When he isn't chasing down his purloined Superman comic books, actor Nicolas Cage has kept busy cranking out a steady combination of box-office fluff and embarrassing mug shots. The latest addition to that canon came on Saturday, when a scruffy-looking Cage was arrested in New Orleans on charges of domestic abuse battery and disturbing the peace.
According to ABC News, the heavily intoxicated actor engaged in a violent argument with his wife, Alice Kim, in a tattoo parlor and then on the street, during which he allegedly pushed her, punched a few cars and dared police to arrest him in a scene that could have come from his Oscar-winning 1995 film "Leaving Las Vegas."
It's just the latest legal problem the actor, who has weathered a string of financial and legal setbacks — not to mention a series of box-office duds — has battled over the past few years.
Cage was caught on tape getting into a violent altercation at a Romanian nightclub while filming the "Ghost Rider" sequel last year. And though he was not charged in the incident, he also allegedly got into a drunken verbal brawl at a New Orleans bar during Mardi Gras in March.
He's also faced a series of financial problems, despite being one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood. In late 2009, the IRS put a tax lien on Cage's real-estate holdings, including properties he owns in New Orleans, over failure to pay federal taxes. He is also alleged to have failed to pay more than $6.2 million in taxes in 2007 and more than $350,000 from 2002 to 2004.
Cage has admitted that he owes the IRS $14 million and is in the midst of repaying it after changing business managers. While he's blamed his handlers, they've said his outrageous spending on items ranging from lavish homes, castles and Caribbean islands to gothic curios, dozens of cars, jewelry and dinosaur skulls have done him in. Cage has sued his former business manager, Samuel Levin, for $20 million for mismanagement, a claim Levin denies.
In addition to the scuffle with his third wife, mother of his young son Kal-El, he's also been sued by an ex-girlfriend, Christina Fulton, mother of his oldest child, 20-year-old Weston. Fulton hit Cage with a fraud and breach of contract action in 2009. She claimed in the suit that Cage inflicted "mental, physical and emotional abuse" on her during their relationship. She further claimed that he bought her a house in 2001, but that when she tried to sell it in 2009 she learned the title was not in her name. Cage's spokespeople called the suit "absurd."