Celebrity financial woes for 2008
By April MacIntyre Dec 26, 2008, 13:45 GMT
Michael Jackson. His finances got even more convoluted and precarious in 2008...EPA/JOHN G. MABANGLO
2008 is going down for most people as a stinker of a year, with all kinds of heartache, headaches and stresses for just about everyone. As the world economy slips deeper into recession, it has been a punishing year.
Money reports that this year's celebrities in foreclosure list included Ed McMahon, Michael Jackson, Evander Hollyfield, Lattrell Sprewell, Jose Canseco, Aretha Franklin, Fantasia Barrino, and Wyclef Jean.
It was a tough year for some captains of industry too, as the Billionaire boys club of Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Sumner Redstone, Carl Icahn, Eddie Lampert, Jeff Bezos, Rupert Murdoch, Stephen Schwarzman, Michael Dell, Hank Greenberg, Steve Jobs, and Steve Wynn reportedly lost billions of dollars in 2008.
Singer songwriter Wyclef Jean reportedly walked away from a home in construction in Miami Beach, now allegedly on the auction block.
Fantasia Barrino, winner of a past American Idol, is also in the same spot with one home of hers hitting the auction block per TMZ.com, scheduled by the county to go up on January 12.
Tax trouble vexed Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, whose back taxes and fees added up to five figures, and threatened to cause major problem for the Motor City resident.
The world of sports saw ex baseball player Jose Canseco walk away from a multi-million dollar property in California; former NBA star Lattrell Sprewell went through foreclosure and repossession of his yacht.
Boxer Evander Hollyfield, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, is in hot water for missing two child support payments, is being sued by a Utah consulting company and his multi-million dollar estate in Fayette County was under foreclosure and set to be auctioned by Washington Mutual Bank back in July.
Frequently fined footballer Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg at a nightclub; Money contends that he stands to lose millions as his NFL future is in doubt.
The sad sports/animal abuse story from 2007 continued to spill over to 2008 for Atlanta Falcons' Michael Vick is also facing new daunting financial losses. A Canadian Bank filed a lawsuit against Vick for more than $2.3 million, trying to recover a real estate loan that they claim Vick has defaulted on; An Indiana bank filed a lawsuit to recover $2 million from Vick and Divine Seven LLC, an Atlanta car rental company that has Vick as its chief financial officer.
Senior smallscreen star Ed McMahon humbled himself on Larry King's CNN show and cried poor, that his Beverly Hills home was in danger of being lost until real estate mogul Donald Trump offered to help.
The former "Tonight" show sidekick for Johnny Carson has faced a series of money problems since he broke his neck in a fall last March. He has been sued over unpaid loans and legal fees for his daughter's divorce, and has sued Cedars Sinai hospital that he claims failed to diagnose his broken neck and botched two surgeries. The Los Angeles Times reported that Foreclosure Trackers Inc's Robert Lee claimed Trump stepped aside from his bid to buy McMahon's home when Lee contacted him months ago and said he could work out a better offer.
Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton ran an aggressive expensive campaign which left her owing millions. The William J. Clinton Foundation became the latest group to buy access to Hillary's huge e-mail list complied during the campaign, ABC News reported on its web site Wednesday.
Clinton aides declined to say how much was paid -- but the price could easily be several hundred thousand dollars, ABC reported. Hillary is working fast to repay her massive debt because she will not be allowed to raise campaign donations after her confirmation as secretary of state.
According to ABC, Clinton's campaign still owes about $6.3 million to vendors after she wrote off $13.1 million in loans she personally made to the campaign.
It is claimed that the largest obligation is owed to the polling firm of Clinton's senior strategist, Mark Penn for just under $6 million. Clinton was able to write off the loan because Hillary and Bill reportedly had earnings of $109 million during the period.
Axl Rose of Guns 'N Roses took 15 years to produce the latest effort, Chinese Democracy. Sales of the expensive album dropped 78% in its second week in stores, according to Money.
Singer/actress Jessica Simpson started off the year catching flack for the disappointing performance on the field of new beau Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys. Then her feature film, Blonde Ambition, rushed right to DVD. And her country music debut album fell flat.
A case of no negotiated residuals, or back-end profit sharing for actor Michael Hollick, who Money claims spent 15 months working as a voice over and motion-capture model for the award-winning Grand Theft Auto IV video game. Hollick reportedly earned a flat fee of $100,000. The game has made $600 million+.
The Byzantine finances of pop star Michael Jackson still made headlines in 2008, as FOX's Roger Friedman reported that Jacko was "shocked" when he received word that Bank of America Jackson's $270 million in loans to a private hedge fund, Fortress Investments.
Fortress is in position to become a 50 percent owner in Sony/ATV Music Publishing if Jackson should default on the loan, which Friedman contends he already has. "Furthermore, Jackson's deal with Sony comes to an end this December, at which time the company can buy him out for $200 million if he can't come up with a new buyer or enough money to pay back the loan."
The Fortress deal allegedly includes a $70 million loan Jackson has against his own publishing catalog, called MiJac.