What happens when the rich and famous suddenly become just famous? Going from millionaire to broke while still under the harsh glare of the public eye is certainly not ideal. Celebrity news lovers are big fans of schadenfreude, so a star’s transition from enviable to pitiable is sure to make headlines.
Some former millionaire celebrities have filed for bankruptcy due to overspending and seriously poor money management. Work in show business can be sporadic. Without a continuous stream of income, it’s all too easy for certain people to overstretch themselves and end up with very little money.
This is especially true for athletes, models and reality TV stars whose high-flying careers seem to have an early expiration date. Stories of these individuals losing millions of dollars are depressingly frequent.
Although some manage to get their fortunes back, others remain in massive debt, desperately accepting substandard gigs to try and get back on their feet. The following ten celebrities have yet to recover from the loss of their fortune, and their chances don’t look good.
10. Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt
Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt both came from relatively well off families. When they hit television screens in “The Hills”, they were painted as a self-obsessed and unintelligent couple. The fans loved it, and the pair were pulling in a huge salary. At one time, Montag was being paid $100,000 per episode.
The couple’s families were not impressed with their reality TV personas. Spencer’s dad reportedly even asked his son to change his last name for fear of embarrassment.
But the most bizarre part of Heidi and Spencer’s story happened when the cameras stopped rolling, and it’s the tale of how they lost their fortune.
“We made and spent at least 10 million dollars. The thing is, we heard that the planet was going to end in 2012. We thought, we have got to spend this money before the asteroid hits,” is what Spencer had to say on the issue.
He admits the pair spent copious amounts of money on everyone and everything, even paying people to open doors for them. Obviously, the world did not end in 2012, and so, Heidi and Spencer were left with nothing. They’ve been relegated to the D-list and make occasional reality TV appearances.
T-Boz, or Tionne Williams, came to fame through her musical talent. Part of the award winning group TLC, the singer has made money around the world. Recently, the band has turned to Kickstarter to fund their latest album – the campaign was hugely successful, raising over $430,000.
Before this, however, T-Boz filed for bankruptcy as she owed over $768,000 dollars in debt. Much of this money is tied to her home, which cost over $1 million. Her massive debt was not being reduced fast enough with the income she was generating monthly (which was over $11 thousand). Her debt was also tied to child support bills.
The band is hoping to generate further income with their new album.
8. Terrell Owens
Terrell Owens has not been able to recover from losing much of his money. His football career is over, and so he has been turning to other pursuits. In June of last year, Owens was involved in a Carl’s Jr. Commercial, however, even after this he had no money.
How did the football star lose his massive fortune? Like many before him, and undoubtedly many after, he lost millions due to poor investments and money management.
He also was involved in overspending. After this, his marriage of just three days ended, which further depleted his bank account. Following his commercial with Carl’s Jr, he was reportedly desperate for the NFL to hire him once more, but this did not happen.
7. Teresa Giudice
Teresa Giudice is best known for her role on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. She and her husband were star cast members, attracting fans worldwide. But viewers didn’t know about her financial distress.
Now, the Housewives star is in prison for fraud. So, of course, she’s not generating income from the show, which has her husband concerned. The pair managed to create a debt of over $13 million due to a lavish, unaffordable lifestyle, and they paid the price for it.
According to reports, the couple would spend outrageous amounts of money – which they didn’t have – on all kinds of extravagant items. She and her husband may now be left completely bankrupt after Teresa went to prison. Joe was also sentenced to 41 months for fraud.
6. Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan has been in financial trouble for years now. The young star reportedly has horrible money management skills, spending money faster than she could ever make it. Lohan has even had trouble paying her mortgage, and reportedly had to rely on Charlie Sheen for money ($100 thousand) in 2012.
The star was also famously declined twice when attempting to purchase items from Rag & Bone. So has she learned her lesson? Apparently not. Lohan reportedly continues to borrow money from friends and is generating very little income. LiLo is known for being difficult and unreliable on set, so acting gigs are thin on the ground for the notorious star.
5. Drake Bell
One-time child actor Drake Bell had to file for bankruptcy. Almost $600,000 in debt, the Nickelodeon star was forced to file in order to alleviate his financial burden. Bell claimed to have expenses of over $18 thousand each month, and was only pulling in $2,800 per month.
While some years were better than others in terms of money earned, the year he filed bankruptcy, 2014, was especially poor in this regard. Taxes also played a part. He owned a million dollar home, but his debt exceeded its value. Bell has been making little headway in getting his life on track financially.
His previous co-star, Josh Peck on the other hand, seems to having far more success – he recently starred in Kevin Hart’s comedy blockbuster The Wedding Ringer.
4. Brendan Fraser
Actor Brendan Fraser enjoyed huge commercial success in past decades, but this was not enough to save him from going broke. Although he made millions of dollars for his feature films, this money could not last forever.
He hurt his back attempting to move a tree that had fallen during Hurricane Sandy, and as such, was unable to accept work.
The star also had to pay $900,000 each year in alimony payments since his 2008 divorce, which further exhausted his funds. Following this, he pled poverty in order to have this massive amount reduced.
Due to his injury, he was worried about making payments, and making enough to live on. Fraser, who was once a huge box office draw in films like The Mummy, is currently involved in a TV mini series called “Texas Rising” but has no plans for feature films in the works.
3. Toni Braxton
Toni Braxton was one of the bestselling vocal artists in the 90’s, but has recently come under money troubles. In 2014, she bought a $3 million mansion, despite claiming to have no money. This caused a stir with fans.
The singer filed for bankruptcy before this, which led many to wonder where the money for her new pad came from. In 2012, she alluded to having money management problems by claiming she had a “home-decor addiction” while experiencing business troubles.
Her debt, when she filed for bankruptcy, was between $10 and $50 million. Braxton also had previously filed for bankruptcy in 1998, too. Many think that she has not solved her money issues and perhaps never will.
2. Teri Polo
1. Aaron Carter
Aaron Carter, best known for a short-lived pop career and for being the brother of a Backstreet Boy, went bankrupt after spending millions of dollars. He owed over $2 million in credit bills and tax bills, which was later reduced to $8,000.
After he filed for bankruptcy, the courts discharged his debt, including back taxes. However, this move did little to help him with his spending habits.
Part of this debt was due to drug addiction, which may or may not still be a part of his life. His money problems, as well as his drug issues, started when he was a part of Dancing With the Stars.
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