Celebrities develop varyingly harmless and harmful addictions just like anyone else. The difference between them and us, though, is that they often have the means and funds to prolong and indulge their addictions more than most. Some of these, like shopping, cars, and shoes, are a fun and envy-making way to spend all that extra cash. But when celebrities delve into darker, deeper addictions – such as gambling, drugs, or alcohol – the limitless funds at their disposal can prove hugely, cataclysmically destructive. Take recently deceased Hollywood actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose $10 thousand monthly heroin and Oxycontin habit quickly unraveled and eventually ended his life. Then look at someone like Justin Bieber, who reportedly blows through $1 million a month, on toys, dates, dinners and, of course, legal fees. The bottom line is, it’s all fun and games until the addiction becomes unmanageable, all-consuming, deadly, or it bankrupts the addict. Whatever the addiction – from the obviously harmful, like drugs to the more insidious, like plastic surgery – it can prove to be the undoing of a person, even a seemingly invulnerable celeb. The following are examples of seriously extreme and insanely expensive celebrity addictions.
10. Rihanna – Hair ($1 million per year)
Rihanna is constantly changing her hairstyles, from color shifts to black, brown, red, blonde, and style changes from long and luxurious to short and spiky, there probably isn’t a person out there who has had more stylistic changes in her hair (besides maybe Lady Gaga). But all that work is daunting and expensive. Credit for Rihanna’s haircuts belong to Ursula Stephen, the singer’s longtime stylist. Between November 2010 to August 2011, Rihanna reportedly changed her hair color 13 times and paid Stephen nearly $23,000 per week during that stretch, which is almost $1 million. Stephen commands $2,000 to $3,300 per DAY for her services.
9. Celine Dion – Shoes (Approx. $3 million)
When Celine Dion appeared on The Ellen Degeneres Show in 2013 to discuss the release of her upcoming album, Love Me Back To Life, the extent of her shoe collection quickly became the focus of the interview. The world-famous singer told Ellen that she had just listed her Florida waterfront palace for $71 million, but that her shoe-collection of 3,000 pairs was not listed in the price. While superstar shoe-guru Mariah Carey has a mega-closet shoe collection of over 1,000 pairs valued at over $1 million, Dion triples that amount (and so we can assume the valuation might be nearly tripled as well). Dion’s closet features an electronic, mechanized rack system to help keep everything organized.
8. Joan Rivers – Plastic Surgery ($3 million)
Joan Rivers seems to have stopped the process of aging, but not because of any fountain of youth. No, the potty-mouthed comedian, actress and Fashion Police co-host has supposedly had as many as 700 cosmetic procedures, an addiction to which she describes as a love affair. As she told the Daily Telegraph in 2013, “Every weekend I just go in and do something new. I get a 10th one free. It a little like coffee, you just keep going.”
Joan’s daughter Melissa is supposedly not too happy about how often her mother goes under the knife, but as Joan told the Huffington Post, “I don’t give a damn what people think. If you don’t like my opinion, too bad. That’s the only good thing about age.”
7. Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise – Suri’s Fashion ($3-10 million wardrobe / $400,000 yearly allowance)
After the 2012 divorce of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, the true winner in the debacle was little Suri Cruise. Tom gives her a reported $400,000 per year in child support, for travel expenses, celebrity nannies, education, and all the other things that go along with being a celebrity baby. Most of that, however, seems to go on Suri’s already-ample designer wardrobe. Her shoe collection alone is rumored to be worth $150,000, while her designer clothing closet is estimated to be worth between $3 million and $8 million. With all of that money being poured her way, it’s safe to say that the eight-year-old Suri’s trend-setting is Tom and Katie’s true addiction.
6. Charles Barkley – Gambling ($10 million)
While hair and car and shoes might seem like somewhat healthy alternative addictions for celebrities to cling on to, gambling is one addiction that truly wrecks lives. Charles Barkley would be a fine example, but his life is far from wrecked. The NBA star turned basketball commentator admitted to ESPN in an interview that his gambling problem has cost him over $10 million, and that he’s trying to get it under control. He said that, “It is a problem for me. My agent has really worked with me to try to get it where I can go and gamble and have fun. That’s easier said than done.” Although he stated his gambling as a problem, he also said that he doesn’t consider it a problem because he can afford to gamble, and that it is just a stupid habit that he’s got to get under control, complaining that “…it’s not a good thing to be broke after all these years.”
