Move over Derrick Rose — Chicago has another obsession.
Filomena (Phyllis) Tobias, the millionaire socialite from Jupiter who was photographed making an obscene gesture at Bulls center Joakim Noah during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, has gotten more air time and print in the Windy City in the last 48 hours than Rose’s knee.
Tobias has become the face of the Bulls-Heat confrontation and a symbol of South Florida since the series took an ugly turn Wednesday night with a chippy, physical, runaway Heat victory at AmericanAirlines Arena.
There were nine technical fouls and two ejections. One of those ejected was Noah, who was greeted with Tobias’ finger and her verbal taunts as she leaned over the railing while he left the court for the locker room in the fourth quarter.
Tobias was the subject of two stories and a major focus of a third in Friday’s Chicago Tribune. There also was a column dedicated to comments from its readers. She was pictured three times in her floral top and white pants.
One columnist called Tobias, 47, the Heat’s “No. 1 fan” and wondered when the reality TV show about her would be launched. Even Tobias’ daughter, Victoria Racanati, couldn’t escape ridicule for saying her mother “looks very hot” and that she was “having fun just like any other fan.”
Wrote one fan: “She was just telling Noah what grade she was in when she dropped out of school or her IQ.” Deadspin.com jumped in, inviting users to create captions.
Tobias’ fourth husband, investment manager and CNBC commentator Seth Tobias, drowned under mysterious circumstances in 2007 in the pool of the couple’s mansion at the Bear’s Club. He was 44.
Phyllis Tobias was accused by his brothers of causing her death; they claimed in a civil complaint that she drugged him before luring him into the pool. Jupiter police found no evidence of foul play and cleared her of any suspicion.