Nicolas Cage Losing His Keys?

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Is actor Nicolas Cage having an Icarus moment?

The financially strapped actor continues to plummet, shedding assets as he goes. Cage's most recent offering is his seven-bedroom, 11,817 square foot Bel Air estate on Copa de Oro Road, which boasts an 1,800-bottle wine cellar, ample pool and home theater. After weeks in escrow, the home is back on the market -- and freshly reduced from $17.5 million to $9.95 million.

The manse was listed a year ago for a whopping $29,999 million. Ten years earlier, Cage purchased the sprawling 1940s Tudor for $6,469 million from Tom Jones (who bought it from Dean Martin).

Cage's mess brings to mind the Greek myth of Icarus, the wax-winged boy who, feeling invincible, flew too close to the sun, only to plunge tragically into the sea.
There's no doubt that Cage is a brilliant and talented actor -- one need only recall his fierce performance in Leaving Las Vegas, which garnered a well-deserved Academy Award. But even if you are one of the highest paid movie stars in Hollywood and earn a reported $20 million a film, were all those toys really necessary?

According to reports, the superstar had a comic book collection worth $1.6 million, 22 automobiles (nine of them Rolls Royces), four yachts, a Bahamian island, a Gulfstream jet, and millions sunk into art and jewelry. Add to that $33 million worth of real estate. The actor owned 15 sprawling residences around the world, including a 28-room Bavarian castle on 395-acres, and the Gothic-style Milford Castle in Bath, built in 1775 by Henry Disney Roebuck.

Cage is also contending with the IRS, which claims he owes millions in back taxes and has taken tax liens on some of the actor's remaining properties. Cage says he only recently discovered how disastrous his financial situation really is. As he alleges in a lawsuit against his business manager, Cage is now "forced to sell major assets and investments at a significant loss and is faced with huge tax liabilities." If that's not awful enough, on October 27th, the actor's father passed away after suffering from a heart attack.

According to Cage, his former fraudulent and negligent business manager, Samuel J. Levin, caused his economic ruin. The National Treasure star says that he depended on Levin "to handle his financial affairs to ensure that he and his family would have a financially secure future built on the foundation of the substantial monies Cage earned through years of hard work." And in October, Cage filed a $20 million lawsuit against Levin claiming that the manager did not pay the required taxes, made unsound real estate investments resulting in "catastrophic losses" and "lined his pockets with several million dollars in business management fees." A hearing is set for February 3, 2010 in Beverly Hills.

As the Copa de Oro estate in Los Angeles remains unsold, interested parties can take a detailed virtual tour at www.363copadeoro.com/mls/complete.htm. The stained glass windows, marble fireplaces, elaborate ceiling moldings and outdoor gazebo are irresistible. But would-be buyers of the "goblet of gold" manse might want to keep in mind the lessons or Icarus.
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