Okay, I’m well aware that stories of athletes who got incredibly rich and then just frittered it all away are legion. Some of them fell in with the wrong crowd, some of them attempted expensive ventures that had no chance of succeeding, and some just spent and spent until there was nothing left. And Mike Tyson was never known for his good reasoning, so it’s hardly a surprise that he was eventually busted.
But over $40 million in debt?? How the freak did this happen?
Okay, probably the biggest source of debt for a millionare athlete is the way-too-expensive home with the big payments. But Tyson lost all his homes and is reportedly sharing an apartment with an old friend. Even if he got nothing back for the money he put into his residences (which is unlikely), he can’t still be making payments on property he doesn’t even own anymore.
He’s also famous for giving away lavish presents to his…er, people. But these had to be bought and paid for with money he had at the time; certainly this wouldn’t put him in debt.
Credit cards and other forms of credit? It’s possible to rack up some pretty impressive debts, but they have limits, and certainly not in the range of millions. Likewise, no bank in the world would lend money to someone who’s in the red to begin with.
He’s severely cut back on his “employees”, which means a lot of severance pay, but that’s a one-time payment. And I seriously doubt that a lot of these employees were just willing to stay on and accumulate back pay that he had no way of paying just on the off chance that he might someday strike it rich and make good on it.
He has a lot of back taxes, but even that’s only about $17 million or so.
Busted, tapped out, and flat broke, I can understand. But for Tyson, the hole just gets deeper and deeper (and this is someone who made $400 million in his career, don’t forget). What’s going on here?