On October 7, Jack Johnson of the Columbus Blue Jackets headed down to the federal courthouse to file for bankruptcy. Now, all of the $18 million (not including the $5 million he will make this season) is gone. Who led him to this is a shocker.
This has been about four years in the making, resulting from risky loans at high interest rates, defaults on those loans, creating large fees and even higher interest rates, and three lawsuits against him. “I’d say I picked the wrong people who led me down the wrong path,” Johnson told The Dispatch last week. “I’ve got people in place who are going to fix everything now. It’s something I should have done a long time ago.” He declined any other comment.
Sources close to Johnson have explained to The Dispatch that his parents are a couple of the “wrong people”.
In 2008, Johnson parted ways with Pat Brisson, who also represents Sidney Crosby, Patrick Kane, and Jonathan Toews. He decided to give his parents control of his money, having no financial knowledge. His mother, Tina Johnson, borrowed $15 million in her son’s name against future earnings, which included taking out a series of high interest loans, as many as 18. Since the loans are in his name, he has been sued three times for more than $6 million for defaulting, as in the case of the mortgage of a house in Manhattan Beach, California. Jack Johnson stated his parents purchased the house with his money and without his knowledge. His parents also bought themselves each a car and spent more than $800,000 on upgrades on the Manhattan Beach property. “Jack would ask (his parents) questions: ‘What’s this? What are these guys calling about?’ ” a source said. “And they would tell him not to worry about it, just worry about playing hockey.”
Johnson claims assets of “less than $50,000” and debts of “more than $10 million,” probably closer to $15 million in the bankruptcy filing. A hearing is to be heard on January 23.
Tina Johnson’s cellphone number listed in court documents is no longer in service, and Jack Johnson Sr. has not replied to any of the messages left on his phone. Jack Johnson has now decided to cut off any contacts with his family. It was to the point where he wasn’t even seeing any of the paychecks the Blue Jackets sent his way.
“I’ve seen lots of instances of parents riding their kid’s coattails around,” said an NHL executive familiar with the case. “I’ve never seen a case as ugly as this one, where the parents took such advantage of their kid.”