It’s always cute when celebrities try something new. Whether it’s James Franco writing or Madonna’s gym, sometimes celebs get bored with doing one thing and want to move on and expand their horizons. Sometimes it works, but a lot of times it doesn’t.
Here are 5 celebrity business endeavors that didn’t quite make it.
Kim Basinger: After her 1989 Batman success, Kim bought a town. Yes, an entire town. Kim purchased the town of Braselton, Georgia for $20 million. She was hoping to turn it into a tourist attraction. Basinger wanted to develop movie studios and host a film festival there. Turns out, she couldn’t single-handedly recreate Hollywood in a Podunk place in the middle of nowhere. In an interview with Barbara Walters in 1998, Basinger said “nothing good came out of it” due to a rift in her family. That, and, it was a terrible idea.
The Kardashians : It’s hard to find something that this family has put their name on and not been successful with. But remember The Kardashian Kard? No? Exactly. The Kardashian Kard was a credit card embossed with a photo of Kourtney, Khloe and Kim Kardashian. It failed miserably, with only 250 people buying the prepaid debit card. And that wasn’t the worst of it. The fees were ridiculously high Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said of the card: “I am deeply disturbed by this card's high fees combined with its appeal to financially unsophisticated young adults.” The Kardashians left the project, triggering a $75 million breach-of-contract lawsuit.
Led Zeppelin: A classic rock theme park sounded freaking awesome. Especially when you’re on a roller coaster with speakers belting on Led Zeppelin’s hard rockin’ hits like Whole Lotta Love. Band mates Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones helped design the ride at the Freestyle Music Park in Myrtle Beach. The Eagles and the Moody Blues also had rides there. One British reporter called the place: “theme-park rides based on sex and drugs and rock’n’roll. You don’t get that at Disney.” Maybe it was timing, as the park was opened in 2008-- the peak of an economic crisis--but it shut down quickly and the company went bankrupt. Theme park consultant Dennis Speigal said: It’s probably the largest catastrophe in our industry.”
Naomi Campbell, Elle MacPherson and Claudia Schiffer: These supermodels are gorgeous, but their idea for a Fashion-themed restaurant turned ugly. They decided to open The Fashion Café, a restaurant in New York City. The food was bad, the props weren’t impressive and there were too many pictures of skinny people. No one wants to stuff their faces while looking at a picture of an emaciated runway model. Long story short, it did okay for a while and then failed miserably, resulting in $15 million worth of lawsuit settlements.
Hulk Hogan: After leaving a successful professional wrestling career, Hogan decided to open up a restaurant inside the Mall of America. Pastamania! sold a bunch of food named after Hulk Hogan: Hulk-U’s and Hulkaroos. After only a year of being open, the restaurant closed. Hey, at least his career in reality TV worked. For a while.