NEWARK, N.J. — Former "shock TV" talk show host Morton Downey Jr. has only $100 in his pocket, and is seeking protection from a limousine company and other creditors under federal bankruptcy laws, court papers indicate.
Downey listed liabilities of nearly $2.4 million, including a mortgage of $628,000 and federal taxes of $500,000, in a petition filed last week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court seeking protection under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy law.
Downey, who lives in suburban Englewood, listed assets that include commissions and syndication rights worth $6.3 million and $500,000 in real property, according to financial statements that also say he has only $320 in the bank and $100 cash on hand.
Downey's attorney, Brian D. Spector, would not comment on whether Downey's financial troubles were related to the demise of "The Morton Downey Jr. Show," a nationally syndicated talk program that featured the host ranting about issues and taunting guests until it was canceled after two years.
Downey's creditors include more than 75 banks, businesses and agencies--including posh New York boutiques and restaurants--a New Jersey limousine service and New York City's Parking Violations Bureau, court papers said.
A pioneer of shock television, "The Morton Downey Jr. Show" initially enjoyed good ratings after its debut in October, 1987, but began a slide as Downey repeatedly got in trouble with the law. The show was canceled in September, 1989.