Monday, March 16, 2009 | 5:10 p.m.
Pablo Escobar and Frank Sinatra had dinner in a private room at Caesars Palace, then took a scenic helicopter tour together, according to a new book written by Escobar's brother.
The meeting in Las Vegas took place in 1983, according to the book, "The Accountant's Story," by Roberto Escobar, published last month by Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Group of New York.
Roberto Escobar writes that he won $150,000 playing blackjack at Caesars and met Sinatra through "an American friend" who told Sinatra the Escobars were real estate developers from Colombia. At the point, Pablo Escobar hadn't gained international notoriety as the head of the Medellin drug cartel.
"It was an honor for us," according to Roberto Escobar's account. "When I met him I actually had goose bumps, but I had to be cool to maintain my position. During dinner Pablo told Sinatra that we were going to make a helicopter tour the next day and Sinatra asked to come with us. The next day Frank Sinatra become our guide as we spent about an hour and a half flying all over the area...
"Supposedly, after Pablo became infamous our friend who had arranged this got a phone call from Sinatra. 'I've been watching TV,' he said. 'Is that Pablo Escobar the guy we met in Las Vegas?' I don't know what happened after that, but I guess Sinatra said very firmly that he didn't want to be associated with Pablo. And until now he never has."
The Los Angeles Times was critical in a review of the book, opining Roberto Escobar's tale "lacks any remorse, regret or moral insight."