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5 awful celebrity business ideas

By Robert Elsenpeter, Contributing writer
Published On: Apr 10 2012 12:36:16 AM CDT
Updated On: Mar 21 2014 01:35:40 PM CDT
Empty pockets

Rolling Stone Mick Jagger is stinking rich. Not just because he's the front man for one of the biggest rock bands ever, but also because he's a savvy businessman.

He didn't spend all of his money on frivolous junk. He reinvested it into solid business ventures. As such, he's even stinkier rich -- plus he's got all the bennies of being a rock star.

Unfortunately, lightning doesn't always strike twice for celebrities. While the business of being a celebrity seems to work for them (at least for a while), they often back other really bad business ideas.

When you live in the rarefied air that celebrities do, good ideas seem to have weird twists on them. The ideas get even weirder the further down the celebrity food chain you go.

Here are five of the most bizarre (and awful) business ideas celebrities (and often "B" Listers) have concocted.

Heidi Fleiss file photo

No. 5: Heidi Fleiss' pet spa

In the mid-1990s, Heidi Fleiss came to national attention when she was convicted of running a high-bucks celebrity prostitution ring. While she made stacks of cash selling sex to the rich and famous, once out of jail (she served a 20-month sentence), she floundered around. Apparently school guidance counselors are right -- running a high-priced celebrity call girl ring won't take you through to retirement.

In 2010 she moved to a new venture -- she opened a pet spa in Las Vegas called "Dirty Dog Laundry."

The infamous celebrity Madame might have been able to sell sex, but when it came to pet grooming she was more or less chasing her own tail. In other words, the business closed its doors within a few months.

She also found herself facing eviction. Among other things, the landlord claimed Heidi hadn't paid her rent and accused her of trashing the place.

Kim Basinger in Charlie St Cloud

No. 4: Kim Basinger's tourist town

In 1989, Kim Basinger was "it." She had been a successful Playboy model, a Bond girl and was riding high on the success of "Batman" (this was before Joel Schumacher tanked the franchise). It seemed everything Kim touched turned to gold.

Until she thought it was a good idea to buy a town.

Yep. She bought the town of Braselton, Ga., for $20 million. Her plans were to turn it into a tourist attraction. She wanted to develop movie studios and have it be the center of a film festival.

Regrettably, it turns out there wasn't much call for Hollywood Junior in the backwoods of Georgia, and the idea (not surprisingly) tanked.

Kim later blamed strife within her family for the idea not working out -- but that's like saying your plan for a hang glider for dogs didn't pan out because your cousin wasn't 110 percent behind it.

Chaka Khan, 2011

No. 3: Chaka Khan's "Chakalates"

Chaka Khan flirted with success in the late '70s and early '80s, but it wasn't until she recorded one of Prince's songs (apparently he wrote every song in the 1980s) that she hit it big.

She came back from the brink of mediocrity, riding the wave of success that "I Feel For You" brought. But it was short-lived. She crashed back into obscurity a few months later.

In the late-1990s, firmly in her place performing at Indian casinos and state fairs, Chaka tried her hand at the her next logical career move -- she became a chocolatier.

True, she wasn't in the test kitchen figuring out the next great way to put chocolate and peanut butter together, but she did lend her name to it -- and cashed the few checks that came in from the venture.

Kim Kardashian

No. 2: The Kardashians' credit card

Ever wanted to live like a Kardashian? Yeah. Me neither.

But apparently there was a business concern out there that believed there were enough vapid people who would happily shell out money to have a Kardashian-branded credit card.

In 2010 the queens of spending thought it would be a great idea to endorse (and have their pictures emblazoned on) a prepaid credit card. Turns out only about 250 people agreed with them.

The card also brought with it a bevy of obscene fees, drawing the ire of Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.

He said: "I am deeply disturbed by this card's high fees combined with its appeal to financially unsophisticated young adults."

The only winner was Blumenthal, who managed to slam both the Kardashians and the 250 dimwits who got a card in the first place.

In the end, the Kardashians sued the credit card company in an effort to distance themselves from this horrid idea.

Hulk Hogan 2011

No. 1: Hulk Hogan's Pastamania!

In 1995, Hulk Hogan (real name Terry Bollea) foresaw an age where former wrestlers could offer more to the world than ripping off their shirts and making crazy eyes at TV cameras. A few years later Jesse Ventura would take on the world of politics, but before that, Hogan tried to change humanity via pasta.

After leaving the world of wrestling, Hogan opened a restaurant inside the Mall of America called Pastamania! It featured such palate-ticklers as Hulk-U's and Hulkaroo's.

Unfortunately, there wasn't enough belief in Hulk's vision (Philistines!), so Pastamania! closed its doors within just a year of opening.

It's too bad all this transpired almost 20 years ago. Given his penchant for reality television, he could have asked Gordon Ramsey to help him out and he would have been on another show.

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