10 Worst Celebrity Business Ventures of All Time

Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 4:21am by Site Administrator

A celebrity’s stamp of approval can do wonders for a business. But when a celebrity decides to take a business into their own hands, there’s no guarantee it will succeed. Even with the biggest names and the highest hopes, celebrity businesses have proven to be just as much of a crapshoot as the next. Here are the 10 worst celebrity business ventures of all time:

  1. Kim Basinger’s tourist attraction

    Actress Kim Basinger made a bad business move when she decided to purchase the town of Braselton, Ga., to make it a tourist attraction with movie studios and a film festival. Needless to say, the idea never caught on and Basinger’s $20 million purchase went to waste. She sold Braselton for $1 million and went back to what she does best — acting.

  2. Supermodels’ Fashion Café

    In 1995, supermodels Claudia Schiffer, Christy Turlington, Elle MacPherson, Naomi Campbell, and others opened Fashion Café at New York’s Rockefeller Plaza. The restaurant’s fashion-centered theme included display cases of outfits worn by the models and fashion show footage on the TVs, but the oddest part of all was the all-American menu filled with burgers, chicken wings, and pizza. Believe it or not, eating junk food while surrounded by images of skinny models didn’t thrill customers, and the restaurant closed its doors in 1998.

  3. Lenny Dykstra’s Player’s Club magazine

    Former New York Mets player Lenny Dykstra may have won on the ball field, but he struck out one too many times with his personal businesses. Dykstra dabbled in several different businesses and managed to drive all of them into bankruptcy. One of his biggest business failures was the financial magazine Player’s Club. The magazine was geared toward professional athletes looking for financial advice. Ironically, Dykstra was having his own financial crisis. He was accused of credit card fraud, as well as failing to pay printing costs and rent on the magazine’s Manhattan offices. Dykstra eventually filed for bankruptcy and lost all of his businesses.

  4. Hulk Hogan’s Pastamania

    Wrestling superstar Hulk Hogan stepped into the ring of restaurant ownership when he opened up Pastamania, a fast-food restaurant in Minnesota’s Mall of America. Hogan fans could feast on different pasta dishes named after the wrestler, such as "Hulk-a-Roos" and "Hulk-U’s." Although Pastamania was promoted by the World Championship Wrestling, the restaurant didn’t take off as expected and it went under less than a year after opening.

  5. Britney Spears’ Nyla Restaurant

    Britney Spears thought it would be a good idea to merge her two favorite places, New York and Louisiana, by opening up a restaurant called Nyla in Manhattan’s Dylan Hotel. The Cajun-infused restaurant opened in 2002, serving Southern favorites like fried chicken and fried okra. Despite its star-studded support, Nyla got bad reviews and violated several health codes. Spears severed her relationship with the restaurant after a short six months.

  6. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s promotion of Planet Hollywood

    The ’90s dream team of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, and Sylvester Stallone teamed up to promote the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain. Unlike Hard Rock Café, Planet Hollywood didn’t meet the mark. Despite the celebrity backing, the restaurant did not turn a profit. The company was forced to file for bankruptcy two times and Schwarzenegger eventually cut ties.

  7. Heidi Montag’s Heidiwood

    The Hills starlet Heidi Montag has made some regrettable decisions throughout her career, but one of her biggest offenses was launching her own clothing line, called Heidiwood. The fashion line featured poorly-made and barely-there pieces that didn’t quite resonate with shoppers. The clothing retailer, Anchor Blue, pulled the plug on Heidiwood less than a year after its creation.

  8. Steven Spielberg’s Dive! Restaurant

    Steven Spielberg has directed some of the most successful movies in history, but directing a restaurant business was a whole other story. Spielberg and Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg launched Dive!, a submarine-shaped restaurant that took customers on a simulated dive and served submarine themed dishes. Despite the clever concept, Dive! sunk in sales and never really developed a loyal fan base. Dive! hit rock bottom in 1999.

  9. The Kardashian’s credit card

    Almost everything the Kardashians touch turns to gold, but that definitely wasn’t the case with the Kardashian Kard. The sisters truly maxed out with their glitzy prepaid debit card that was aimed at teenagers and young adults. The problem was that the Kardashian Kard came with ridiculously high fees and a controversial marketing scheme. After selling a pathetic total of 250 cards, the Kardashians pulled the plug on their card and spurred a $75 million breach-of-contract lawsuit.

  10. Suzanne Somers’ meal prep business

    Suzanne Somer’s Kitchen, a self-serve meal prep company, really missed the mark with customers. The queen of the Thighmaster teamed up with Kentucky Governor John Y. Brown Jr. to launch the DIY family-dinner business that allowed customers to pick their ingredients and prepare meals at the store to take home. Somers and Brown butted heads on the original concept of the business. She insisted on using organic-only food, but Brown disagreed. Suzanne’s Kitchen went up in flames after less than three months.

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