Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Nicolas Cage loses his National Treasures

Does anyone have a fiver they can lend to Nicolas Cage? Only he's a bit strapped for cash at the moment - so much so that he's already had to take the unfortunate step of selling off one of his three European castles.

I know, your heart just bleeds for him. Especially if, like me, you've ever sat through one of the National Treasure movies, an experience not unlike having someone bellowing a Dan Brown novel at you through a loud-hailer.

Then again, noisy, explosive movies make up more than half of Nicolas' eclectic filmography, with the rest of his output involving introspective, downbeat dramas about the frailty of the human condition. No prizes for guessing which half brings in the big bucks - clue: his last big movie saw him providing the voice of a vengeance-seeking Guinea Pig.

But even the multi-million dollar paycheques don't seem to be sufficient to sustain the kind of spendy lifestyle that would make Michael Jackson look like Scrooge McDuck. In recent years, Cage has shown about as much consideration for his purchases as he has for his film roles, splashing his cash on 15 huge houses, four yachts, an island in the Bahamas, a Gulfstream jet and 22 cars. And barely a penny on a decent haircut.

Despite the fact that he brought in an estimated $40 million last year alone, Nicolas is now looking at the poorhouse (although for once, he's not viewing it as an investment property). And like any self-respecting celebrity, he's not prepared to be held accountable for his shopping addiction. Instead, he's suing his former business manager for $20 million in damages for sending him "down a path toward financial ruin".

The lawsuit all sounds convincing enough, using phrases like 'breach of contract', 'constructive fraud' and 'breach of fiduciary duty'. But there's a big difference between the careful siphoning off of funds and willingly signing on the dotted line to buy an island in the Bahamas, or $7million on a Bavarian castle.

With the wolves at the door, Nicolas must now be weighing up every offer that comes his way in the hope of clearing his debts. Maybe we'll finally get to see that sequel to Leaving Las Vegas we've all been hoping for, where a hopeless shopaholic relocates to Nevada committed to spending himself to death. Instead, he meets a whore who is happy to cash his cheques, and they both live happily ever after, watching QVC and flicking through old issues of the Betterware catalogue. I smell another Oscar...

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