Nicolas Cage Image Credit: AP

 'Gost Rider' actor Nicolas Cage has cited a real estate crash for his multi-million dollar debt.

Landing at the centre of reports he had blown his $150 million fortune, owed the IRS $6.3 million in property taxes, and was taking every acting role he could in order to get out of debt, the 59-year-old has now stressed he never filed for bankruptcy amid his financial struggles, reports aceshowbiz.com.

"I was over-invested in real estate... the real estate market crashed, and I couldn't get out in time. I paid them all back, but it was about $6 million. I never filed for bankruptcy," he told CBS' '60 Minutes' about working his way out of debt.

Journalist replied, "That had to be a dark period for you." Dad-of-three Nicolas - who in September 2022 had his first child with his fifth wife, Riko Shibata, 28, a daughter called August Francesca Coppola Cage - added, "It was dark, sure. Work was always my guardian angel. It may not have been blue chip, but it was still work."

The 'Renfield' actor defended appearing in a string of critically mocked films as he struggled with repayments by saying, "Even if the movie ultimately is crummy, they know I'm not phoning it in, that I care every time."

In August 2019, Cage told The New York Times Magazine about taking back-to-back jobs for financial reasons, saying, "I can't go into specifics or percentages or ratios, but yeah, money is a factor. I'm going to be completely direct about that. There's no reason not to be."

"There are times when it's more of a factor than not. I still have to feel that, whether or not the movie around me entirely works, I'll be able to deliver something and be fun to watch. But yes, it's no secret that mistakes have been made in my past that I've had to try to correct."

"Financial mistakes happened with the real estate implosion that occurred, in which the lion's share of everything I had earned was pretty much eradicated. But one thing I wasn't going to do was file for bankruptcy."