Broke Nicolas Cage Can't Unload Cottage on the Balboa Pen

The star of Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans that opens on two screens Friday at Edwards University in Irvine put the cottage on the market in July, about the time August Coppola, Cage's literature professor father and Francis
Ford Coppola
brother (who sadly died of a heart attack three weeks ago in Newport
Beach) moved out, Jeff Collins reports on the Orange County Register's always-sterling Lansner on Real Estate blog.


The property and its one-story, three-bedroom, 1,500-square-foot home are officially owned by Cage's Hancock Park Real Estate
Trust, the same entity that bought the actor's nearby Bay Shore Drive home for $25 million in 2005, then sold the waterfront abode for a record $35 million
in January 2008. Cage, who owes the IRS $6.6 million and has been forced to sell homes around the globe, many at a loss, filed a lawsuit in October against Hancock Park trustee and former
business advisor Samuel Levin for allegedly sending the actor “down a path
toward financial ruin” by placing Cage “in numerous highly speculative
and risky real estate investments.”

He has already lost two homes in New Orleans to
foreclosure, not that it surprised many folks in the voodoorific Big Easy. One house had been owned by Interview With a
author Anne Rice, while the other was the notorious LaLaurie House that was built in 1832 for a doctor
and his sadistic wife who tortured slaves and kept
their mutilated bodies chained in the attic. Local legend has it that every inhabitant who has lived in the house since has suffered tragedy and death and moved out within months.

The actor's lavish and unusual spending has become public amid his crushing money woes and especially the countersuit Levin filed on Nov. 12. It argues that Cage
brought about his own financial ruin with a spending spree that
included two castles, two islands in the Bahamas, 47 works of art, 15 palatial homes, a Gulfstream jet, a flotilla of yachts
(including one in Newport Beach), a fleet of Rolls Royces and dozens of other luxury, sports and collector cars. (Odder, of course, is his possession of a $276,000 dinosaur skull, piles of shrunken heads and freeze-dried bats.) Levin's counterstrike claims Cage was advised he would have to earn $30 million a year to maintain his lifestyle and that Levin devised a fund-raising
plan to sell off the actor's classic cars and $1.6 million comic
book collection, the Associated Press has reported. Cage's lawyer reportedly accused Levin of having breached the star's privacy by releasing those details.

Cage, in his his role as a UN Goodwill Ambassador on Drugs N Crime, was in Kenya this week visiting imprisoned Somali pirates when he reportedly told the AP of his money woes, “I'm in a position where I can
actually make some sense and talk about it when I go back to the
States.” Later, a report surfaced in the British tabloid Daily Express
(which one competitor warned is “notoriously unreliable”) that actor Johnny Depp will bail out Cage, who brought his manager and People's just-named “Sexiest Man Alive” together in the '80s

We'll end with a personal (OK, second-hand) Nic Cage anecdote: He made no secret of his residency down here, as someone very near and
dear to me recalled when he spotted the actor sunning
himself in front of the abode on the Pen. No friends, no handlers, no studio
goons, just an Oscar winner catching rays all by himself. But when
a third friend tried to make small talk out of this to Cage (on a red
carpet or in a movie junket cattle-call interview line, can't recall
which)–in the spirit of “Hey, Nic, I understand you were just sunning
yourself outside your house in Newport Beach”–the actor turned
stone-faced, essentially denied ever having been there and explained a lot
of people look like him.

Really? Like that?

It's absolutely believable to me because a couple
months ago, sitting in a hotel room in the Midwest, I saw a repeat of a late-night
talk show where the host (Conan, if memory serves) mentioned
something very normal the actor had just been observed doing in public. Cage flatly denied it,
explaining a lot of people look like him.