Wow. $24 million.
I mean, really. How could one go that far in debt? A truckload of Hasselblad H3's with every lens and all the goodies wouldn't even scratch the paint on it.
I can't even get my head around it.
FWIW it is not uncommon for very successful people to lose track of money. Someone I consulted for, who became a friend, had earnings that very very few obtain. I dont want to mention numbers. He was generous to a fault. He was a gifted surgeon and took on countless cases that paid little or nothing. But because he was gifted, he made a vast fortune despite his generosity.
Over his career he bought many properties and businesses and their cash flow combined with his earnings gave him a cash flow that was impressive, to say the least. A combination of his generous nature, plus what turned out to be decades of bad management, theft he endured, bad luck, and all the things that can go wrong, did ultimately go wrong. But if he ever cared he never showed it, because his earnings were so great.
He became very ill due to cancer, and that caused him to be unable to work. That was the tipping point for him and his cash flow dried up quickly. Adding to that, he fell into the hands of both incompetent and dishonest assistants (lawyers and his managers) and years of mis-management that were never revealed due to his income. In the end, he lost the vast majority of what he had. It was all his fault, and I believe he never saw it coming.
The reason I mention this is that it is not uncommon for successful (read that wealthy) people to lose track of their wealth. If something becomes as common as water, people will share it increasingly, thinking that they are invincible.
It appears that she likely fell into at least some of the same issues as my friend (who has passed on). I dont know if she became ill, but it wouldnt be surprising to suspect that she suffered from burnout. Combine a reduction of cash flow, with decades of expenses based on a very high income and a tendency towards generosity and the results are foreseeable.
The good news is that as long as she stays healthy, according to the article I read, she will have no problem pulling herself out.
The lessons are clear: beware of being too generous and try not to over-extend yourself.