The Real Reason Nicholas Cage Lost Most Of His Money

Look, fun's fun, but before we all get swimmer's ear from diving head-first into schadenfreude, let's take a moment to remember that Nicolas Cage has an estimated personal holdings of around $25 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. That's 25 million more dollars than most of us will ever have, statistically speaking, but by all means, keep laughing into your Cup o' Soup.

Even so, having enough money to buy everyone in Oregon a medium McDonald's Big Mac Meal represents a significant step backwards for the movie star's financials — estimates put his wealth in the $150 million to $200 million range just ten years ago. That's a significant amount of scratch to blow through in a single decade. Where did it all go?

The answer is fascinating and multifaceted, but in the end, Cage's money disappeared into the three oldest movie star money pits in the book: shady management, risky real estate, and a stolen dinosaur head.

Trapped in a cage of his own making

There are a couple of sides to the story. Following a claim from the IRS calling for more than $6 million in unpaid taxes, Cage sued his ex-manager, Samuel Levin, for $20 million. The lawsuit claimed that the actor had been set on a path to financial ruin thanks to his negligence and fraud on Levin's part, according to Reuters.

Levin, in a countersuit detailed by CNN, stated that Cage brought it all on himself, and that the National Treasure star was already millions in debt when the two started working together in 2001. By way of receipts, he pointed to Cage's laundry list of outlandish purchases, which included a haunted mansion in New Orleans, a pair of castles, four yachts stationed in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Newport Beach, California, and Rhode Island, and nine Rolls Royces. There were also works of art, a wildly ambitious comic book collection, and, lest we forget, a dinosaur skull, purchased for over a quarter of a million dollars and then returned to the Mongolian government after it was discovered to have been stolen.

It's worth mentioning that Cage has also donated millions of dollars to charities and relief efforts over the years, with Forbes reporting a $1 million contribution to Hurricane Katrina victims. That part gets less press than "dinosaur head" for some reason.