In a countersuit against Nicolas Cage (who wants $20 million for being lead to “financial ruin“), ex-manager Samuel Levin accuses the star of being millions of dollars in debt before he took the role of Cage’s manager in 2001, and that the star was warned he’d need to make “$30 million a year just to maintain his lavish lifestyle”—a lifestyle that exploded after National Treasure happened. Some juicy bits from Levin’s legal papers:
By the time Coppola [Cage's real last name] hired Levin, Coppola had already squandered tens of millions of dollars he had earned as a movie star, he was deeply in debt and he owed millions of dollars in accrued but unpaid income taxes, with no funds available to pay the tax debt…Because Coppola had a string of hit films, his earnings soared and Coppola abandoned the economic conservatism he had agreed to with Levin. As Levin sold off automobiles, Cage bougt new ones…By July 2008, Coppola owned 15 palatial homes around the world; four yachts; an island in the Bahamas; a Gulfstream jet; and millions of dollars in jewelry and art. …Coppola also spent huge sums taking his sizeable entourage on costly vacations and threw enormous, Gatsby-scale parties at his residences.
…Levin was rebuked for trying to restrain the outflow of cash. …[and] described the folly of several other well-known entertainers who compulsively overspent their way into bankruptcy, and warned Coppola “it could happen to you.”
Of all the Cage movies to reference, Levin picks It Could Happen To You? Couldn’t he have referred to the star’s “international treasures,” or having a “face off” over his spending? That millions would be “gone in 60 seconds?” Ironically, the ex-manager is only asking for $128,000 in unpaid fees—maybe he could ask for a Gatsby-scale party instead.
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