The Associated Press reports that Jessica Cutler has filed for bankruptcy.
What happened to the $300,000 she received as an advance for her book (the dollar figure comes from the complaint in Steinbuch v. Cutler), the money that HBO paid her for the rights to make a TV show based on the book, and the money she received for posing nude for Playboy?
A lot of it went to attorney's fees (according to the Wonkette blog): $54,000 to her second attorney, and then her third attorney, John Umana, withdraws from her case for non-payment of legal fees.
While it's tempting to make fun of Jessica for pissing away $300,00, I can see how after taxes and perhaps $100,000 of legal fees, there wouldn't be much of that left. With the specter of a long lawsuit ahead, filing for bankruptcy probably made good sense. This, unfortunately, means we may never get a resolution to that lawsuit because Steinbuch is probably left with a lawsuit against a bankruptcy estate which doesn't have much money in it. (But it has been a while since I studied bankruptcy law, so I could be wrong about that.)
The more I think about Steinbuch's lawsuit, the angrier I get. I really hope that the court makes him pay for her legal fees. This is not because I like Jessica, but because I strongly feel that people shouldn't be forced to pay six figures in legal fees for what they write in their personal blog about their personal life experiences. No blogger is safe from losing their entire life savings if Steinbuch is allowed to get away with this.