This match up really illustrates the difference between when a celebrity files bankruptcy early in their career versus when they have to file later after they have had considerable success. The two celebrities are Tom Petty and Kim Basinger.
By 1979 Tom Petty had little to show financially for the two hit albums already behind him. Petty held back from releasing his next album, recording it at his own expense, leaving him $500,000 in debt. Petty filed bankruptcy in 1980 in a novel attempt to reject an unfavorable contract he felt he had signed under duress. Ultimately, MCA released Petty from his contract but immediately re-signed him for $3 million. The album that Petty had held back, Damn The Torpedoes, would go on to be Double Platinum and make Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers into true superstars
Kim Basinger’s problems began when she broke an oral agreement with Main Line Productions to appear in future movie bomb, Boxing Helena. In 1993 Main Line sued and won an $8.1 million verdict forcing the future Oscar winner into Chapter 11.
Her problems compounded when her $20 million investment in small town Braselton, GA turned sour and she had to sell the town off in pieces. Her Chapter 11 case was later converted to Chapter 7 so that the actress could capture all of her future earnings. Basinger and the studio ultimately settled for $3.8 million.
For celebrity standards, Tom Petty only had $500,000.00 worth of debt as a result of his problems with self-producing the record that drove him into bankruptcy. The figure here is adjusted for inflation since 1980. That just doesn’t compare with the tens of millions of dollars that Kim Basinger lost after she had her problems with her town in Braselton, Georgia and of course her lawsuit from Main Line Pictures, so the first period went pretty easily to Kim Basinger
As far as the fame points go, Petty and Basinger are both fairly well recognized celebrities and that proved to be pretty evenly split, so Tom Petty is going to need to get a great result from the panel in order to pull this one off .
the panel did like Tom Petty, but was it enough? Paul Cohen seemed to think that this story worked out well for everybody. On the other hand, Nichole Cumming thought that Kim Basinger has made her share of mistakes.
At the end of the day, even though the panel did prefer Tom Petty, their votes weren’t enough to get Petty past the big advantage that Kim Basinger built up in the debt period, so Kim Basinger will be advancing to the second round.
I hope you enjoyed this first round match up and I want to know did we get it right … did we get it wrong? Please leave a comment below.