Weird Things About Nicolas Cage And Riko Shibata's Marriage

Nicolas Cage married Riko Shibata in February 2021, marking the fifth time the actor tied the knot. While the "Con Air" star is known for outlandish spending habits, his ceremony with Shibata was a low-key, intimate affair. The date was chosen because it was the birthday of Cage's late father, and among the guests was Alice Kim, one of the actor's ex-wives with whom he has remained friends since their split.

Later that year, the "Pig" actor spoke about his marriage to Shibata. "I am a romantic, and when I'm in love, I want to give that person everything I can," he told GQ in March 2022. Cage was adamant that he would not be getting married for a sixth time. "And this is it for me. I mean, this is not happening again. This is it. This is it," he told the publication. The Hollywood veteran also discussed how the public's narrative around his personality was incorrect. "The misconception that I'm crazy, which people seem to enjoy, the madman or whatever," Cage added.

Despite the 32-year age gap between Cage and Shibata, the "Leaving Las Vegas" star truly believed that the fifth time was the charm. "I'm really happily married. I know five is a lot, but I think I got it right this time," he told the Los Angeles Times in January 2022. Even though the age difference may seem immense, it is only one of the unconventional elements of Cage's marriage.

Nicolas Cage proposed over FaceTime

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nicolas Cage was not able to propose to Riko Shibata in the traditional fashion. "The Rock" actor revealed in August 2020 that he was engaged and explained how he was able to pop the question from a different continent. "She left New York and went back to Kyoto, Japan, and I went back to Nevada, and I haven't seen her for six months ... so I finally just said look, 'I wanna marry you,' and we got engaged on FaceTime," he explained on his brother Mark Coppola's radio show on Q104.3.

That unconventional proposal could be explained by the pandemic, but Cage also chose a unique ring and delivery method. "I got her a black diamond engagement ring," he said. "I customized and personalized it, and I actually sent it to her FedEx."

Cage likely had no reservations about sending the ring through the mail, as the piece has a modest price tag of around $5,000. In the past, the "Ghost Rider" star had been known to spend exorbitant amounts on jewelry. Cage was previously sued by his former business manager, Samuel J. Levin, who claimed the actor had spent $33 million on property in one year and acquired approximately 50 pieces of expensive jewelry. One of Cage's extravagant purchases was also one of the first places he brought Shibata on a date.

Nicolas Cage brought Riko Shibata to his tomb

Early on in Nicolas Cage's courtship with Riko Shibata, he brought her to New Orleans to visit his tomb — he had pre-purchased his final resting place years earlier. The relationship between the couple was so new that People identified Shibata as a "mystery woman." Later, Cage spoke about his decision to bring his then-girlfriend to a tomb, which does not have the most romantic connotation. "When you enter a new love, you want to show where you went to school," he told GQ in July 2021. "New Orleans is like the other city I grew up in, so it was meaningful for me to show her New Orleans," the "Face/Off" actor explained.

Cage's tomb is located in the oldest cemetery in New Orleans, St. Louis No. 1. The nine-foot-tall pyramid-shaped tomb does not currently feature Cage's name but has the Latin phrase "omnia ab uno," which translates to "Everything from One," according to Ripley's.

The gravesite is also located near the LaLaurie Mansion, an infamous home previously owned by Cage. Legend has it that the mansion was previously owned by an abusive slave owner named Madame LaLaurie. In addition to being located near an old house of the actors, the cemetery in which the tomb is located is also the final resting place of Marie Laveau, who is known as the "queen of voodoo." Not only did Cage and Shibata have odd dates, but they bonded over their love for exotic animals.

Riko Shibata has flying squirrels

Besides acquiring homes, jewelry, and a tomb, Nicolas Cage has also splurged on exotic pets. Among them, he is rumored to have spent $150,000 on an octopus. So Cage was drawn to Riko Shibata when he found out she, too, had a penchant for collecting unconventional animals. "She likes animals, too, so I asked her, 'Do you have any pets?'" Cage told ET in July 2021, recalling meeting his future wife. "And she said, 'Yes, I have flying squirrels.' ... I thought, 'That's it. This could work out," he added.

Over the years, Cage has spoken fondly of his pets and says his strong connection to animals dates back to his childhood. "I've always responded to cats," he told Vanity Fair in October 2019. "As a child they were my best friends," Cage added. Speaking about his pet cat and dog, the "Gone in 60 Seconds" star elaborated on why he was so fond of animals. "[T]hese are profound relationships that transcend relationships with people even," he told GQ in July 2021 — around the same time he told the anecdote about Shibata's squirrels. "Because there are no people-oriented noises to corrupt the relationship, like jealousy or undercutting."

The following year, the couple gave birth to their first child, whom they almost named after a famous musician.

Their child was almost named after John Lennon

When Riko Shibata was pregnant with her first child with Nicolas Cage, the actor hopenly discussed baby names during interviews. Speaking to GQ in March 2022, Cage said the couple had decided to name their child Akira Francesco if it was a boy, or Lennon Augie if it was a girl. The name was an homage to the "Adaptation" actor's late father August Coppola, who died in 2009. "Augie was my father's nickname. And my uncle has decided to change his name to Francesco," he explained.

The "Lennon" part of the baby's potential name was an ode to Beatles frontman John Lennon. While appearing on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" in April 2022, Cage explained how the Beatles song "Across the Universe" had a profound effect on him as a child, and that made him want to name the baby after the late musician. He also mentioned that the couple knew they were having a girl. "Her name is going to be Lennon, Lennon Augie. Augie after my father. I'll call her Lenny for short," he said at the time.

Once the child was born in August 2022 however, the couple elected to drop the "Lennon" from her name, and decided to name her August Francesca Coppola Cage after family members.