This Forbes story is probably more therapeutic than anything else – the gist of it is that celebrities make colossal business mistakes. One thing I have always wondered about, where is the anger towards celebrity pay? I hear of the anger regarding CEO compensation, but never so much as a whisper of discontent regarding celebrity compensation.
At any rate, I had completely forgotten about this stunning blunder:
The award for biggest entrepreneurial swing-and-miss might go to actress Kim Basinger. Smoldering in films such as 9 1/2 Weeks, Batman, L.A. Confidential and I Dreamed Of Africa, Basinger bombed on a grand scale in 1990 when she sunk $20 million into buying the entire town of Braselton, Ga.
Basinger’s vision: to turn the small town of 500 residents, 50 miles northeast of Atlanta, into a tourist attraction, with a movie studio and a film festival. In one fell swoop, the blonde bombshell became landlady of Braselton’s bank, post office, supermarket, a number of retail stores, historic structures, more than two dozen homes and an industrial park–nearly 1,800 acres in all.
Three years later Basinger filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after losing an $8.1 million lawsuit to Main Line Pictures for backing out of a verbal agreement to star in the film dud Boxing Helena. As for Braselton, she ended up selling it–for a mere $1 million.