Billionaire Australian Casino Tycoon Leaves Company Over Mental Health Issues Linked To Mariah Carey

Depression and anxiety have forced James Packer away from his casino empire.

According to a report from The Guardian, a spokesperson for Packer, who has a net worth of $4 billion, said that he has left the board of Australia-based Crown Resorts due to “mental health issues.” The report stated that he visited the U.S., where his children live, in order to treat his depression and anxiety.

“At this time he intends to step back from all commitments,” the spokesman said. The report said that he resigned and there’s no timeline for when he could return.

Packer, who recently had a short-lived and expensive engagement to singer Mariah Carey, has battled with mental health issues in the past, some of which hurt his ability to run his company. Packer, 50, reportedly was recently probed as part of a corruption investigation into Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, though he hasn’t been charged with any wrongdoing. The allegation was that Netanyahu accepted gifts from Packer, who has spent significant time in Israel.

Carey apparently had a devastating impact on Packer. She reportedly kept the $10 million engagement ring and requested a $50 million settlement from Packer.

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An October report from The Australian detailed Packer’s almost Howard Hughes-like unraveling. Packer, said the report, “acknowledges he’s lost friends, put on weight and, for the past year, become a recluse.” Packer spoke candidly of his troubles.

“I was at a low point in my personal life,” Packer said of when he started to date the pop star in 2016. “[I]t was a mistake for her and a mistake for me.”

Packer’s casino company tried to enter into the Las Vegas casino market, but its projects there never panned out. Packer is said to have lost nearly $2 billion on casino investments in the U.S. thanks to the 2008 financial crisis. Most recently, rival casino operator Wynn Resorts bought the land that Crown had once eyed for a casino-hotel called Alon.

“In Vegas I should have owned Cosmo,” Packer said. “It was a great deal, but unfortunately we didn’t do that deal and bought the land next to Wynn instead.”

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