By Robert Stitt
MC Hammer, Mike Tyson, Antoine Walker, what do these names have in common? That’s right…huge paychecks, lavish lifestyles, and eventual bankruptcy. It turns out that it is not just the person in the spotlight that has self-destructive spending habits, though. Sometimes, the person behind the camera can struggle just as much.
David Milch earned over $100 million writing and producing shows in Hollywood. Two of his most famous endeavors were NYPD Blue and Deadwood. Even $100 million can disappear fast when you don’t pay your bills and taxes, however. Celebrity Net Worth reports that Milch still has $5 million in unpaid taxes and over $2 million to a business and finance firm (doesn’t sound like a very good finance firm). This doesn’t even start to touch his gambling habits, though.
Milch loves the ponies. They don’t love him back. He blew over $25 million at the track between 2000 and 2011. In the end, he not only lost his $100 million fortune, he is currently $17 million in debt. The worst part is…his wife, Rita, didn’t know.
Milch employed the business management firm of Nigro, Karlin, Segal, Feldstein, and Bolno, LLP (NKSFB) and they kept the secret from his wife for as long as they could. When it finally came down to it, they had to fess up when they started trying to hide assets in her name and she wanted to know why. Court documents indicate “In early 2011, Rita was called into the NKSFB offices to discuss the transference of mortgage titles from Milch’s name to hers.” She is suing them for lying to her about the status of the accounts even though she repeatedly asked about the sate of affairs.
Rita has now taken over the family finances. It is reported that her husband, the $100 million writer and producer, receives a $40-per-week allowance. Surprisingly, Rita has not sought bankruptcy like so many others. She has set up a payment plan with the government, has held garage sales and sold off their art and jewelry, and they are parting with two of their properties: a $4.8 million home in Brentwood, California, and an $8.9 million estate in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
One of Milch’s latest ventures was the short-run series Luck based on horse racing.