Besides fame, what do Britney Spears, Flavor Flav and Natalie Portman have in common? They've all launched — and subsequently closed — failed businesses.
Everyone from athletes and singers to actors and directors seem to want to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. But even with a unique idea, the money to back it up and the fame to promote it, not all celebrities can achieve success in the business world — proving that entrepreneurship really is a lot harder than it seems.
Many celebrities have started successful businesses, but these famous faces fell short in that area.
Fashion Café (Christy Turlington, Claudia Schiffer, Elle Macpherson, Naomi Campbell)
They may be household names thanks to their supermodel status, but when Christy Turlington, Claudia Schiffer, Elle Macpherson and Naomi Campbell teamed up in 1995 for Fashion Café, an international theme-restaurant franchise similar to Planet Hollywood, they didn't quite find success. The models (minus Schiffer, who left for personal reasons) fronted the chain before the restaurants' primary investors, Tommaso and Francesco Buti, were charged with fraud and money laundering. Fashion Café closed in 1998 — the London location never even opened — but according to The Independent, the models didn't lose any money in the process.
Suzanne's Kitchen (Suzanne Somers)
Suzanne Somers is most well known for being the bubbly, blond actress from "Three's Company" and the woman behind the ThighMaster, but not all of her business ventures have worked out in her favor. In 2006, Somers paired up with former Kentucky Gov. John Y. Brown to open Suzanne's Kitchen, a unique chain of food businesses that allowed customers to pick ingredients and prepare meals in-store. Suzanne's Kitchen closed in 2007, mostly due to conflicts between Brown and Somers. Somers was sued by one of the investors in 2010, but according to Kentucky.com, the judge in her case dismissed the lawsuit in 2011.
Madres Restaurant (Jennifer Lopez)
In 2002, Jennifer Lopez opened Madres, a Latin restaurant in Pasadena, California, but it lasted only six years and received many poor reviews before the multitalented celebrity had to close the business's doors for good, according to Eater. It's OK, though, because since then, Lopez has maintained her wildly successful music and acting career, and launched a fashion line at Kohl's.
Braselton, Georgia (Kim Basinger)
Some celebrities try to start restaurants or clothing lines, and then there's Kim Basinger, who purchased an entire town. In 1989, Basinger bought the town of Braselton, Georgia, for $20 million, with the intention of turning it into a tourist attraction complete with a film festival and movie studios. Basinger didn't exactly turn her dream into reality, though — four years later, due to financial difficulties, she and her investors had to sell the town for $1 million, according to CNBC. [7 Celebrities Whose Parents Double as Entrepreneurs ]
Dive! (Steven Spielberg)
In 1994, famed movie director Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg opened Dive!, a submarine-themed restaurant. The restaurant, which had locations in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, was shaped like a yellow submarine, and every half hour, it would simulate a dive, complete with flashing red lights and a pun-filled menu. Unfortunately, sales fell short, and Dive! was forced to close in 1999, according to CNBC.
Beso/SHe Restaurant (Eva Longoria)
Eva Longoria is a Golden Globe-nominated actress best known for her role on "Desperate Housewives," but her forays into the business world haven't had nearly as much success. In 2008, Longoria opened Beso, a Hollywood restaurant, with business partner and celebrity chef Todd English. In 2009, Longoria opened another Beso location in Las Vegas with a nightclub called Eve upstairs, but according to the NY Daily News, it went bankrupt — though the Hollywood location is still in business today. Three years later, Eva tried to open SHe Restaurant, a Las Vegas-based steakhouse geared toward women, but it, too, closed in 2014, Eater reported.
Mblem (Mandy Moore)
Back in 2005, singer and actress Mandy Moore launched her own clothing line called Mblem. After about three years, Mblem shut down, according to People. Moore commented, "If I were to dip my toe back in there, it would have to be the right situation … a great partnership that could represent a true reflection of me and my ideas, and you know, that wasn’t happening," implying that her business's failure may have been due to some issues behind the scenes.
Pastelle Clothing (Kanye West)
In the last few years, Kanye West has found success in the fashion industry, but it wasn't always that way for the Grammy-winning rapper and producer. Back in 2009, West tried to launch a clothing line named Pastelle, but that venture was over before it truly began. E! reported that just two days after photos previewing the collection made their way onto the Internet, it was announced that the line was canceled.
