It seems easy for all of us to think that celebrities have it made in the shade, with their big bank accounts and luxurious lifestyles, but celebrities don’t always have it easy. With fame and fortune comes a whole new set of problems. It may come as a surprise to some of us, but many celebrities are taken advantage of and sometimes are a little too trusting with their finances. When you are working on the set and have millions of dollars to your name, sometimes it’s hard to keep track of everything.
10 Uma Thurman
Uma Thurman seems like a tough customer in Kill Bill, so it’s hard to believe such a smart and clever lady was scammed out of $1 million by her financial planner, Kenneth Starr. He had been retained by Thurman to manage her financial portfolio. Eventually, Thurman noticed the money was missing and confronted him. He immediately paid her back, but with another client’s money. It was soon revealed that Starr had lifted $33 million dollars from his clients, to support his ex-stripper wife’s expensive spending habits. Starr was so busy impressing and spoiling his wife that he ditched his celebrity clients. Starr was prosecuted and sentenced to 90 months in jail.
9 Ben Stiller
Financial planner and manager, Dana Giacchetto took Ben Stiller for a ride. Stiller’s main money adviser turned out to be, not so “stellar”. It was discovered that Giacchetto had taken $250,000 dollars from Ben Stiller, in addition to taking $10 million dollars from his other famous clients. Dana Giacchetto got three years in prison for stealing from his clients. Seems like a light sentence for causing such a big headache for Ben Stiller.
8 Billy Joel
Billy Joel’s ex-brother-in-law, Frank Weber, at one time managed Joel's music career. Joel unfortunately had to file a $90 million dollar lawsuit against his relative in 1989 over fraud. The story according to Joel is that Weber used Joel’s millions to set up deals that would make Weber himself wealthy, but were not necessarily in the best interest of Joel. The suit created a series of other lawsuits that also included Billy Joel’s lawyers and accounting people. In the end, Joel received only $8 million dollars out of the original $90 million dollars he tried to obtain.
7 Liv Tyler
Every Hollywood starlet needs a great skin expert in order to make sure they always look perfect for the camera. One of the famous skin expert's to the stars was Mari Gabriela Hashemipour, who used to work on singer Cher and actress Jennifer Aniston. One of her top clients was also actress Liv Tyler. Hashemipour was retaining her client’s credit card numbers and was charging up the cards with her own spending. Liv Tyler was hit hard. Her managers eventually noticed $214,000 dollar in charges on the actress’s credit card accounts that were not Tyler's purchases. Turns out, Hashemipour was doing a lot more than giving facials. She was spending her time shopping.
Sting has been making music for a long time and has stored up quite a lot of money, so maybe that’s why he didn't notice such a large amount went missing during the 15 years that Keith Moore, his financial adviser, handled his portfolio. Moore removed money from over 100 accounts to a total of $9.8 million dollars. Sting did not notice any theft for quite some time. Moore then squandered the money in bad investing and on personal expenditures. The main topic surrounding this scandal was people wondering how Sting didn't notice the money was missing in the first place.
5 Elton John
Elton John sued business manager, Andrew Hadyon and Pricewaterhouse Coopers, for mismanagement of tour payouts. The total estimate for the lawsuit was $29 million dollars. The court could not find the evidence conclusive and disagreed with John’s findings. Elton John had to pay $10 million dollars in legal fees and the trial leaked all kinds of information about John’s personal spending habits, which to the general public, seemed beyond extravagant. He did after all spend $400,000 dollars on flowers in just under two years.
4 Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro had 50 paintings that were all done by his father. He decided to consign the paintings to a well-known art gallery owner, Lawrence Salander. Salander sold all the paintings, but kept the profits to pay off his debts. He stole all the money in sales owed to Robert De Niro, and scammed all his art clients out of a total of $88 million dollars.
3 Kiefer Sutherland
How Kiefer Sutherland ended up investing in cattle we are not quite sure, but what we do know is he got majorly scammed. Michael Wayne Carr made a business deal with his customers to buy steers in Mexico and sell them in the United States for more money. Carr convinced Sutherland to invest $869,000 dollars. Sutherland and the prosecutors found out that Carr never had any steers, and he did not even own the steers he sold. Carr was charged with multiple felonies.
2 Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber
Celebrities also have to deal with creepy extortionists. In 2009, a German male model, Edis Kayalar tried to scam $100,000 dollars from supermodel, Cindy Crawford and her husband entrepreneur, Rande Gerber with a photo of their daughter tied up. The photo originated from a game of “cops and robbers” she had played with her nanny. The nanny was dating the male model around the time of the extortion. Crawford and Gerber fired the nanny a week after the first extortion attempt by her boyfriend. Edis Kayalar, the German model, was extradited to the US on extortion charges. Originally, Gerber was going to pay him off until they realized the details of the case.
1 Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon
One of the biggest victims of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme were actress Kyra Sedgwick and actor Kevin Bacon. Sedgwick and Bacon were a celebrity couple that tried to stay off the gossip radar, and yet suddenly, they were at the center of the tabloids. The actors used to joke that they were boring and never in the news. Both actors have taken on a lot of work since the Ponzi scheme scandal in order to restore the funds Bernie stole!
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