David Milch, the creator of TV classics like Deadwood and NYPD Blue has accrued around $100 million fortune during his four-decade career in TV. However, there have been reports that he blew it all away on gambling. Mr. Milch's wife, Rita, filed a lawsuit late last year in Los Angeles against their business managers for failing to tell her sooner about her husband's gambling losses.
Between 2000 to 2011, Mr. Milch lost around $25 million betting on horses. Currently, he is in $17 million debt and under repayment plan for back taxes he owes to the US Internal Revenue Service. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mrs. Milch is currently giving her husband allowance to prevent him from wasting any more money and is seeking $25 million in damages.
Mrs. Milch works as an artist. According to her, she has been forced to sell art and jewelry in an effort to raise money. The result of Mr. Milch's gambling have made to resort to living in a modest rented apartment in Santa Monica when previously they have been living million dollar homes.
Business firm Nigro Karlin Segal Feldstein & Bolno LLP (NKSFB) has described the lawsuit as "unusual and outrageous." Patricia Glaser, a lawyer representing the business firm has filed motion to dismiss the lawsuit. She told The Hollywood Reporter: "We do not believe this case has any merit legally or factually, and we are extremely disappointed that they would attempt to sully our client's reputation, in our view with no basis whatsoever."
David Milch, aged 70, began as a write for TV back in the 80s. His TV career started with Hill Street Blues, a police drama, before he created the NYPD Blue, which was a big TV hit, and later, his highly acclaimed Deadwood. The most recent show he created was Luck, a horseracing drama contracted by HBO back in 2011. However, the show cancelled when three horses died during the show's production.
"My dad used to call me a degenerate gambler. You hear that, and you spend time trying to live up to those ideas," said Mr. Milch. "I would say gambling became a problem for me. It distorts relationships, the way you want to live. If you don't realize when it has you in its grip, shame on you."
Mr. Milch is currently working on a movie version of Deadwood along with a TV adaptation of Shadow Country by Peter Matthiessen. Both projects are produced by HBO wherein Mr. Milch have exclusive contract.