Lending Money to Family – Celebrity Edition

August 11, 2008 by  
Filed under Loans and Borrowing

I have previously written about the perils of lending money to friends as well as tough love options in responding to loan requests from family.  Celebrities of course are not immune to being asked for money by family members.  If a family member of a celebrity is a financial disaster, I doubt that a celebrity will show “tough love” in response.  (If the request for a loan or gift is going to be declined, that job would probably fall to the celebrity’s manager or accountant.)   I suspect that most celebrities simply respond to the loan request with a gift of money, if the family member has a true need for the money.

We frequently read about celebrity scandals and family disagreements in various magazines found at grocery store check-outs.  However, we don’t often hear about loans and loans gone bad between celebrities and their family members.  Now we have.

In this morning’s news, it was reported that actor Richard Dreyfuss has sued his father and uncle in Los Angeles for failing to re-pay a loan he made to them in 1984!  Now why would Richard Dreyfuss – whom we assume is wealthy – sue his own father in a very public way?  Probably because the amount of the unpaid loan is $870,000.  Apparently, Dreyfuss’ father and uncle were involved in a downtown LA office building and Dreyfuss loaned them some money when they were in financial trouble.  Now Dreyfuss claims that no principal or interest has been paid and that his father has acted with malice in not repaying it.  His uncle was quoted as saying that “he can’t get it.”  Ouch.  If the allegations are true, it gives further meaning to the cliche that “no good deed goes unpunished.”

We should all keep in mind that celebrities like Dreyfuss can probably afford to lend and lose a lot more money than we can afford.  But that does not change the family dynamic where major relationship breakdowns can occur if the loan is not re-paid.


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