, I will say I think I’ll actually miss the ice cream sandwiches.
NF: Even after the verdict and your sentencing, you never admitted you were guilty. Do you still maintain your innocence?
JS: Oh, absolutely. I have said time and again that I was set up by a group of British contractors; the real criminals are still out there. All I ever received were instructions from someone named “Mr. F” but nothing was face-to-face. I was told to burn the instructions, so when the feds investigated, it all fell on me. When the charges were filed, I had no evidence of the Brits’ involvement. At that moment I thought to myself, “I’ve made a huge mistake.” I guess that’s why you always keep the note.
NF: Your attorney, Bob Loblaw, hinted that you were in the dark about the sentencing deal until it was actually finalized. Is there any truth to that?
JS: My brother, Oscar, alluded that some good news was coming, but he couldn’t say what it was. Other than that, yes, I had no knowledge of it. When Bob finally told me, I wanted to give him a big hug, but, of course, we’ve got a very strict “no touching” policy here.
NF: How have you dealt with being incarcerated for this long?
JS: It was tough at first. The other inmates all harassed me because I would never go fully nude in the shower; they would call me a chicken and yell, “Koo-Koo-Ka-Cha! Koo-Koo-Ka-Cha!!” But my family has really been there for me; they visit practically every day.
NF: How has your family handled you being in prison?
JS: It has definitely been hard for them. It was especially difficult for my youngest son at first, but I’ve got to hand it to him, the family was leaderless and he really took up the loose seal. In the end, he turned out all right.
NF: Any idea what you will do when you get out?
JS: I figure I might take a long vacation to Portugal, head down ol’ South America way. After that, who knows? Apparently there is a documentary about our family in the works, so maybe I’ll spin that into a TV gig. I heard that Carl Weathers gives some great acting classes.
The documentary on the Skilling family will be released directly to Netflix on May 26.