Jack Johnson is in the middle of a seven-year contract worth $30.5 million. And yet, the defensemen for the Columbus Blue Jackets has had to file for bankruptcy, in which he reported his total worth was just $50,000.
Meanwhile, he owes an astonishing $10 million in debt. But don't blame Johnson. Blame his parents.
The Columbus Dispatch broke the story in November of how Johnson's parents were responsible for creating this disaster. Now a report from Deadspin provides some more details of how the 28-year-old NHL player has been the victim of parents who used his high income to fund their extravagant lifestyles.
Johnson's parents had grown accustomed to such lavish spending that his high salary wasn't enough: They were forced to sign up for predatory loans that carried crushing interest rates and fees.
Johnson's big mistake was trusting his parents with his finances and management in the first place. His agent, Alan Miller, once expressed to Johnson that he was very concerned with the level of his parents' involvement in his finances. Instead of heeding that caution, Miller was fired the next day -- by Johnson's parents, no less. From Deadspin:
According to the person close to Johnson, Jack was oblivious all along to his disappearing money and mortgaged contract. His parents told him all their big purchases were bought with an inheritance from a recently deceased relative, and Johnson, the source says, had no reason to disbelieve them.
"There were a few people trying to track him down, he would confront his parents, and they would tell him to focus on hockey," the person said. "Typically, they dismissed the people as con artists who were just trying to shake him down. Some of those interactions were happening as long as a year ago. But he had no idea it was a real problem until the spring [of 2014]."
Johnson continued to let his parents meddle in his finances even after existing debts had resulted in 25 percent of his hockey paychecks being garnished. Not until his engagement to Kelly Quinn -- the sister of NFL quarterback Brady Quinn -- did Johnson start to figure out just how badly his parents had destroyed his finances. Even as his suspicions grew, his parents discouraged the marriage, likely because it was closing off their access to his finances.
Last May, Johnson confronted his parents, after which he hired new attorneys and advisers and began cleaning up his finances in month. He hasn't spoken to his parents since at least October, when he filed bankruptcy. Hard to blame him.