Famed sports agent Leigh Steinberg, the inspiration behind the Tom Cruise movie Jerry Maguire, has filed for bankruptcy. Last month he failed to appear in court in connection with a $1.4 million debt case involving a landlord. Steinberg claims that his attorney had changed the date of the hearing, was told he didn’t need to show up, but apparently his attorney failed to reschedule. Total debts owed? Several million dollars, with some reports suggesting upwards of $5 million. What led to his downfall?
Steinberg, who at one time had repped NFL stars such as Troy Aikman, Steve Young and Warren Moon, has admittedly struggled with alcohol (arrested twice for DUI, once in 1997 and again in 2007; arrested on a public intoxication charge in 2008), but has been sober since 2010. In 2003, one of his employees took out a $300,000 loan from one of his NFL clients. Steinberg was later fired by the NFL player. That incident, claims Steinberg, was the starting point of which he was no longer able to make money.
Here is an excerpt of Steinberg’s statement following the bankruptcy filing:
“I began to check out episodically for short periods. My judgment and oversight of my affairs was not consistent and at times impaired. I am responsible for my own addiction — no one forced me to drink — and in revealing my struggle with alcoholism, I am in no way justifying or excusing my circumstance. But I discuss it to provide context as well as understanding and inspiration to those who also battle addictive behavior. I surrendered to the reality that I was an alcoholic and my behavior was impacting family and associates in March 2010. I surrendered to the concept that until I tackled alcoholism, other priorities needed to be put aside. … I am responsible for these debts. But my priority was sobriety, and I have been continuously sober since that time.”
You can read his entire statement over at The Post Game.
I guess in Steinberg’s case, the catch phrase should be changed to “Show us the money!”.