Not all celebrities are as lucky in business as George Clooney, who sold his tequila brand for $1billion. From Kim Kardashian to Ben Affleck, to Jennifer Lopez, we review the biggest business failures of the stars.
The lives of the rich and famous often seem glamorous, but even the biggest celebrities have problems with money. Some of our favorite artists know how to manage their fortune, but others made serious mistakes and have fallen into the pyramid of fortune.
Stars like Johnny Depp and Nicolas Cage, their extravagances led them to remain virtually bankrupt: private islands, houses and even the skull of a dinosaur made their bank account practically remain at zero.
Many celebrities have invested in the world of gastronomy. They have millions and the world surrenders at their feet. Everything they touch makes it gold, but there’s something they can not have: a successful restaurant. Throughout the last years, almost all the famous ones of Hollywood that undertook gastronomic businesses end up at a short time, with great debts.
The whims that led to Nicolas Cage’s debts
The nephew of Francis Ford Coppola is still one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, as well as one of Hollywood’s biggest spenders. It is known that Cage compulsively buys houses, cars, and eccentric objects.
Cage owned 15 residences, including a $25 million waterfront home in Newport Beach, California, a $15.7 million estate in Newport, Rhode Island and $8.5 million residences in Las Vegas. In Europe, Cage bought not one but two castles for $10 million and $2.3 million. He once bought a dinosaur skull for $276,000, after having exceeded the offer of Leonardo DiCaprio. The skull ended up being stolen and had to be returned to the government of Mongolia.
While wasting his fortune, Cage had problems with the IRS (US Treasury) and had to disburse $6 million for his tax debts. In the past, the actor had to sell many of his belongings and take on multiple roles in a film to get out of debt. Cage blames his administrator. A behavior, apparently, quite recurrent in celebrities who do not know how to take care of their fortune.
The two brothers Francesco and Tommaso Buti partnered with the iconic supermodels to open a chain of restaurants, they dubbed Fashion Cafe in 1995 in an attempt to copy Planet Hollywood and the Hard Rock Café. The business ended three years later in the midst of a financial scandal as a backdrop. On December 11, 2000, the federal government of the United States filed charges against the brothers, accusing them of fraud, bankruptcy and money laundering. For the top model, it represented millionaire losses.
Once the chain began with difficulties, Campbell and MacPherson accused Tommaso Buti of stealing $10,000 a day from the company’s money to cover the debt of his luxurious playboy lifestyle, after asking the two to invest in the chain. Schiffer left the company, blaming old problems with Campbell.
Steven Spielberg made a large investment to open his Dive restaurant in Los Angeles. The place, with a huge yellow submarine on the door, was located in one of the most exclusive neighborhoods of the city but closed in January 1999 after a short time in the business. The submarine was auctioned for six dollars.
In 1989, the actress of Nine and a half weeks, Kim Basinger, paid $20 million for a town, in which 500 people lived. It was hoped that Basinger would create a tourist attraction such as a theme park or a movie studio in Braselton, Georgia. But soon after he filed for bankruptcy and had to sell the property at a great loss.
In 1995, Basinger abandoned the filming of the movie Boxing Helena and was sued by Main Line Pictures for a sum of $8 million for breach of contract. In a new trial, three years later, Basinger paid $3.8 million.
That same year, the star was “living in three houses on both coasts and spending thousands of dollars a month on clothes,” while not paying a maintenance company for the gardening work at his home in Los Angeles. In order to recover, Basinger accepted minor works in the cinema.
Francis Ford Coppola
The director of masterpieces such as The Godfather and Apocalypse now lost part of his fortune for one of his projects in the cinema. In 1992 he spent more than $27 million to shoot Beat the Heart, with which he only recovered $4 million. He was forced to declare bankruptcy for the second time in his career. Fortunately, it was able to take a new turn and bet on hotels and wine, which proved to be a success. He currently owns a winery in Napa Valley, California, and several boutique hotels, one of them located in Belize.
Ted Turner made him earn money for the first time when he hired him to do an interview show that would later be called Larry King Live, but before that great opportunity, the journalist earned $50 a week as an announcer for a small radio in Miami in the 60s. Then he got into trouble. In 1971, he was arrested and charged with stealing $5,000 from a partner to pay his back taxes.
The charges were finally dropped, but King struggled to find a job in journalism for several years until 1978 when he was offered a radio show in Washington, DC, which opened the way for him to manage the program that carried his name on CNN more than twenty-five years. But before that job offer, King filed for bankruptcy with a total of USD 352,000 in debt.
After the call of CNN, the New Yorker had for the first time a paycheck in his hands. However, at 85 he recognizes that business or finances are not for him. All his fortune is under the control of an administrator.
Besides being incredibly rich and famous for no logical reason, Kardashians are really good for business. Lines of clothes, makeup, perfumes, autobiographies are just some of the products that the family of the most famous reality show has launched so far. But they have also made bad decisions.
The “Kardashian Kard” was created in 2012 when the sisters ceded the rights to exploit their image to a company called the Revenue Resource Group after signing a contract that they only had to read the number printed on the first page. It was a serious mistake, which also made the customers who used it and began to receive additional charges. They removed the product from the market a month after the criticism they received for charging exorbitant commissions that doubled those of other cards.
The clan’s brother, Rob Kardashian, also lost money, tried to prove to the rest of his family, and himself, that he could bring profits to the empire with a line of socks that he marketed under his name. It was another big bad idea.
The “Diva of the Bronx” tried to prove her luck in the gastronomic field but without much success. In 2008, the interpreter of “Let’s Get Loud” closed her Madre’s restaurant located in Pasadena, California, due to lack of customers.
The Oscar winner has always recognized being a great defender of animals, so in September 2008 she decided to create a line of shoes without using products or by-products of animal origin together with the brand Te Casan. The idea of vegan shoes was not very successful and ended up breaking that same year.
Woody Harrelson, known for films like Murderers by Nature or three ads for a crime, it occurred open O2, the first bar of flavored oxygen Sunset Boulevard, California in 1997. Customers paid $13 for unshot of oxygen, through flavored pipes. However, the business was a disaster and that made him lose a good sum of money.
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck
Although they spent years denying it, childhood friends owned the restaurant The Continental in Beverly Hills, which was usually attended by colleagues such as Winona Ryder, Sandra Bullock, and René Zellweger. At the end of 2001, Damond and Affleck sold their part with losses that, according to their creditors, were around $100,000 per month.
His amazing and delirious way of life led him to the interpreter of Jack Sparrow to the loss. His team of agents said that the actor has earned more than $650 million in his career, but now has problems paying the bills caused by his crazy expenses: $30,000 wine a month, a yacht of 10 million, forty employees full time that cost 3 million a year… But the artist has sued his agents for mismanagement of their finances.
Known for blockbusters like George of the Jungle (1997) or The Mummy (1999), Fraser’s career is no longer what it was. In 2013, he declared before a judge that he was unable to pay alimony for his children ($900,000 a year). A judicial war between him and his ex-wife ruined him and now he is trying to recover economically and in the world of entertainment.