Celebrities often seem like they have it all. Fame, friends, the glamorous life and fortune. But then again, some celebrities go broke. It’s hard to have too much sympathy, especially when you consider the differences between celebrity broke and real people broke. That’s why we don’t feel bad about our list of 31 celebrities that went broke.
1. Allen Iverson
The famous ‘balller Allen Iverson ran into hard times despite making as much as $20 million a season in his prime. He notoriously spent insane amounts of money just to have an entourage the size of a small village.
2. MC Hammer
We guess MC Hammer’s fleeting fame and success didn’t set him up for a lifetime of comfort. The ‘Can’t Touch This’ rapper is known for his large entourage, but he was also stupid enough to buy a $30 million mansion.
3. Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson is probably the most famous performer of all time. But he’s also one of the most tragic. He spent all the money he made trying to recreate a childhood denied him by such early success.
4. Chris Tucker
Despite earning $25 million for a single movie — Rush Hour 3 — Tucker went broke and was forced to sell 3 mansions because he didn’t pay his income tax. Don’t mess with Uncle Sam.
5. Burt Reynolds
A costly divorce and and bad restaurant venture caused this Hollywood hunk to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1996.
6. Kim Basinger
The Hollywood starlet filed for bankruptcy after pulling out of the 1993 film Boxing Helena, when the studio sued her for $7 million. They eventually settled on $3.8 million.
7. Larry King
In 1978 King filed for bankruptcy after being sued by a former business partner. In 1978, King also started the show he is now famous for. He’s come out all right.
8. Wayne Newton
Newton acquired over $20 million in debt after numerous failed business ventures, despite being one of the highest paid performers of all time. He filed chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1992.
9. Mike Tyson
Tyson earned over $400 million from boxing and endorsements, but the fiery guy never could manage his money, eventually having $50 million worth of debt. He’s since turned his situation around and is in great financial shape.
10. Gary Coleman
In 1999, Coleman filed chapter 7 bankruptcy claiming a debt of $72,000.
11. Toni Braxton
We feel bad for Toni Braxton, because, despite enormous success, she has filed bankruptcy twice, and neither time was her fault. The first time was because of a one-sided contract that gave most of the revenue she generated to her studio, and the other because she had to give up performing because of illness.
12. Terrell Owens
Owens made around $70 million playing in the NFL, but knocking up four women and producing kids with each of them would eventually cost the star over $50,000 a month, just in child support.
Our advice? Wear a condom.
13. Dionne Warwick
Dionne Warwick has the voice of an angel. An angel that owed over $11 million to creditors before her 2013 bankruptcy.
14. Meat Loaf
Meat Loaf filed for bankruptcy in the mid-1980s to avoid paying a former business partner anything after a lawsuit was filed against the rocker.
15. Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins
Tionne’s recent financial troubles have come as a result of high medical bills from treating a brain tumor, so she definitely has our sympathy there. In 1995, however, she filed bankruptcy for unknown financial mismanagement.
16. Willie Nelson
Owing over $16 million in back taxes, Willie Nelson declared bankruptcy in 1990. In 1991 he released an album about it and was able to pay back everything to the IRS.
17. Tammy Wynette
The country legend filed for bankruptcy in 1988 after she invested heavily in two Florida shopping malls that failed.
18. Janice Dickinson
The former supermodel had to file bankruptcy in 2013 after amassing over $1 million in debt, most of which belonged to the IRS.
19. Warren Sapp
At the time of his 2012 bankruptcy filing, Warren Sapp had assets totaling $6.45 million, but had debts of $6.7 million. Some of his assets included a pricey lion skin rug and an Air Jordan collection worth over $6 thousand according to court documents. Hmm, we wonder why he went bankrupt.
20. Mickey Rooney
TV funny-man Mickey Rooney once estimated his net worth at over $12 million, but in 1962 filed for bankruptcy citing only a net worth of $500.
The comedian had a
great career, but he made a lot of really bad investments that eventually caused him to have over $11 million in debt and owning back taxes. He filed for bankruptcy recently and said he wouldn’t change a thing.
22. Evander Holyfield
The boxer’s extravagant lifestyle eventually caught up to him, and despite earning over $200 million from boxing and endorsements, Holyfield’s 108-room mansion went into foreclosure and he was forced to sell it to pay off over $14 million in debt. Oh, he also owed back child support. Again, wear a condom.
23. Gary Dourdan
The CSI star filed for bankruptcy in 2012 claiming that his monthly income was down to a paltry $312 and that he owed $1.7 million to creditors — despite $1.8 million in assets. Something doesn’t seem completely right here.
24. Michael Vick
Michael Vick went broke after being imprisoned for his dog fighting ring when his $100 million football contract with the Atlanta Falcons was terminated. He made it out okay — unfortunately.
25. Joan Rivers
The late funny-gal Joan Rivers was forced to file bankruptcy after her husband committed suicide. She picked herself up and came back better than ever. She’ll be sorely missed.
26. Walt Disney
Before succeeding with his animation studio and theme park, Walt Disney had numerous failed business ventures and filed for bankruptcy in 1923. We think he came out of it just fine.
27. Nicolas Cage
Hollywood crazy-man Nic Cage famously wasted millions on islands and dinosaur eggs. Yeah, those weren’t smart investments.
28. Cyndi Lauper
Cyndi Lauper filed for bankruptcy as a struggling musician before making it big. She fought and succeeded where many others failed. Good for her.
29. Tia Carrere
The “General Hospital” star sued the studio claiming they didn’t pay her enough to maintain her lifestyle. That just sounds greedy.
30. Gary Busey
Busey is just crazy. I mean, look at that face.
31. Wesley Snipes
We’ve discussed the dangers of not paying your taxes, and that’s what caused Snipes to go bankrupt, owing more than $12 million to the IRS.