38 Studios (Curt Schilling)
In 2008, just before Curt Schilling retired from Major League Baseball, the former Red Sox pitcher founded 38 Studios, a video game company geared toward producing massively multiplayer online (MMO) games. According to The Huffington Post, Schilling couldn't raise the necessary venture capital, so he put more than $30 million of his own money into the business to get it started. In 2011, the company defaulted on a loan it had received from the state of Rhode Island, and had to lay off its entire staff (nearly 400 people) in June 2012 after failing to obtain alternative funding.
Flav's Fried Chicken (Flavor Flav)
In an attempt to compete with established chains like KFC and Popeyes, rapper and reality-TV star William Jonathan Drayton Jr., better known as Flavor Flav, opened Flav's Fried Chicken in Clinton, Iowa, in January 2011. According to the Clinton Herald, three months later, the restaurant closed after a series of disputes between Flav and the business's co-founder. Flav took one more stab at the fried-chicken business with solo-owned franchises in Las Vegas and Sterling Heights, Michigan, but those, too, were quickly shut down.
Heidiwood (Heidi Montag)
Like many other fashion-obsessed celebrities, reality-TV star Heidi Montag decided to try her hand at being a designer. Her clothing line, Heidiwood, was picked up by Anchor Blue Retail Group in 2007. One year later, People reported that the company had discontinued Montag's line, which may be a sign that she should have stayed in the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise with her former "Laguna Beach" co-star and now-successful fashionista, Lauren Conrad.
The Kardashian Kard (Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian)
The Kardashians are known for a lot of things, but success in the credit card business isn't one of them. In late 2010, the three famous Kardashian sisters launched a glitzy-looking prepaid debit card geared toward "financially unsophisticated" young adults. But according to CNN, after complaints about exorbitant and legally questionable fees, the Kardashian Kard got the ax less than a month after it debuted. Despite the family's other successful business ventures since then — including clothing and beauty lines and a mobile game app — this was one idea that totally flopped.
Nicky-O Hotel (Nicky Hilton)
Investors and prospective customers probably had a lot of faith in Nicky-O Hotel, the first business venture of Hilton hotel-chain heiress Nicky Hilton. But Hilton just couldn't live up to her family name: Her plans for a 94-room Miami boutique hotel faced a series of delays and fell through in 2007, when the project filed for bankruptcy protection just one year after being announced. CNBC reported that Hilton was later sued by the condo developer, and eventually, the property was auctioned off.
Nyla (Britney Spears)
Before she became a mother, had a public meltdown and made an impressive comeback, pop princess Britney Spears tried to expand her career by opening a restaurant. At age 21 in 2002, the singer attempted to bring Cajun flavors to Manhattan with Nyla, named after the state abbreviations for New York and Louisiana. But according to People, the restaurant experienced high staff turnover, health-code violations and other bad publicity that not even its menu overhaul could remedy, and it closed in less than six months.
Pastamania (Hulk Hogan)
Professional wrestler Hulk Hogan is yet another celebrity whose journey to restaurant ownership was over as soon as it began. In 1995, Hogan opened pasta eatery Pastamania in Minnesota's Mall of America. Despite numerous attempts to promote the restaurant during his World Championship Wrestling TV appearances, Hogan couldn't keep the business afloat long enough to even reach the one-year mark, Time reported.
Te Casan vegan-friendly footwear (Natalie Portman)
Natalie Portman's love of animals is so strong that she only wears clothing and shoes that do not contain animal byproducts. To further demonstrate her support for animal rights, the actress partnered with designer Te Casan in 2008 to create a line of vegan-friendly shoes. However, according to New York magazine, this venture wasn't as successful as they'd hoped. Later that year, the parent company folded due to failing sales, leaving Portman without a partner in her footwear venture.
XFL (Vince McMahon)
In 2000, Vince McMahon, then-chairman of the World Wrestling Federation Entertainment (now called WWE), announced the start of the XFL, a professional football league to complement the off-season of the National Football League. NBC partnered with McMahon on his venture, agreeing to air XFL games. The league lasted just one season before NBC pulled the plug due to "dismal television ratings, a subpar quality of play and inflated expectations," according to The New York Times.
Business News Daily Assistant Editor Nicole Fallon contributed to this story.
Originally published on Jan. 8, 2014. Updated on April 14, 2015.