Can you imagine having an incredible amount of wealth and fame in a matter of years, and before you know it, all of it just disappears? Well, that is exactly what has happened to many of the celebrities in this article. While many of them made an astounding amount of money every single year, bad financial decisions, arrests, and terrible spending habits led to their downfall. But not everyone on this list lost it all just by their earnings — some dealt with mental illnesses, lost custody of their kids and were dumped by their spouses. I mean, can it get any worse than that? Find out if and how they recovered from such a downfall below.
14 Heidi Montag
Heidi Montag must definitely be missing the days she was able to pull in up to $100,000 per episode on MTV’s The Hills. But after the reality star developed a serious plastic surgery addiction, followed by the cancellation of the show, it wasn’t long before Heidi would find herself broke — so much that she even had to live with her parents for some time. These days, Heidi is literally signing up to any show that is willing to pay her, such as Couples Therapy and Celebrity Big Brother UK. Ouch.
13 Michael Jackson
Can you believe the supposed fact that Michael Jackson was broke prior to his death? The singer was said to have developed a serious spending habit over the years, and since he hadn’t been touring or making music, his net worth was beginning to shrink by the day. The irony kicked it in, however, when Michael died and his music sales went through the roof. According to reports, since Jackson’s death, he has made well over $500 million, which is far from what he was said to have been worth before his untimely death.
12 Chris Tucker
How in the world do you find yourself $11 million dollars in debt? Well, when you honestly think that you dodge paying your taxes, that’s how. According to sources, actor Chris Tucker didn’t pay the IRS their share of his money — and what’s worse is that he also didn’t pay them during the time he landed some of his biggest paychecks, such as the one for his role in the Rush Hour installment. By the time Uncle Sam slapped the court documents at his door, Chris didn’t even have enough money to pay them back.
11 Mike Tyson
Again, Mike Tyson wasn’t the smartest when it came to his finances, having blown through millions of dollars through spending habits, women, gifts, cars, houses, and so much more. But following a handful of arrests, prison sentences, and bad press, Tyson’s fortune eventually began to shrink — and now it’s at a point where the actor is willing to do anything for a paycheck. His net worth has dropped to a shocking $1 million, and one of the ways Tyson continues to make a reasonable income is through his cameos in movies such as The Hangover.
10 Ja Rule
Ja Rule may have been one of the biggest rap names in Hip Hop during the early 2000's, but his status has definitely over the last couple of years. The rapper, who was arrested on multiple occasions since the release of his last album, had endless hits on the charts throughout 2001 and 2005, but everything seems to have slowed down. A string of bad decisions now sees him struggle to release an album anyone even cares to buy. His lengthy prison sentence was said to have been the nail in the coffin for Ja Rule’s rap career.
T-Boz had one of the best voices in the ‘90s, that’s for sure. So unique, right? The former member of TLC made millions throughout her time in the girl group, but following their split in 2003 (and after the death of Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes), Tionne Watkins would go on to find out she had a tumor in her brain. The costs for her treatments and her surgery were astoundingly high, and since she wasn’t making music anymore, she was literally using the remaining cash to overcome what would’ve been an early death. Fortunately for her, the tumor was removed. On a sad note, Tionne will never be able to perform the way she used to because of it, nor will she probably be able to make up for all the money she lost in the process of paying those medical bills.
8 Britney Spears
Who can forget Britney Spears' infamous meltdown in 2007? Nobody! The singer, who went off the rails following her decision to marry Kevin Federline in 2004, left a lot of people confused when she randomly entered a barber shop and shaved off her hair. From there, she went on to ignite fights with photographers, smashing their cars, having her baby in the front seat of the car without a belt, among other shenanigans. All of this contributed to a judge’s decision in stripping the singer from her children, who were reportedly endangered by their mentally unstable mother. Of course, these days, things are much different. Britney has custody of the kids again and has gotten her life back on track, currently headlining her own residency in Vegas, where she reportedly makes $70 million a year.
7 Amanda Bynes
Amanda Bynes had a huge fanbase when she landed her own show on Nickelodeon, which eventually led to her forming a successful acting career, starring in the likes of Hairspray and She’s the Man. So when her sudden meltdown happened in 2013, everyone was completely stunned. At the time of her downfall, it was reported that things were so bad with Amanda, she was spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a month, infamously taking a taxi from Los Angeles to New York! If that’s not crazy, I don’t know what is. Reports say that Amanda is doing much better these days following several treatment plans, and she reportedly plans on heading back to college to study fashion.
6 Robert Downey Jr.
My, oh my. Robert Downey Jr. probably has one of the best success stories as far as his former drug addiction is concerned. The actor, who infamously admitted to having been addicted to drugs since he was eight-years-old, heavily blamed his drug addict father for his horrific upbringing. And by the time Robert hit his 20's, he had endless run-ins with the law, who would pull him over, only to find heroin and cocaine in the actor’s pockets — oh, and one time, they caught him with a gun in his vehicle. I don’t need to explain to you how well Robert is doing these days for you to understand just how well this man has done for himself following such a tremendous downfall.
5 Charlie Sheen
Charlie Sheen was making up to $1 million per episode during his time on Two and a Half Men, but it seems as if he took all of it for granted because these days, the actor has made endless complaints about his annual earnings. Sheen, who developed an alleged drug habit, was fired from the CBS-backed television show, which only worsened his addiction. Hooking up with p*rn stars, locking them in hotel rooms and refusing to pay child support were just some of Sheen’s shenanigans. And now, everything has come back to bite him in the butt because the actor didn’t even earn up to $1 million last year, which is a huge fall from the reported $27 million he used to make during his time on Two and a Half Men.
4 Amy Winehouse
She might have won several Grammys, sold millions of records worldwide, but Amy Winehouse’s personal life was beginning to affect her so much, her death was bound to happen. Amy had everything she could possibly want, yet she was still dealing with the devil’s substance — alcohol became her substitute to drugs in a bid to eventually stop both, but before she had the chance to do so, her body couldn’t do it anymore and gave up.
3 Lindsay Lohan
How sad to think that Lindsay Lohan was once able to pull in $6 million per film — this was during her Mean Girls days. Soon after, she had a reputation for being difficult to work with, which caused her to lose out on endless movie roles. These days, Lindsay is making money at any place possible. In terms of her Hollywood career, directors aren’t willing to work with her because of her past — they’d rather have the likes of Jennifer Lawrence stars in their films; someone who is reliable.
2 Mariah Carey
Many don’t know this, but Mariah Carey had one of the biggest downfalls in the early 2000's. Many assumed that Mariah was beginning to go crazy following a failed marriage, a severe drop in music sales, and a shockingly bad movie titled Glitter. Carey admitted to entering a hospital for some kind of treatment she would never speak on, but it was clear that Carey was having issues related to her well-being. And then in 2005, the singer makes her comeback with the album The Emancipation of Mimi after a much-needed break from the industry, which sold over 12 million copies worldwide.
1 Chris Brown
It’s crazy to think how Chris Brown’s career has changed following the Rihanna incident. The singer, who infamously got into a physical altercation with his ex-girlfriend in 2009, lost so much through that incident — but most of all, he lost people’s respect for him. Chris’ career has never been the same since then: his music sales have been so-so, his tours are never completely sold out and his bad behavior continues to shine through by his consistent bad choices. The Rihanna incident saw him lose endorsement deals, a planned clothing line, and worst of all, his fanbase, who refused to support the release of his album, Graffiti.