Nicolas Cage is broke. He dug himself an enormous financial chasm and willingly jumped in it.
Contrary to the extravagant and glamorous exterior, a person who puts himself in such a place lives a comatose life. Cage is certainly not the first celebrity to self-sabotage on such a grand scale. And like most celebrities who find themselves the fodder of unflattering ubiquitous headlines, he blames someone else for his colossal misfortune.
In this case, Cage's flying fickle finger of fault is pointed at his business manager Samuel Levin. Stupefied, Cage claims he's been "done wrong" by Levin and is not responsible for the massive predicament he now faces. Not an unusual claim for someone who can't hear the giant sucking sound of his disappearing wealth because he's too busy trying to fill a vast vacant void of internal self-worth with bling.
In a reckless attempt to feel better about himself, Cage lavishly shopped, and shopped, and shopped some more.
— Numerous luxury homes worth more than $33 million
— A castle in England that will take a fortune to render habitable
— An 11th-century estate in Germany
— Bahamian islands
— 22 cars (including 9 Rolls Royces)
— 12 pieces of expensive jewelry
— 47 pieces of art
— 1 Gulfstream jet
— A flotilla of yachts
Did I mention, a flotilla of yachts?
He also gave about $3 million to charity. It is not a secret that some who enter philanthropy do so not in an effort to help others, but in a deep-rooted attempt to either draw attention to themselves as big donors or make them feel better about themselves.
At least something positive came out of the run-amok spending spree.
Whether it is the unfulfilled homemaker or the out-of-control celebrity, shopaholics suffer from a profound self-loathing. They think that if they buy this one thing, then they will be, or at least feel like, the person they desperately want to be. The problem is there is not enough stuff in the world, no matter how outrageously expensive, that can give someone self-esteem.
Cage is a person who clearly can't get out of his own way of self-sabotage and downright ruin. Not only is he broke, he has a $6 million bill from the IRS for unpaid taxes.
Well, there may be one other positive thing to come out of the train wreck of a situation.
It may be the wake-up call that knocks Cage off of his addiction to the drug — in this instance extravagant stuff — that numbs his inner pain. As with a drug addict, a hit — or a purchase — delivers momentary euphoria until the effects of the narcotic wears off and he begins to reach for another, even bigger high.
From the outside, Cage has it all. He is brilliantly talented, has a successful career, a wife and son and an extended family that can supply him with an endless amount of good wine. He is not an alcoholic, but like his character Ben Sanderson in the movie "Leaving Las Vegas," he has lost everything through his addiction.
I hope that, unlike Ben, Cage awakens to become the hero of his opportunity instead of the victim of his circumstance.