Actor Nicolas Cage is being sued by his former business manager, who claims lavish spending, not his advice, is to blame for the actor's financial problems.
Samuel J. Levin filed a countersuit in Beverly Hills on Nov. 12, less than a month after the "National Treasure" star filed a $20 million lawsuit against Levin for fraud and claimed he had led him toward financial ruin.
Levin's suit says he tried to warn Cage when he was hired in 2001 that Cage was outspending even his large Hollywood paychecks. He is seeking a declaration that he acted properly, didn't excessively charge Cage for his services, and is owed $129,000 for work he did after he was fired in 2008.
The filing states Levin enacted a plan that resulted in Cage selling a dozen automobiles and a $1.6 million comic book collection.
Marty Singer, Cage's attorney, said the claims made in the countersuit were absurd.
He said it was a breach of privacy for Levin to release details about Cage's asset sales. In addition, Levin has been paid $1.3 million in the past 18 months, Singer said.
Cage is facing tough financial times and has been forced to sell some of his property, according to his original court filing against Levin. The Internal Revenue Service has filed more than $6.6 million in tax liens against the actor this year, records show.
Levin claims he advised Cage years ago that he would need to earn $30 million a year to maintain his lifestyle. The lawsuit states he warned Cage not to buy a castles in England and Bavaria.
Referring to Cage by his birth surname of Coppola, Levin's lawsuit states the actor in 2007 alone bought $33 million in property, 22 automobiles and nearly 50 pieces of expensive jewelry, art and other exotic items.
"Coppola also spent huge sums taking his sizable entourage on costly vacations and threw enormous, Gatsby-scale parties at his residences," the lawsuit states, referring to the character in the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel.
Singer said it was ultimately up to Levin to properly manage Cage's finances.
"You're a business manager," Singer said. "You need to say no."
Cage's lawsuit against Levin claimed the actor didn't find out about his financial woes until after changing business managers in 2008.
Public records show Levin has been a licensed certified public accountant in California for nearly 25 years and has no public record of disciplinary actions.
An Oscar-winning actor, Cage is known for his dramatic roles in films such as "Leaving Las Vegas" and "Adaptation" as well as action turns in "The Rock" and "Con Air."