NEW YORK — In a move some are calling the first negative publicity during a long and illustrious career, revered recording artist MC Skat Kat has filed for bankruptcy, according to court documents.
Kat, who first reached stardom with Paula Abdul in their 1989 hit “Opposites Attract” before eclipsing her career, owes millions to several creditors, including New York City’s Gramercy Park Hotel, Porsche and Meow Mix.
“This is merely a normal procedure to get Mr. Kat’s finances in good order,” said Herschel Smitherton, Kat’s attorney. “My client has spent the last few years outliving his income and this is a means to rectify that.”
Kat declined to comment when reached at his private floor at the Gramercy Park Hotel, stating, “I’m a dance floor maniac, a move of my hips is like an aphrodisiac.”
The bankruptcy news came as a shock to his millions of fans, known as “Skat Lovers.” Since his influential album “It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold MC Skat Kat Back” was released in 1991, he’s yet to go a year without at least one song in the Billboard Top Ten.
Kat, whose original name was Jeffrey Stevens Tom Cat, was born in Connecticut in 1971, the son of the influential Morgan Stanley CEO’s cat, Tobias Tom Cat. While attending Yale and working as a DJ at house parties on weekends, Kat started freestyle rhyming to beats. After an executive from Virgin Records saw him perform, he was signed to a multi-million dollar deal and started producing a string of hits.
He recently reunited with his original backing band, the Stray Mob, which was featured in the recent documentary “Some Kind of Monster Kat,” to rave reviews.
Kat was also the focus of a 2011 New Yorker profile by acclaimed writer Sasha Frere-Jones. Kat opened up about his past issues with drug abuse, his fatherless home and his inability to attract opposites. The piece hinted at money woes, mentioning when Kat’s Platinum American Express card was declined at a Burberry.
Abdul could not be reached for comment.
By Andy Boyle, Lincoln Park bureau chief and beard spokesman
Follow @andymboyle on Twitter.