There is an expression in life “having had money and losing it is worse than ever having it in the first place.” Celebrities are known to have the most luxurious houses and very expensive sports cars, but having all this money can also cause some financial problems. Many celebrities had to declare bankruptcy whether that was because they made poor investment decisions, they had mismanagement of their money by others or by spending their money on unnecessary items that they don’t need.
When you live in a lavish world and you’re surrounded by all the glitz and glamour that Hollywood has to offer, it’s hard not to get caught up with the pressures of fame. Some celebrities go from being child stars to being drug addicts; others go from being the largest and most popular Hollywood working actors to becoming homeless and broke. From poor decision making to having a bad reputation in the industry, one thing they all have in common is that their fame can go away in the matter of seconds once their wealth is gone. Here are 15 very well-known celebrities who have lived in the lap of luxury, but are now flat broke.
15 Pamela Anderson
Pamela Anderson is best known for being the blonde bombshell that men fell in love with on the popular series Baywatch. She fell in love with the Hollywood lifestyle and became one of the most popular cast members. But, just because she had prominence and wealth doesn’t mean she can’t lose it as quickly as she gained it. Also, it’s been a very long time since Anderson was booked any television shows or movies. The reason she went destitute was because of her diva-like lifestyle - she is extremely high maintenance and loves when people cater to her every need. She allegedly spends a lot of money on plastic surgery and more than $1 million to spruce up her house. She had to declare bankruptcy and sold the house that she had just newly finished renovated. To make matters worse, at one point of her life, Anderson’s even got her name known as one of Top 500 Delinquent Taxpayers list.
14 Gary Dourdan
Gary Dourdan is best known for playing the role of Warrick Brown in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Dourdan may have had success with the popular television show, but his personal life had several mishaps. During his career, he has had several run-ins with the law. Fame and fortune got to his head, and in 2008, he was arrested for possession of drugs. To make matters worse, in July 2011, Dourdan crashed his car, and was charged with substance abuse. He didn’t learn his lesson because in November 2011, he was arrested again for felony battery after allegedly breaking his girlfriend's nose and was placed on probation for five years. He had to attend 52 weeks of domestic violence counseling. Eventually after losing all his money, Dourdan filed for bankruptcy in August 2012.
13 Brendan Fraser
Brendan Fraser is a Hollywood actor who is best known for his films such as Encino Man, The Scout, George of the Jungle, Furry Vengeance and Looney Tunes: Back in Action. He was a very successful working actor at one point of his career, so this may come to a surprise for you all, but yes, he is flat broke. During his professional life, he was making a ton of money but his personal life cost him a pretty penny. Fraser had to spend $75,000 each month for child support. In early 2013, Fraser asked the courts for a reduction of his alimony and child support payments; he declared that he was unable to meet the responsibility of paying $900,000. While his personal life was crumbling behind the scenes, his ex-wife also accused him of hiding financial assets.
12 MC Hammer
MC Hammer is best known for being a hip hop recording artist, dancer, record producer, spokesman and actor. He had a very successful career from his hit song “Can’t Touch This”, but even though this rap legend was at the height of his career, it doesn’t mean he can’t lose it all in a blink of an eye. The reason he lost most of his fortune was because he spent all his money on luxury cars, airplanes, and he also had to pay his entourage who followed him everywhere, as well building a mansion worth $30 million that was equipped with a bowling alley, 17 car garages, and baseball diamond. In 1996, the rapper lost all his money, fame and fortune and had to declare bankruptcy. Hammer had told the courts at that time that he owed more than $14 million in debt.
11 Kim Basinger
Kim Basinger is best known for being an actress and a former fashion model. She was famous for her role as Lynn Bracken in the film L.A. Confidential. During her career she won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress as well as winning an Oscar. Since then, Basinger had a successful acting career, as she was making moves in Hollywood and getting cast in future films. But, unfortunately an incident occurred when she and other investors had bought the town of Braselton, Georgia, for $20 million planning to turn it into a tourist destination, not realizing that she may have to sell it later on. Fast forward a couple of years later, and she and the studio had made a settlement for $3.8 million instead and decided to file for bankruptcy.
10 Francis Ford Coppolla
Francis Ford Coppolla is best known for being a screenwriter, film director, and producer. He was once known as Hollywood’s “it director”. From winning three Academy Awards —including his second Oscar, he followed up with a few more sequels to The Godfather. He has also been an executive producer for a number of films and television series, including Lost in Translation, Marie Antoinette and The Good Shepherd. Besides creating and producing films, he also has a California winery. The reasoning for him losing his wealth was because he borrowed money to finance the musical production One From the Heart from several banks, but when the film was not a successful, he had filed for bankruptcy protection for the second time in three years.
9 Sinbad (David Adkins)
Sinbad, or David Adkins is best known for being a stand-up comedian and actor. His show became very successful and he became a well-known Hollywood actor. But even though he may have looked very wealthy to some industry people, unfortunately the actor had some skeletons in his closet. He has filed for bankruptcy twice, and the second time it was because he owed an IRS bill of over eight million dollars. To make matters worse, back in 2009, Sinbad was also placed in the Top 10 of the Worst Tax Debtors for the state of California because he owned the state $2.5 million in personal income tax. Nowadays, on top of being broke, Sinbad has some health issues too that he needs to sort out.
