Celebrities routinely make vast amounts of money, but a certain subset of stars is practically defined by their inability (for whatever reasons) to live within those enormous means.
The latest famous person to join the ranks of the officially insolvent is Gary Busey, who filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last week.
According to TheWrap, the debts owed by the actor and reality television personality “far outweigh” his assets, which total $50,000 or less; Busey’s liabilities add up to something between $500,000 and $1 million and include moneys owed to “various lawyers, the IRS, Wells Fargo (WFC) bank, Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center, and a storage company.”
Busey, 67, began his show business career as a drummer. He appeared in the television series Gunsmoke and received an Academy Award nomination for his performance as the title character in 1978’s The Buddy Holly Story. In late 1988, he was involved in a serious motorcycle accident, sans helmet, sustaining a fractured skull and concomitant brain damage. Busey continued to work throughout the 1990s, but had a series of runs-in with the law, which continued into the 21st century (drugs, public altercations, spousal abuse). Those are reflected in Busey’s bankruptcy filing: Among his creditors is Carla Loeffler, who sued him in November “for allegedly tackling her at the Tulsa airport,” TheWrap reports.
Busey’s manager said in a statement that the filing “is the final chapter in a process” of consolidation and reform for “this great American icon.” Past uses of “the strategic business tool called bankruptcy” by “great American institutions” such as General Motors (GM) and American Airlines are mentioned by way of comparison.
In any discussion of Busey’s possible status as a great American icon, it’s probably worth mentioning his performance in the 2006 Turkish film Valley of the Wolves: Iraq, which portrayed the U.S. occupation of Iraq as a massive criminal enterprise. Busey played a Jewish doctor who extracts organs from injured Iraqis and sells them to rich Westerners in New York City, London and Tel Aviv. It was, at the time, the most expensive film in Turkish cinematic history. But it seems like Busey couldn’t stretch his Turkish lira very far.
He’s certa not alone: Check out DailyFinance‘s gallery of other celebrities who found themselves using the strategic business tool called bankruptcy.