April 15 is coming up and hopefully as you read this right now you have filed your taxes and are looking forward to a big fat refund! Or at the very least, I hope you didn't end up owing anything extra to the IRS this year. One person who definitely knows what it feels like to owe a little bit of money to Uncle Sam is Nicolas Cage. Nick is unfortunately one of dozens of high profile celebrities who happen to be way better at acting or throwing a ball than they are at taking care of their personal finances. After years of extravagant over-spending, not only did Nicolas find himself owing the IRS $13 million, but he also managed to blow through a $100 million fortune. How, in the name of ZEUS' BUTTHOLE, did this happen?
I have to admit, Nicolas Cage is probably my favorite actor of all time. The Rock, Lord of War, Con Air, National Treasure, Raising Arizona, Leaving Las Vegas, Face/Off, Snake Eyes… I celebrate the man's entire catalog. I realize that some of Nick's movies can be perceived as slightly cheesy or even flat out bad, but you have to admit his movies are rarely dull. At the peak of his career, Nick was one of the highest paid celebrities in the world who pulled down as much as $40 million per year. Between 1996 and 2011 Nick earned more than $150 million from acting alone. He earned $16 million for Snake Eyes, $20 million for Gone in Sixty Seconds, $20 million for Windtalkers, $20 million for National Treasure… just to name a few.
Not surprisingly, as his income went up so did his spending habits. Actually, to be fair, as his income increased Nick's spending habits SKYROCKETED. Between 2000 and 2007 Nick went on a spending spree that would make the Sultan of Brunei blush. During that time Cage made the following purchases:
15 Personal Homes: Cage's property portfolio included an $8 million castle in England that he plunged millions more into remodeling. He never spent a single night in the castle. He also bought a second castle in Bavaria, two multi-million dollar mansions in New Orleans, a $17.5 million palace in Bel Air, a $10 million Malibu beach house, a 24,000 square foot home in Rhode Island, a mansion in Las Vegas and a getaway property on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.
A Private Island: Apparently having a house on Paradise Island didn't fill Nick's penchant for the Bahamas because in 2006 he spent $7 million on a 40 acre private island 85 miles south of Nassau.
Four Luxury Yachts: Cage at one time owned four luxury yachts including one called Sarita that had 12 master bedrooms that was valued at $20 million.
A Fleet of Exotic Cars: At its peak, Nick Cage's garage contained dozens of high end luxury vehicles including nine Rolls Royces. He owned an extremely rare $500 thousand Lamborghini and a $1 million Ferrari Enzo, one of only 349 produced. Cage also owned 30 motorcycles.
A $30 Million Gulfstream Private Jet
Other: Nearly 50 expensive works of art, dozens of jewels, a 67 million year old dinosaur skull, two extremely rare albino King Cobras.
When you total everything up, it becomes pretty clear that Nick was living well beyond his means even for a guy who makes $40 million a year. To make matters worse, while he was spending money like there was no tomorrow, Nick wasn't paying his taxes. By 2009, his unpaid tax bill and penalties totaled more than $13 million! Nick immediately began attempting to dump as many of his assets as possible, starting with the houses. It didn't help that 2009 was quite possibly the worst time in the last 100 years to try and sell a house in a pinch.
The good news is that Nick is still a bankable Hollywood star. In 2013 alone Nick has starred in several big budget films. He also sold his prized Action Comics #1 for a record setting $2.16 million. Hopefully Nick can churn out a few decent movies, pay down his debts and move on with his life. Fortunately, agent Stanley Goodspeed loves pressure. He eats it for breakfast.
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