8 Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan is best known for being once known as a very popular young Hollywood actress. She has been in several films such as The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday, Mean Girls and many more. Viewers fell in love with her vibrant personality and Lohan was at the height of her career, but unfortunately behind the scenes, her personal life was spinning out of control. In 2012, she had to declare bankruptcy and to make matters worse she wasn’t landing any acting gigs for quite some time. Therefore, the IRS got involved and had to put a stop to all of her luxuries and assets because she owed nearly a quarter million dollars. She also recently had to pawn $14,000 worth of her clothing to afford her apartment.
7 Scott Storch
Scott Storch is best known for being a famous record producer that has produced albums for many celebrities such as Beyonce, 50 Cent, T.I., Chris Brown, Nas, Snoop Dogg, Pink, and many more. During his career, Storch hit some legal trouble after reportedly falling behind on both his child-support payments and his property taxes. Besides that, he was also arrested for grand theft auto and for failing to return a Bentley he had leased three years prior. After many interventions from his loved ones he checked into an intensive inpatient rehab program. In June 2015, he finally filed for bankruptcy because he was officially broke. His drug habit was so bad that he blew $30 million in six months. Besides his personal life, his professional was merely non-existent, when recording artists were dropping him after he couldn’t clean up his act. Nowadays, he’s still trying to make a comeback, but unfortunately he’s addicted to drugs and refuses to get help.
6 Courtney Love
Courtney Love is best known for being the lead singer of the band Hole, or you all may know her for also being the girlfriend of Kurt Cobain of Nirvana. She acted in some films such as Jean-Michel Basquiat biopic Basquiat, and Feeling Minnesota. But, not long after Kurt Cobain died, she developed a huge drug habit and ended up spending way too much money that sent her into bankruptcy. Love had to sell her house and give up a few of her prized possessions in order to pay off her debts. She had a serious drug addiction and refused to get help. To make matters worse, her personal life was out of control and she was involved in some legal troubles.
5 Wesley Snipes
Wesley Snipes is best known for being an actor, and producer. He was once known as one of the biggest actors in Hollywood. During his career he also appeared in a Michael Jackson music video called "Bad." His career was at a high and Snipes was making tons of money but all of that changed very quickly. In 2006, Snipes was busted for tax evasion and had to go to jail for a few years. He was indicted for tax fraud for failing to pay over $12 million in taxes over the course of six years. In April 2013, he was finally free after serving three years in prison. Nowadays, he has been released from prison and is hoping to find a job in doing what he loves most and that is acting in films.
4 Meat Loaf (Michael Lee Aday)
Meat Loaf, or Michael Lee Aday is best known for being a musician, singer, songwriter, record producer. During his professional career he got asked to partake in the musical The Rocky Horror Show, playing the role of Eddie and Dr. Everett Scott. Meat Loaf decided to leave his love for theater, and just focus solely on music. But some bad news struck, when his band mate and friend Steinman filed a lawsuit against him for not getting enough royalties on the songs. Unfortunately, that caused Meat Loaf to go broke. After all the drama, he decide to file for bankruptcy. Nowadays, he has many health issues, he is diagnosed him with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome and he recently collapse on stage while he was on tour; the reasoning for that was because he was dehydrated.
3 Toni Braxton
Toni Braxton is best known for being a singer, songwriter, actress, television personality, and philanthropist. Once known as the “Queen of R&B" and being recognized to have one of the most outstanding voices of this generation, her hit songs were called "He Wasn't Man Enough" and "Un-Break My Heart." During her career she has sold over 67 million records, including 41 million albums. But unfortunately, her fame had led to some overspending and at one point she had no choice but to file for bankruptcy. In 2011, she and her family starred in a television series called Braxton: Family Values, but the ratings weren’t the best and the network cancelled the show. Nowadays, from battling health issues, she decided to retire from her career as a recording artist and on top of more bad news; she has lost the copyright to 27 of her favorite songs which she’s trying to get back.
2 Gary Busey
Gary Busey is best known for playing the role of Joshua in the popular film Lethal Weapon and he’s identified for being the actor who was once in many popular commercials on our television screens. From his crazy shenanigans, spending his money on unnecessary items to a having drug addiction, it’s no wonder that Busey developed some financial misfortunes, as well as a lot of medical problems. One incident had occurred where he had gotten into a serious motorcycle accident which left him with permanent brain damage. Then on top of more bad news, he was later on diagnosed with cancer. From having two major medical procedures done, Busey was left with a ton of medical bills that put him in massive debt. Instead of declaring bankruptcy, he has tried to repay the money.
1 Nicolas Cage
He had a very successful acting career at first, but the pressures of fame and Hollywood definitely got to him. From purchasing mansions, private jets, boats and luxurious cars, unfortunately Cage took his fortune for granted. He didn’t have as much money as he thought since he went bankrupt with $14 million in debt. He went through $150 million like water, on top of it all he owned the IRS $13 million. He was in some legal trouble as well, in April 2011, Cage was arrested in New Orleans for suspicion of domestic abuse battery, disturbing the peace and public intoxication after he allegedly grabbed his wife's arm while appearing to be under the influence of alcohol. Nowadays, since his bad reputation in the industry, he hasn’t landed any acting roles and he just recently got divorced to his wife of 12 years.
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