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Elon Musk’s billionaire moon passenger says he’s broke

Yusaku Maezawa: Zozo CEO and future SpaceX tourist.
Yusaku Maezawa: Zozo CEO and future SpaceX tourist.
Image: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
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One of Japan’s richest men, and SpaceX’s first scheduled moon tourist, announced on Twitter yesterday (May 4) he will be selling several of his valuable artworks. When Yusaku Maezawa was asked online if it was because he was broke, he responded, “Yes, I never have any money because I always spend it.”

The statement, which was followed with a laughing emoji, is not likely true. However, his fortunes have indeed seen better days. Over the past year, the CEO of online fashion retailer Zozo lost $700 million, dropping his standing on Forbes’s list of Japan’s Richest from 18th to 22nd. His net worth is reportedly $2 billion.

Maezawa isn’t a stranger at the auction house. In 2017, he made headlines for spending $98 million over two days on art at Sotheby’s and Christie’s, ending with a record-breaking $110.5 million purchase of a painting by Basquiat.

The paintings he plans to sell now are worth millions, and will include a Warhol. They will be auctioned off by Sotheby’s on May 16 during the Contemporary Art Evening Auction in New York.

Maezawa caught the world’s attention last year when he paid an undisclosed sum to travel as a private passenger aboard SpaceX’s first flight around the moon, which is scheduled for 2023. It’s unclear whether that’s refundable.