Millionaire Who Lost Entire Fortune Became Castaway
David Glasheen, 78, has been living like a castaway for 25 years, and it's all by choice.
As reported by the Hustle, Glasheen lives on a remote island in northern Australia, where he builds his shelter, finds his food and entertains himself.
Spending much of his time alone, Glasheen says his only companions are two mannequins named "Miranda" and "Phyllis."
But, before that, he was a successful entrepreneur who owned two yachts and multiple properties and was worth nearly $30 million.
What would compel a one-time multimillionaire to trade in a life of luxury and comfort for a destiny of seclusion while looking like Santa Clause on vacation foraging for oysters barefoot?
Forty years ago, David Glasheen was at the height of his career in the tobacco industry, and he also launched an ice cream brand.
"After some years doing that, I was itching to ditch the corporate shackles and do my own thing," Glasheen told Zachary Crockett reporting for the Hustle.
A friend reportedly approached Glasheen with a lead on a gold mine in Papua New Guinea, which Glasheen says he helped raise $2 million in capital to launch a mining exploration firm.
This investment sent Glasheen's net worth into the millions, according to the story.
However, on Oct. 19, 1987, Wall Street crashed. Glasheen had been borrowing heavily against his properties, and the banks came knocking asking for payment.
By 1991, Glasheen was evicted from his home, and the financial strain ruined his marriage and impacted his family life. He began drinking. He grew irritable and distant.
Glasheen says he "slept on friends' couches" for several years while cobbling together cash by brokering relationships in the mining sector.
Eventually, Glasheen settled down with a beauty salon owner named Denika and attempted to fall back into domestic life, but he was yearning for a true escape.
Glasheen was then introduced to Maʼalpiku Island National Park or Restoration Island, and the paradise-soaked island reignited his soul.
In 1997, Glasheen said he "packed a small suitcase with a few shirts, some board shorts, a torch, and toiletries, and decided to move there on his own."
He has been there ever since.