Former “Bachelor” Files for Bankruptcy
It’s been nine years since Aaron Buerge popped the question on national television during the finale of “The Bachelor.”
Buerge’s engagement to Helene Eksterowicz, a school psychologist, following the second season of the hit reality show ended just weeks later, and Buerge drifted back into anonymity. That was until February 2011, when he filed for personal bankruptcy. Many of the nation’s largest publications, including People Magazine, carried the news, bringing Buerge into an unwanted spotlight.
Now married and with an 18-month old daughter, Buerge claims assets of $2.3 million against liabilities of $9.3 million in his bankruptcy petition. Despite a combined income with his wife, a college recruiter, of more than $17,000 per month, Buerge said his financial troubles are due to a loan with a bank that failed during the fiscal crisis. The bank, he says, is seeking a quicker repayment and could go after his assets, which Buerge says he’s protecting with the bankruptcy petition.
Buerge isn’t the only celebrity who’s filed for bankruptcy. Burt Reynolds, Kim Basinger and Mike Tyson are among the many high-profile celebrities who have sought this protection. Singer Toni Braxton filed for bankruptcy in October 2010, listing debts between $10 million and $50 million and assets of $10 million. It was the second time that Braxton has filed for bankruptcy, having first filed in 1998.
In many cases, events outside an individual’s control or legal issues can force a bankruptcy filing. Actor Stephen Baldwin was on the verge of losing his home when he filed for bankruptcy in 2009, and Michael Vick filed for bankruptcy in 2008 following his legal issues over dog fighting. Vick has recovered financially and recently signed a $20 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.