Well-known sports agent files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy
Leigh Steinberg, an infamous sports agent who was the inspiration for the title character in “Jerry Maguire” recently filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. In his bankruptcy filings, Steinberg stated that he had between $1 and $5 million in debt, and that his only asset was $475,000 in stock.
Steinberg was one of the first modern sports agents, making history by negotiating a record $50 million contract for professional football player Troy Aikman in 1993. He then continued to top that deal, negotiating multi-million dollar contracts for some of the biggest players in the NFL. He developed somewhat of a superagent personal that was the inspiration for the popular film “Jerry Maguire” and the lead character’s memorable tagline: “Show me the money!”
According to Steinberg’s bankruptcy attorney, his financial problems were the result of employee misconduct and bad business deals. In addition, Steinberg’s attorney says that his client’s two children have suffered from serious medical problems including a degenerative eye disease that can result in blindness.
As a result of his personal and professional trouble, Steinberg reportedly turned to alcohol. While in rehab for alcohol addiction, his finances took an additional hit. Steinberg has been sober since 2010.
In a statement, Steinberg said that he put off filing for bankruptcy for several years “because of my moral and legal obligation to people who advanced me funds or performed services in good faith.”
However, he said, “the constant and aggressive collection efforts and press initiatives undertaken by creditors have harassed my family and prevented me from working to be able to pay these debts.”
Source: ABC News, “Inspiration for ‘Jerry Maguire’ Files for Bankruptcy,” Susanna Kim, Jan. 12, 2012