While the adjectives “rich” and “famous” are commonly used in tandem, beings famous doesn’t always mean you’re rich. If you don’t believe that then just look of these six celebrities who sank huge chunks of their fortunes into boneheaded business deals and walked away empty handed.
6. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Planet Hollywood
When the Hard Rock Cafe-inspired Planet Hollywood restaurant chain launched in 1991, mega-celebrity and action icon Arnold Schwarzenegger banded together with several other Hollywood stars to make a significant investment. At first their business involvement seemed like a home run and by 1996 Planet Hollywood was ready to go public with nearly 100 restaurants worldwide and an estimated valuation of $3.5 billion. Yet, as the stock market crashed in the late 90′s due to the burst of the so-called “Dot Com Bubble”, Planet Hollywood‘s sales diminished and its over-expansion forced the company into bankruptcy protection. Arnold parted ways with PH in 2000 and enjoyed a moderately successful run as the Governator of California.
5. Scarlett Johannson and SodaStream
If making soda at home sounded too good to be true, think again! The SodaStream system can be yours for the low, low price of national sovereignty and human rights! Many have seen the commercials for the SodaStream product, but what most don’t know is that the factory that manufactures the devices is located in an Israeli-occupied area in the West Bank. For those unfamiliar with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the West Bank region of the Levant has been occupied by Israeli forces since 1967 despite a UN resolution that demanded the end of the occupation. Palestinian activists are now using a public condemnation of SodaStream as a lightning rod for discussion about national sovereignty for the Palestinian people and celebrity endorser Scarlett Johansson has been caught in the crossfire. Ms. Johansson signed on as a spokesperson for the SodaStream product in 2014 and the humanitarian organization took offense and asked her to choose between her position as an Oxfam Ambassador and a SodaStream representative. Strangely enough, the outspoken and highly-political Johansson stepped down as an Oxfam ambassador and erred on the side of corporate sponsorship. While this partnership is not a financial disaster, it will have negative repercussions for Johansson’s image for years to come.
4. Eva Longoria’s Vegas Restaurants
While she is considered one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood today, Eva Longoria has learned that she should leave the business of service to someone else. Longoria’s first foray into the culinary world was the opening of her restaurant Beso in 2009 and its success led to the opening of a second location in the swanky multi-billion dollar City Center development in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Las Vegas Beso never profited and in 2011, Longoria was forced in court by fellow investors to file for bankruptcy protection as the project had accumulated nearly $6 million in debt. Longoria then open another CityCenter venture called SHe which quickly went under. As of now Longoria has no future plans for restaurants in Las Vegas.
3. Lance Armstrong and All His Sponsors
Following Lance Armstrong’s admission of doping, nearly every single one of his sponsors dropped him for obvious reasons. It is estimated that Armstrong will lose $150 million in future earnings but it’s hard to feel bad for the guy.
2. Donald Sterling and the Los Angeles Clippers
Donald Sterling’s epic battle against the National Basketball Association for essentially forcing him to sell the Los Angeles Clippers as punishment his now-infamous racist comments regarding Magic Johnson and all non-whites in general is still raging, but it’s safe to say that a continued Sterling-Clippers business relationship would spell doom for the franchise and create an immense amount of contention within the NBA.
1. Kim Basinger and Braselton, GA
For some insane reason, Kim Basinger bought an entire town in Georgia in 1989 for $20 million thinking she could turn it into a tourist attraction. Predictably enough, it was a godawful investment and she was forced to sell Braselton, GA for a paltry $1 million in 1996 and the move absolutely crippled Basinger financially.