Nicholas Cage was broke after bizarre buys, claims report: From haunted house to dinosaur skull, he had it all
The actor who had a fortune of $150M owed the Internal Revenue Service a whopping $6.3M in property taxes
Nicolas Cage, once one of the most in-demand actors in Hollywood, ended up broke after blowing his $150 million fortune on "expensive" and "eccentric" purchases, including a dinosaur skull, exotic islands and castles, yachts, private jets, and more, according to a report.
By all measures and accounts, Cage is Hollywood royalty. He has been nominated for numerous awards and won the three biggest prizes in entertainment — an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild Award — for his performance as an alcoholic writer in 1995's 'Leaving Las Vegas'. His films were monetary successes too. The likes of 'National Treasure', 'Lord of War', 'Kick-Ass' and 'Ghost Rider' earned hundreds of millions of dollars in the box office, and in turn, made him rich as well. However, during the last decade, that fortune has all but evaporated due to a series of poor financial decisions, the Mirror has reported.
Cage, 56, is said to have squandered his money on a string of expensive and eccentric purchases, one of the most curious of which was a 67 million-year-old Tarbosaurus dinosaur that he bought after outbidding Leonardo DiCaprio. The actor paid $300,000 for the skull only for it to later emerge that it had been stolen. He subsequently handed it over to the Mongolian authorities so it could be returned to its original owner. He also owned a prehistoric bear skull worth thousands that he accidentally destroyed while playing pool at home.
He also made several of the standard purchases that multimillionaires splurge money on but proved to be poor investments. In 2004, he bought a property on Paradise Island, Bahamas, then purchasing a 40-acre island in the Exuma archipelago, some 85 miles southeast of Nassau, for $7 million. He also bizarrely purchased a 'haunted' house that once belonged to serial killer Madame Delphine LaLaurie — who is believed to have tortured and murdered countless slaves at the residence — for $3.45 million.
At one point, he is believed to have owned as many as 15 residences simultaneously, one of which was a $25 million waterfront home in Newport Beach, California. Other notable properties included a $15.7 million countryside estate in Newport, Rhode Island, an $8.5 million estate in Las Vegas, an $8 million 11th-century Bavarian castle in Etzelwang, Germany, and the $8 million Midford Castle in Somerset, England. He eventually sold both castles for significant losses.
The actor also had a liking for automobiles and motor vehicles and had, at one point, more than 50 rare cars and around 30 motorcycles. His collection included nine Rolls Royces, a Lamborghini that he bought for $450,000 and which had once been owned by the Shah of Iran, a 1955 Jaguar D-Type that he bought for $850,000, and a $1 million Ferrari Enzo that was just one of 349 of its kind in the world.
His obsession also extended to luxurious yachts and private jets. The 56-year-old had once owned four yachts, one of which was worth $20 million and had 12 master bedrooms, and a luxurious private Gulfstream jet. His most eye-raising purchase, however, was a nine-foot-tall pyramid-shaped tombstone in the oldest cemetery in New Orleans. While it is unclear how much he shelled out for the tomb, which had 'Omni Ab Uno,' Latin for 'Everything from One,' carved into it, it was not thought to be cheap.
Cage was reportedly broke in his 40s because of these purchases and owed the Internal Revenue Service a whopping $6.3 million in property taxes in 2009. The haunted house and the tombstone were both foreclosed and he blamed his money manager, whom he accused of sending him "down a path toward financial ruin."