When celebrities hit it big, they hit it really big. Like most working folks, they rely on their talents for their monthly paychecks. They're just like the rest of us in this regard, but when their royalty checks and salaries amount to more than what a typical working man makes in 10 lifetimes, then they don't seem pretty ordinary after all.
Being celebrities with fat wallets however doesn't make them immune to the pitfalls of being financially reckless. In fact, those who are thrust into the spotlight and are paid extremely well for it are most of the time the ones who are prone to have financial troubles. These financial worries amount somewhere between hundreds of thousands to a whopping few million dollars in debt.
Debt is one cancerous thing to have on your finances, especially when you're not doing too well. There are many forms and many sources of debt. If you're wise, you'll learn about them and avoid them like the plague. For those who are unfortunate enough to be overwhelmed by the looming debt they have incurred in the course of their careers, bankruptcy seems to always be an option. During desperate times, celebrities, both young and old, turn to bankruptcy as a sort of lifesaver that would allow them enough breathing room to reorganize their finances. Here are 12 stars you may not have known are broke
12 Mike Tyson
In his prime, Iron Mike Tyson could pulverize his strongest opponents with just a single solid punch to the face. Even when he was still an amateur fighting in the Junior Olympics, his power punch could knockout his opponents with ease. He honed this talent to perfection in his professional career as proven by his professional record of having 44 wins by KO. For his glorious fighting record, Tyson took home over $400 million dollars. Along with unmitigated spending on jewelry, cars, bikes and mansions, Tyson also needs to pay off child support, the IRS and the British tax authorities. He recently made a sort of comeback into the public's eye with his Hangover cameos. Maybe his new Hollywood career will help him up from his financial knockout.
11 Pamela Anderson
10 Brendan Fraser
9 Kelly Rutherford
8 Lindsay Lohan
The red head of The Parent Trap fame became a regular topic on celebrity gossip columns and shows when she let her alcoholism and recreational drug use get the better of her. It was in 2007 that she was arrested a few times for DUI and drug possession and had to go to rehab. Everyone can't look away from a disaster and the world certainly sees one in Lindsay Lohan. It wasn't only Lohan's sobriety that took a hit. Her career also fell by the wayside. From 2007 up to 2013, she hasn't had a steady TV or movie role, and movies that feature her only have her as a novelty or in a small role (such as in Machete). In 2014, Lindsay starred in her self titled reality program on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Her producers had to apparently give her an advance on her salary so that she could pay for her apartment. The show got cancelled after only 8 episodes.
7 Drake Bell
6 50 Cent
5 Aaron Carter
4 Wesley Snipes
In 2010, the courts decided to give Wesley Snipes the maximum 3 years imprisonment for tax evasion. Prior to his arrest, Wesley Snipes was one of the more popular action stars in the 90s with starring roles in Demolition Man, Money Train and Blade. Blade, arguably his most successful movie role, spawned a couple of sequels in the early 2000s and has managed to become a cash cow for the actor. Because of his lucrative movie career success, Snipes owed the U.S. government 12 million dollars which he didn't want to pay. With the help of his accountants, Snipes filed false tax returns earning the ire of the IRS.
3 Janice Dickinson
2 Nicolas Cage
The illustrious career of Nicolas Cage includes many critically acclaimed, as well as box office hits such as The Rock, City of Angels, Con Air, Windtalkers and Face/Off. In as much as he has been a part of great successful movies, he has also been starring in a bunch of other not so high profile movies. The sheer number of these low budget movies in his filmography is the center of criticism regarding his dedication as an actor. One speculation as to why he accepted roles in so many unflattering movies is that he had to make ends meet following his bankruptcy. It is reported that he squandered more than $100 million dollars of his hard earned money, landing him $13 million in debt to the IRS.
1 Lena Headey
Lena Headey, or more popularly known as Cercei Lannister from the hit HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones, fell on hard times after she got a divorce. The divorce must have been really tough on her bank account because she claimed that she only had $5 left. During the divorce battle, she also had to sell off her $1.8 million house at a loss at a market price of only $1.35 million to make ends meet. Prior to this, she had already been living off of her credit cards. News of her bad financial situation had fans of the show shocked because one would assume that with her starring role in such a popular show, she would be as rich as a Lannister.