Worst Celebrity Business Owners
Photo by Alan Light on Flickr
The original list has 10 people on it. I thought it was an interesting read, so I figured I’d share it. The Lenny Dykstra part was surprising to me, but the Paris Hilton part was not.
Maybe it’s the inflated ego or the itch to do something with those millions of dollars just laying around, but some celebrities have a knack for making some pretty bad business decisions. Somehow, they convince themselves that they can branch out beyond their talents — only to discover that their business savvy isn’t anywhere near their acting or athletic abilities.
Of course, not all celebrities crash and burn. In fact, some celebrities have proven to be quite successful at business — just take a look at P. Diddy and Ron Howard. But this crew of celebrities hasn’t been able to emulate that success. Here are WalletPop’s choices for worst celebrity business owners:
Buying the small town of Braselton, Georgia for $20 million, with the dream of turning it into a tourist attraction that featured movie studios and a film festival, was a massive failure for Kim Basinger. She became interested in the town while stuck in a traffic jam. She saw a sign that read: “Braselton: If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home by Now” and evidently there was no turning back. We’ve seen similar signs outside condos near packed freeways in Oakland, Calif., but have never thought of buying the entire city. After buying Braselton, Basinger told reporters, “Finally, here are some people who will know who’s the boss.”
Celebrities and fashion have at least one thing in common: They can go out of style fast. And celebrities with fashion lines can fizzle even faster. “There’s a lot of coming and going, because as their popularity wanes it affects everything else,” independent brand consultant Alycia de Mesa told Forbes. “Sometimes it’s a flash in a pan.”
In just one lifetime, World Series champion Lenny Dykstra has managed to drive all of his businesses into the ground and file for bankruptcy. He has also been ordered to give his entire $5,700-a-month pension to his former wife, and is now trying his hand at being homeless.
The “Hollywood Madam” once ran a highly-successful prostitution ring, but then the pesky law got in the way. Fleiss was convicted in 1995 and served 20 months in a California prison for running the prostitution ring.
Since then, Fleiss’ business skills haven’t improved. Her failed businesses include a stud farm in Nevada where sexy men were sold to women for $250 an hour. One little problem, however, in Nevada convicted felons can’t work in the sex trade. Fleiss also struck out with a sex toy shop, laundromat, and a pet grooming shop. Her latest venture is a pet spa in Las Vegas. Yeah, that should work well in a recession.
Paris Hilton failed at the business of being herself. All she had to do was behave herself in order to receive part of a $2.3 billion inheritance from her grandfather, but she just couldn’t seem to do that. Granted, Hilton wouldn’t have gotten all of that money, but her grandfather’s heirs did get 3%, or $69 million apiece. Paris’ take: $5 million, according to calculations by the New York Daily News. The rest her grandfather decided to give to charity instead. Read more at www.walletpop.com