HOLDEN -- John Schneider says he takes full responsibility for the seizure of the John Schneider Studios property over mortgage payments but will not let it end his lifelong dream “to be someone to share my stories with the world.”
The actor-singer-movie producer posted his video statement at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4, on his Facebook social media page “John Schneider Studios.”
In its first two days, it was seen by more than 79,000 people and shared more than 1,500 times.
“Now everything you’ve been hearing, or you’ve heard, is true,” Schneider said in the video. “This is not the sheriff’s doing, OK, not the sheriff’s doing at all.
“This is my doing. The sheriff is not the one that couldn’t pay the mortgage,” Schneider said.
“The sheriff is not the one who got himself into trouble. His department is great, they are all doing their job. This problem is my problem, my doing.”
The actor, who appeared as “Bo Duke” on the popular CBS series “The Dukes of Hazard” from 1979-85, did not say if he had a way to stop the sheriff’s auction.
“We have until Jan. 14 to make something happen, that’s not very much time,’’ Schneider said.
But he did urge fans and supporters to visit his studio’s online store.
The Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office seized the property on Thursday, Jan. 3. It will go up for auction at a sheriff’s sale on Thursday, Jan. 16.
The seizure and sale were issued in 21st Judicial Court on Nov. 5, according to court records. The case was listed as “First Guaranty Bank vs. Johnenelly Inc. & John R. Schneider.”
The property includes a 52.7-acre tract and a 5.7-acre tract. The sale includes a home, sound stages, office and cars on the site.
No details were available on what was paid for the property or what is owed.
Sources say the property is worth over $200,000, according to Lori Steele, Sheriff’s Office spokesman.
“Now if you know me, I’m a story teller,” Schneider said. “First and foremost, I tell stories through music, concerts, events at the studio and in my silly, live posts on Facebook.
“But since the floods of 2016, developing and maintaining a business here has been an uphill battle,” he said.
“What makes matters worse is I’m a story teller and not under any circumstances a businessman.”
This is why he got in touch with Maven Entertainment, the leaseholder and manager of the studio property, he said.
“What they do have is the willingness to work very, very hard toward a common goal we have … having this business make more money than it spends.
“Now, I am not blaming this situation that I’m in right now on the flood, OK,” Schneider said. “I blame it on a dream.”
Since he was a child, Schneider said he has had a dream, “to be someone to share my stories with the world. It’s a big dream.
“This dream is a dream I am not going to give up on.”
Schneider said he and Maven will overcome their situation.
“We’re going to get through this or die trying,” he said.
“Now understand there is risk with any startup company in any category,” he said, whether the product is soap, candles, music, donuts, running a hardware store, restaurant or dinner theater.
“There always, always, always are upfront costs that will exceed your initial income. It’s the nature of the beast.
“Only the diligent, smart and tenacious ever survive any business, any business at all past the first couple of years,” Schneider said.
“Here’s a clue, ready? Success is guarded by problems.”
“Now, if you want to help, if you want to dream alongside us, we make movies, we make music, we have an online store,” Schneider said.
“If you see something you like, buy it, rent it, download it, order it. It’s simple. Only if you see something you like.”
He asked fans to share the store’s Internet link with others.
“I appreciate your thoughts, your words, your prayers,” Schneider said. “But where the rubber meets the road today is the store.”
Schneider also issued a warning to supporters not to be fooled by online scams.
“There’s going to be people on the Internet pretending to be me asking for a donation. Do not fall for this,” Schneider said.
“I will never ask you to donate money through Gofundme or any of that stuff or to the studio. Never. I want to be clear on that.”
Schneider bought the property after a 2012 visit to the area for a reunion of cast members from “The Dukes of Hazard.”
The Holden site, which once was a summer camp, has become a film and recording studio, hosting music shows and a Christmas festival in December.
Schneider’s video statement runs 7½ minutes.
It opens with the sign, “In case If you’re wondering, john schneider …” then a scene of Schneider in a truck, putting it in park, turning off the engine and addressing the camera.
“Hey. First of all, I want to thank you for your concern,” Schneider said.
“There’s a whole lot going on in the world right now but the fact that you’ve been paying attention to my life, and you know the past few years have been interesting to say the least, is kind of amazing.”
Schneider ended his statement thanking his fans and supporters.
“I thank you for your concern and I wish for you and your family to have the very best new year’s; 2019 is going to be great,” he said.
“I’m still making my life the only way I know how. And as Bo would say, I chose this life not because I know any better but because I believe it is better.
“And I’m not going to let anything, or anyone, pollute the well where I drink,” Schneider said.
“Yee haw,” he calls out in Southern yell familiar to his TV show. “I’ll see you on the other side of this.”