- Publish Date
- Tuesday, 15 December 2015, 7:19AM
• All Black superstar's finances entangled in debt as healthcare, generosity took toll
• New trust set up for young sons, but wife will not be a trustee or beneficiary
Jonah Lomu died broke - now there's a plea to help his sons.
It's a stark truth that has emerged in the wake of the global rugby superstar's death, aged 40, prompting the creation of a trust aimed to provide for his boys Dhyreille, 6, and Brayley, 5.
The Jonah Lomu Legacy Trust excludes the boys' mother, Nadene, Lomu's third wife, as a beneficiary or from having control of any of the funds. However, she will be able to apply to the trust for money to help raise their sons.
The trust has been set up by the NZ Rugby Players Association, and chief executive Rob Nichol says it is a response by business people and friends of Lomu who recognised the need to support the couple's children.
It is now seeking donations from those who want to help Lomu's boys. Mr Nichol said those who set up the trust did so after seeing summaries of Lomu's financial affairs.
Herald inquiries show Lomu's finances entangled with debt. Public records also show his company, Stylez Ltd, has a 2012 Mercedes-Benz bought through UDC Finance bearing the registration plate "Nades1". Lomu also borrowed to buy his 2007 Mercedes V350 peoplemover, which carries the plate "J0nah".
His remaining assets were tied up in a series of apartments in Wellington owned through Stylez and mortgaged to Westpac. They were most recently valued at $740,000.
The family's home in the upmarket Auckland suburb of Epsom, where Lomu died of cardiac arrest, has a rateable value of $2.2 million but is a rental.
Mr Nichol said there would be questions about where Lomu's earnings had gone, with people assuming his income was in line with his status as world rugby's biggest star.
He said the recent Rugby World Cup had presented an opportunity for Lomu to earn big money and find opportunities that would help secure his family's future. "With his illness, it was a tough gig. The Rugby World Cup presented a good opportunity but, man, that took its toll in the worst and saddest way possible."
DONATE: Those wanting to donate to the trust set up for Jonah Lomu's sons can do so through the official jonahlomulegacy.com website or through the lomulegacy.com supporting website, powered by NZME's GrabOne. NZME is the parent company of the NZ Herald and NewstalkZB. Donations can also be made through any branch of the ASB Bank or by online banking to the Jonah Lomu Legacy Trust, account number 12-3647-0022925-00.
For more on this story visit the NZ Herald.