Keppel says he's already paid off some of Mathison's personal debt. But his influence on Mathison may go even deeper than that.

While RFT was reporting this story Mathison reached out to several people from his past. On February 9 he typed up a long confessional e-mail to Mark Du Pont and David Pfaff — the businessmen who'd invested in his first magazine.

"I used to spend a lot of time mad at the world," he wrote. "Mad at some of you for kicking me when I was down. But the fact of the matter is that I had no one to be mad at but myself.... I realize that I will never be a 'Good Man' but it doesn't mean that I can't be a better man and work towards making things right."

Co-publishers Suzanne and Bobby Keppel at The 9s launch party in St. Charles.
Steve Truesdell
Co-publishers Suzanne and Bobby Keppel at The 9s launch party in St. Charles.
Matt Holliday on the cover of The 9s first issue.
Steve Truesdell
Matt Holliday on the cover of The 9s first issue.

Mathison owned up to some misdeeds, admitting: "The excuses and lies that poured out of my mouth were plentiful and flat-out repulsive."

But he also felt he'd turned a corner in his life. He was now working for a new magazine where he wasn't in control of the finances and might make enough money in the long run to pay them back. Things were looking up, he said — thanks to his new employers, the Keppels.

"I work for an amazing group of people," he wrote. "There is nothing that can be written or talked about that they are not aware of. Quite frankly, these people are my angels." 

Correction published 3/1/13: The original version of this story misstated the counts involved in the consent judgment Matt Mathison signed in Avid magazine investor Richard Riney's lawsuit. The above version reflects the corrected text.

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