Broadcom's Henry Nicholas' Life Of Drugs, Prostitutes And The Underground Lair

11/01/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Henry Nicholas isn't just another tech-boom billionaire charged with backdating stock options. All the drive, arrogance, and aggression he poured into building microchip-maker Broadcom--one of the major success stories of the Internet Age--morphed into an increasing obsession with sex and drugs, according to federal prosecutors. The author investigates the allegations about Nicholas's out-of-control world: the parade of prostitutes, the spiking of clients' drinks with Ecstasy, and the secret lair he built underneath the Orange County mansion he shared with his wife and kids.

On April 12, 2008, a funeral was held at the Westwood Hills Christian Church, which is across the street from U.C.L.A., for a man named Robert Warnes Leach. Leach was a screenwriter and teacher who was best known for his scripts for the television series Perry Mason. But the obituaries also prominently mentioned the fact that Leach's stepson was Henry Nicholas, the 49-year-old co-founder of a staggeringly successful semiconductor company called Broadcom. Nicholas is one of the world's wealthiest men--this year, Forbes put his net worth at $1.8 billion.

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