5. Scott Storch – Cocaine ($30 million in 6 months)
Yes, you read that right. Hip hop producer Scott Storch became one of the celebrities with the highest rises and quickest falls in music history, when he lost nearly $30 million in just six months between August 2006 and January 2007. Storch became one of the top producers in the music industry in the early 2000s when he worked with and produced hit records for artists such as 50 Cent, The Game, T.I., Chris Brown, Nox, Nas, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Christina Aguilera. He was awarded the ASCAP’s Songwriter of the Year award in 2006. His fortune of $70 million took an abrupt nosedive in 2006 when he “took a month off” and vacationed in Hollywood. He purchased a 117-foot yacht, bought 20 luxury cars (10 of which Storch estimated he purchased while high on blow), and focused on partying with his friends at his $10 million mansion, squandering $30 million in less than six months, according to his manager Derek Jackson. He would leave artists like Janet Jackson waiting in the studio for five to 10 hours, fell behind on child support and property taxes, and was arrested in 2009 for grand theft auto. He has since made a recovery and tried to mount a comeback.
4. Jay Leno – Cars ($50 million)
Jay Leno has one of the biggest, most expensive car collections, not only in the celebrity world, but in the entire world. The ex-Tonight Show show runner has amassed a garage of over 200 vehicles – all unique and impressive – valued at over $50 million. The best part about his “Big Dog Garage,” however, is that he drives all of them. Jay’s diverse collection includes a 1906 Stanley Steamer, a 1937 Fiat Topolino, 1955 Buick Roadmaster, 1955 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing, a 1944 McLaren F1 – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. His regular driving car is his 1986 Lamborghini Countach.
3. Ralph Lauren – Cars (Over $50 million)
Ralph Lauren’s car collection might not be as vast as Jay Leno’s, but the $7.5 billion dollar clothing mastermind has just as impressive style as the Tonight Show frontman. Lauren released a documentary titled Speed, Style and Beauty in 2011 in Europe, showcasing 29 of his favorite automotive masterpieces. Included in Lauren’s collection is 1938 Bugatti 57SC Atlantic, a breathtaking automobile of which there are only two in the world. Its estimated worth is $40 million, making it one of the most expensive cars in history. It also had the prestige of winning Best in Show at the 2013 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, the world’s most prestigious car show.
2. Allen Iverson – Gambling and Drinking ($200 million)
Allen Iverson will most likely be remembered, unfortunately, for his fall from grace as one of the premiere basketball players of his generation. During his 14 year pro-basketball career, Iverson amassed a fortune of $200 million and was one of the highest paid athletes in the world during his prime. He would go on to squander nearly all of his fortune in gambling, drinking, and various legal troubles, including losing a $50 million life-time Reebok endorsement. After making $154.5 million in salary alone, his wasteful spending became the stuff of legends. He would frequently drop $1 million per night in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, would shower his entourage of 50 people with luxurious jewelry, exotic cars and expensive vacations, and would end up broke and in over $1 million in debt. However, a silver lining has recently come to light: while he hemorrhages over $200,000 a month in credit and child-support, as part of his divorce proceedings, Reebok apparently put aside a $30 million rainy day trust fund for Iverson during the peak of his career. The brutal catch: he can’t touch it until 2030, when he is 55 years old, and 50% of the money goes to his ex-wife.
1. Michael Jackson – Shopping, Drugs, Plastic Surgery
The King of Pop was a 10-year-old at heart, but sources close to the man also said that he was a 60-year-old financial genius. That is a somewhat tricky claim, judging by his many vices and addictions. Michael Jackson was known to leaf through magazines and order every single product in them. In 1996, he spent $500 million on his World of Childhood amusement park in Warsaw, Poland. He bought two limited edition perfume bottles, crafted in a platinum, gold, and diamond flask in 1998 for $75,000 a piece. Jackson was one of the wealthiest and most successful entertainers of all time, but towards the end of his life, it was clear that (as his father noted), he was worth more dead than he was alive. He once bought the Oscar of producer David O. Selznick (Gone With The Wind) at auction for $1.6 million. By 2000, he was spending $8 million a year on travel and antiques, and $4 million a year to keep his Neverland Ranch staff. He’d rent entire floors of 5-star hotels for his entourage while traveling on private jets. And this is just his shopping addiction – let’s not even get into the drug abuse, court settlements, and plastic surgery. While the King of Pop will always be just that – the King – he will also be known for his outlandish spending habits and addictions.
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