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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nicolas Cage's Outrageous Decades-Long Shopping Spree

An article in The Daily Beast says that Nicolas Cage's recent financial problems are, at least in part, due to outrageous, eccentric spending that puts even his most flamboyant fellow celebrities to shame.

If you can dream it, Nic Cage bought it: yachts, a jet, a castle, over 50 cars, over a million dollars' worth of comic books, multiple (supposedly haunted) mansions in New Orleans, two Bahamanian islands, shrunken heads that may or may not have been human, and, famously, a $500k Lamborghini once owned by the Shah of Iran. Most amusingly, Cage spent $276,000 on a dinosaur skull in a "heated auction with Leonardo DiCaprio." And though the article has details about Cage's many pets -- claiming that he kept antidote serum on his wall for the poison of his two King Cobras -- it neglects to mention at least one: Cage's pet octopus.

Cage's lawyer, Martin Singer, told The Daily Beast "Half the stuff you say is false. I'm not going to get into detail," so we may never know which half is true.

Cage made headlines last month when he filed a $20 million lawsuit against his former business manager. The suit claims the manager, Samuel Levin, failed to pay taxes and lost money in unsound investments, putting him "down a path toward financial ruin." This summer, the IRS placed a tax lien of over $6 million on Cage's New Orleans properties for unpaid income taxes.

Still, it's hard not to look at Cage's extreme-by-any-standards spending habits and not draw conclusions about his current money woes. For example, did he really need to customize a Bentley so elaborately that, when he got it back from the shop, he could no longer fit in it?

However lavishly Cage spent on himself, he's also been a very generous guy. The article reports that the actor gave $1 million to the Red Cross to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina, and $2 million to the human-rights group Amnesty International

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