Bankruptcy for a Baldwin
While we may not deserve it, The Five Dumbest Lab begs your sympathy this week. You see, we've been struck hard by some shockingly sad news and it got us thinking about the sorry state of the real estate market and the ridiculous behavior that brought about its collapse.
Yes, Stephen Baldwin has gone bankrupt. We share your grief.
A filing Tuesday in federal court in New York shows the actor-turned-reality show star owes $1.2 million in two mortgages on a property about 30 miles north of New York City valued at $1.1 million. The document shows he also owes more than $1 million in taxes and has about $70,000 in credit card debt.
Baldwin's last major role -- if you call it that -- was on the NBC show I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!. NBC is a division of General Electric (Stock Wuote: GE). Unfortunately, Baldwin left the Costa Rican set after suffering a rash of insect bites.
As for his financial woes, well, it seems Baldwin bit off more than he can chew. And not even big brother Alec will help him out of this jam.
Similarly, Playboy Enterprises (Stock Quote: PLA) bared its real estate troubles this week. The adult entertainment company said Tuesday it expects to take a pumped-up restructuring charge in the second quarter related to the closing of its Manhattan office.
Playboy, which is struggling with declining ad sales, originally planned to take a $4 million charge to shutter its Manhattan digs. Nevertheless, as a result of the "significant deterioration in the New York real estate market," that amount has since increased to $9 million, proving for maybe the first time in the magazine's history that bigger is not always better.
Meanwhile, down in Washington, D.C., there was another high-profile bust. The Watergate Hotel, made famous by the scandal that brought down President Nixon, failed to attract any bids at auction Tuesday and was taken back by the lender that held the $40 million note on it.
For those attempting to "follow the money" in this latest Watergate episode, you don't need Deep Throat's help. The cash was clearly blown in a wild attempt to turn the landmark hotel into a pricey resort.
Finally, and saddest of all was the news from Cleveland that Wells Fargo will be selling the recently foreclosed boyhood home of poet Langston Hughes. The 2 1/2-story, wood-frame house on the city's east side was sold at a sheriff's auction in February for just under $17,000.
Hughes later moved to New York City where he penned the classic poem Harlem: A Dream Deferred, among other notable works. His Harlem home received landmark status protection in 1981.
It makes you think, doesn't it?
If only Stephen Baldwin did a second season of Celebrity Apprentice, maybe he could have obtained landmark status, too.
Dumb-o-meter score: 80 -- We feel your pain, Baldwins. All of you. Wherever you are.