Bryn Edelstein and her husband Geoffrey in the Emirates marquee at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day. Tuesday 5th November 2013.

Brynne Edelsten and her husband Geoffrey in the Emirates marquee at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day. Photo: Jesse Marlow

Geoffrey Edelsten's international business empire may be on the brink of collapse after the controversial entrepreneur filed for bankruptcy in the US.

The bid to seek protection from creditors throws into question the lavish jet-setting lifestyle enjoyed by Mr Edelsten - who only three years ago was believed to be worth $100 million - and his reality TV star wife, Brynne.

The disgraced former doctor recently borrowed money from his 90-year-old mother, secured with a stake in his Melbourne penthouse.

Dr. Geoffrey Edelsten

Bankrupt: Dr Geoffrey Edelsten. Photo: Ken Irwin

Mr Edelsten's Australian solicitor claimed the bankruptcy would have a ''minimal impact'' on his Australian financial interests and any ''legitimate'' creditor here could expect to be repaid in full.

The 70-year-old declared himself bankrupt to a court in Ohio on Thursday, one day before a hearing in the long-running legal battle against his former US business partners, the Mawardi family.

Mr Edelsten and the Mawardis had been fighting for control of assets that included a fashion label, a Dominican Republic casino, a luxury jet and two slum housing complexes.

In the federal bankruptcy petition, Mr Edelsten said he had debts of $18.2 million. He claimed he was worth between $US10 million ($11.1 million) and $US50 million.

Creditors included the Australian Taxation Office, US state and federal tax authorities, National Australia Bank, his mother, Singapore casino and hotel Marina Bay Sands, joint business ventures with the Mawardi family and his personal accountants and lawyers in the US and Australia.

Mr Edelsten's Australian lawyers claimed the bankruptcy filing was a strategy to ''better realise the investments made in the US''.

''My client has filed a Chapter 11 [bankruptcy] procedure,'' said legal firm Webb Korfiatis, which was allegedly owed $50,000 by Mr Edelsten. ''I am instructed that my client does not intend selling any personal assets in Australia, including the CBD penthouse.''

The reporters are listed on Mr Edelsten's Australia's Worst Journalist website.