Most people (somewhat logically) assume that celebrities are pretty rich. After all, you can’t appear on the red carpet, star in shows and movies, and produce hit records without having at least some money, right? While that makes sense in theory, the way money works in Hollywood isn’t exactly conventional, and there are some celebrities you may see often who aren’t doing so well financially.
There are a number of reasons why famous people go broke. Some are paid a lump sum of cash and immediately spend it all on frivolous things. Some are expected to take care of family and friends, and eventually run out of funds quicker than they should. There are also some famous people who enter into bad contracts with Hollywood executives, and still have to make appearances and record albums, without a significant amount of take-home pay. Whatever the reason, the sad reality is that there is a downside to Hollywood—like most things in life. There are some stars who look carefree and beautiful on the red carpet, but are struggling to pay their household bills on time. Here are 12 celebrities who can’t pay their rent these days.
12. Chris Tucker
Actor and comedian Chris Tucker is known for his movies Rush Hour and Friday, and for a while, it seemed like he was pretty successful. Some were even saying that he was poised to be the next Eddie Murphy. However, he didn’t quite manage his money like Murphy. There was a point when Chris owed more than $14 million in previous taxes. According to Forbes, Tucker was hit with a $14.5 million lien by the IRS, and he had to work out a deal to pay off the debt. Chris tried to make a comeback on Netflix in 2015, but he was sued by comedian Terry Hughes, who claimed that he worked for Tucker for years and never got paid. Tucker counter-sued and the matter was settled out of court, but we’re guessing we haven’t seen much of Chris because he’s still trying to figure out a way to pay his rent.
11. Tila Tequila
Remember back in the day when Tila Tequila was a Myspace celebrity? She was also a model in the car circuit for a while, then made a name for herself in reality television, where she got a reputation for being a party animal. Then 2016 rolled around, and Tila Tequila seemed to have fallen on hard times. She started begging her fans for financial help so that she could pay her bills and buy furniture for her home. This is a pretty good indication that Tequila is probably having a hard time paying her rent. The last time she was seen on TV was in 2015 for Celebrity Big Brother, and she earned $175,000 for the show. So, either Tila has been living way beyond her means, or she’s not really that broke and is just trying to bum money off her fans. She also made headlines for writing a blog post about the fact that she “understood” Hitler, which may not get her too much support from fans.
10. Brett Butler
Remember comedienne and actress Brett Butler from the 1990s sitcom Grace Under Fire? Well, there’s a reason we haven’t heard much from her these days. She’s been trying to find ways to pay her rent (that don’t involve being in the spotlight). Butler suffered from substance abuse for years, which cost her her starring role on the show, and her celebrity in general. She left Los Angeles and settled on a farm in Georgia to raise animals and get her life back on track, and went to rehab a few times. Her rehab stints cost her all the money she had, and she lost the farm. Brett had to live in homeless shelters every once in a while, which she revealed in a 2011 interview with Entertainment Tonight. Butler has since had some recurring role on shows like Anger Management and The Young and The Restless, but we’re guessing making those rent payments is still a struggle.
9. Willie Aames
Willie Aames was one of the top stars of the 1980s. He was the “best friend” on Charles In Charge, and also starred on the show 8 Is Enough, which made him a household name. At one point, he was making over a million dollars in a year’s time. But in 2009, Aames’ house went into foreclosure, and he held a public auction to try and make some cash while going through a bankruptcy. After his popularity waned, it was hard for Aames to find work, and he tried to revive his career by starring in children’s Christian videos as the character Bibleman. Willie Aames had to sleep under park benches at times, and revealed to Entertainment Tonight that he’s attempted to get himself back on track since then. We’re not sure what he’s doing these days, but Aames is offering financial advice to others, warning them to manage their money wisely.
8. Sly Stone
For about 20 years, from the 1960s to the 1980s, Sly and the Family Stone were one of the most popular bands in music. The group was responsible for hits like “Everyday People”, “Hot Fun in the Summertime” and “Dance to the Music.” Sly Stone was off the radar for years, and was “discovered” in 2011, when it was reported that he was living in a van. An elderly couple who lived nearby saw to it that he had at least one hot meal a day, and the son of the couple served as Sly’s assistant. Sly Stone lost his fortune due to substance abuse and scandalous management. One shady deal with a manager even stopped him from getting royalties from his music. Sly Stone was able to win a judgment in 2015 for $5 million against his manager. Unfortunately, the money was lost when a judge discovered that Stone had traded his rights to royalites for 50% ownership in a production company. So, it looks like Sly is right back where he started.
