7 Most Embarrassing
Celebrity Business Failures
And the Helpful Lessons We Can Learn From Them...
Occasionally, a famous person will try their hand at a
legitimate business venture. Some of these ventures prove successful, resulting
in incredible wealth and a sense of personal achievement.
Others, not so much. Here are some examples of celebrities whose business plans
failed, and the lessons we can learn from their defeats…
1) Kim Basinger
1989, Kim Basinger starred in Batman. That was a good idea. She also
bought a town in Georgia with the hopes of turning it into a tourist
attraction. That was not a good idea.
Basinger listened to the advice of family members and
purchased the town of Braselton, Georgia for $20 million. She had
aspirations of developing movie studios and hosting a film festival in the
town. Of course, it turns out celebrities and producers would rather hang
out in Hollywood than Northeast Georgia, and Basinger sold the town in 1993 after encountering financial difficulties. The
experience caused a rift between Basinger and her family.
Your family might give great
advice when it comes to break-ups and chicken soup recipes, but that doesn’t
necessarily mean their business advice is sound.
2) Heidi Fleiss
The “Hollywood Madame” was famously busted in 1997 for running a brothel in
Los Angeles. After serving a 21-month prison sentence,
Fleiss decided to start some legal enterprises. She opened a sex boutique in Hollywood,
which was quickly closed. She also started a publishing company called One
Hour Entertainment, which she used to release her own coffee table book. The
book did sell tens of thousands of copies, yet the venture still failed thanks
to its distributor, which went bankrupt. Always the entrepreneur, Fleiss
currently lives in Nevada and runs a laundromat called… wait for it…
pays off, and coffee table books about illicit activities have a very slim chance of
3) Don Johnson
Don Johnson, of “Miami Vice” and “Nash Bridges” fame,
filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2004 after his company, Timber Doodle
Glade Equity Venture LLC, went under. The
company incurred significant debts, including $5,000 in unpaid grocery
bills. After the bank sued for nearly $1 million, Johnson was forced to
declare bankruptcy in an effort to save his home.
4) Mark Twain
would think the writer of some of the most memorable works in American history
would be a pretty smart guy. But the fact is that he lost all his money in get-rich-quick
schemes. Though he earned an impressive income
from his writing, Twain made many bad investments, and often fell victim to scams.
5) Tammy Wynette
Country music star
Tammy Wynette, most famous for her hit “Stand By Your Man,” filed for bankruptcy in 1988 after her investments in a couple of Florida
malls didn't work out. She also had some unfortunate health issues and was
forced to put a lot of money towards medical bills.
6) Debbie Reynolds
Reynolds was an actress who achieved great success in the 1950s and 60s with
films like Singin’ In The Rain and
Skirts Ahoy! Reynolds was not so fortunate in business, however. Along
with her husband, she purchased a hotel and casino in Las Vegas. It ultimately
failed, and Reynolds had to declare bankruptcy in 1997.
7) Jim McMahon
During his NFL career with the Bears, Jim McMahon opened a
restaurant in Chicago named Jim McMahon’s. Creative. It lasted a couple of
years before being shut down in 1989. Many blamed the closing on the fact that
McMahon rarely appeared at the restaurant, and was hardly involved in any of
its operations. It wasn’t entirely McMahon’s fault; in ‘89, he was traded to
the San Diego Chargers, which made it tough to eat out in Chicago.
One expert added, “Aside from McMahon's fading popularity, the place suffered from too
much debt, a bad location, parking problems, poor space layout, and a lack of
signature food items.”