7. Alexis Bellino
Zillow reported that Alexis Bellino of the Real Housewives of OC was on the verge of foreclosure for quite some time. She and her husband Jim, were working on loan modification for their home in Newport Beach, and rescheduled their foreclosure auction until 2011. Two years later, it was still reported that the couple were bouncing from house to house in order to afford their residence(s). In 2015, it was reported that Alexis Bellino’s husband bought her a new wedding ring that is worth a lot of money, which is probably just a gesture to make everyone think that their money problems are over. However, there’s a good chance that the couple should be careful with money before they start having “rent” problems again.
6. Mischa Barton
Just a few years ago, it seemed like actress and model Mischa Barton was going to be the next big thing. Unfortunately, she ran into a situation that most young actors face—having a parent for a manager. The Hollywood Reporter states that Barton’s mother would lie to Mischa about how much she was making, and keep the difference for herself. Barton’s mom would even charge her daughter a management fee. Mischa also claims that her mom kicked her out of her own house and took out loans on the property (she was able to do this because she co-signed on the house). Mischa’s mom also established companies in her daughter’s name, but kept all the money for herself and left Barton with nothing. What a shame.
5. Terrell Owens
Terrell Owens earned around $70 million during his time in the NFL. But these days, he’s having a hard time making the rent. Owens went broke in 2012, and it’s been estimated that he owes about $50,000 in child support per month. He’s got children with four different women, so that’s got to be expensive. It was also reported a couple of years ago that Terrell Owens was trying to find success as a model (after all, he is a pretty good looking guy), but we’re not sure how that’s panning out. From what we can tell, paying the rent is still an issue for the former football star.
4. La Toya Jackson
Michael Jackson’s sister apparently inherited her family’s genes when it comes to managing money. A singing career for La Toya Jackson didn’t quite work out the way she’d hoped, and she had to get out of a contract early. She then filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1995. Years later, she got a reality show on the OWN network called Life With La Toya, but the show has since been canceled. We’re assuming that she has at least a little of the Jackson money to live off of, but you just can’t be too sure. After all, her brother Jermaine has had a hard time paying his rent these days, too.
3. MC Hammer
MC Hammer was one of the most famous rappers of the 1980s and early 1990s. Once Hammer started making money, he spent most of his fortune supporting family members and friends, and “hiring” them to be part of his entourage. He also spent a good portion of his $33 million fortune on living an extravagant lifestyle. In the mid-1990s, he filed for bankruptcy and was $13.7 million in debt. These days, MC Hammer has made a few appearances here and there. He was disappointed by the short-lived success of singer Psy, since he appeared with him on a few occasions and likely thought it would lead to his music comeback. Hammer has also made appearances on Christian television stations, talking about the ways that he has learned from his mistakes.
2. Young Buck
The rapper from Tennessee had a pretty promising future as part of 50 Cent’s hip-hop entourage, G-Unit. However, Young Buck’s home was raided by IRS agents, and he was forced to file for bankruptcy. His is yet another case of celebrities rising to fame too quickly and squandering their money. Young Buck filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy, and had to work out a five-year agreement to pay back his debts. Once he satisfies his end of the agreement, he’ll get his possessions back. So, it’s pretty safe to assume the paying rent on a monthly basis is somewhat of a challenge—especially since we haven’t heard any new music from Young Buck lately.
1. Allen Iverson
Allen Iverson is a classic case of a rich athlete who didn’t make the right choices with his money. Iverson is an 11-time NBA all-star, and he earned $154 million during his time as a basketball star. Allen spent the majority of his money on cars, homes and extremely expensive jewelry. Iverson also blew a considerable amount of money paying his entourage, and making sure that his friends and family were able to live a lavish lifestyle. By 2012, Allen Iverson lost all his money—and his marriage. There’s been talks of Iverson making a career comeback, but it looks like that’s just not going to happen. We’re not sure how he’s paying the rent these days, but chances are it’s not particularly easy.