The phrase "Life Comes At You Fast," which originated in an advertising campaign by the Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, became a household saying and viral sensation after poking fun at celebrities who were once household names themselves, only to have a surreptitious fall from grace (like Fabio and M.C. Hammer, among others).
It's said that the best humor originates from something we can all identify with as a truth. And what this advertising campaign humorously, but accurately, portrayed is the fact that some of the biggest names in show business will be revelling in all the fame and money in the world one day, only to see it all gone the next day.
Those people who might be making millions of dollars from acting on the big screen, playing a professional sport, or producing hit music often believe that they'll continue to enjoy the fruits of their labor forever, instead of realizing just how fleeting their fame and fortune can be. They might have the money and ability to buy expensive things, hang out among the most exclusive social circles, and vacation at the most luxurious destinations, but often fail to consider how long any of those perks will truly last.
Case in point: Just take a look at this list of gigantic, beautiful homes that these celebrities bought, only to find themselves not being able to afford the mortgage payments on their home when the money stopped pouring in. Here’s our list of 20 celebrities who have – or had – huge homes, but can no longer make their payments on them.
20 50 Cent – 21-Bedroom Home In Farmington, CT
Sitting at the top of the rap game in 2003, after releasing his 6× platinum album "Get Rich or Die Tryin'," Curtis Jackson, better known as 50 Cent, purchased a 50,000-square-foot mansion in Connecticut for $4.1 million. After purchasing the home from former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, Jackson put in another $10 million from his pocket to upgrade the property's gym, racquetball courts, and disco room (putting poles in the latter). On top of that, he put in another $6 million when adding a helicopter pad, infinity pool and a private cinema. But with the money no longer pouring in like it used to, Jackson had to eventually dump the property. After initially listing it for $18 million, it eventually sold for $8 million to a nursing home management company.
19 LeAnn Rimes – 8,642-Square-Foot Home In Hidden Hills, CA
In 2012, singer LeAnn Rimes and new husband Eddie Cibrian purchased a six-bedroom, nine-bathroom home in the celebrity-laden Hidden Hills area of California. The couple bought the home for a very good deal of $3 million, as the previous owner was underwater on their payments. But as Rimes popularity began to wane (she hasn't released an album in almost two years), and Cibrian being forced to make child support payments to his ex-wife, the couple has had trouble making payments on the home, and reportedly could be in trouble with friends whom they originally borrowed money from, as part of their original down payment for the home. The other couple can reportedly force the home to go in foreclosure if Cibrian and Rimes default on their agreed-upon repayments for that personal loan.
18 Chamillionaire – 7,583-Square Foot Home In The Woodlands, TX
Rap star Hakeem Seriki, better known by his stage name "Chamillionaire," had his 7,500+ square foot home outside of Houston, Texas repossessed by the bank in 2010. Shortly after it took place, Chamillionaire told TMZ that the home was his most expensive mortgage of the multiple homes he owned, yet he barely ever stepped foot in that home. He also indicated that while the bank repossessed the home, it wasn't forcefully; rather, Chamillionaire said he "returned" the home to the bank, since he didn't feel like it was a good business investment. Seriki paid $2.124 million for the 5-bedroom, 5 1/2-bath house on an acre-plus corner lot. Chamillionaire still owns a tour bus company, and is co-owner of North Houston auto dealer called "Fly Rydes."
17 Warren Sapp – 10,000 Square-Foot Mansion In Windermere, Florida
Life after football isn't easy for even some of the game's greatest; just ask Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp. After retiring from the NFL in 2007, Sapp had declared for bankruptcy by 2012, after his $77 million in NFL earnings had dwindled down to just over $1,000 left in his bank accounts. He also reportedly owed the IRS a little under a million dollars in unpaid taxes. During said bankruptcy filing, Sapp's 10,000-square-foot Mediterranean mansion in Windermere, Florida was repossessed by the bank. The house was once worth more than $7 million, but was sold for only $2.9 million at auction. Sitting on just under three acres of land, Sapp's former home had a boathouse, a custom swimming pool with built-in slide, a waterfall, and a lazy river.
16 John Smoltz – Plot Of Land On The Snake River Sporting Club
Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz was once part of one of the greatest pitching rotations in Major League Baseball history, playing alongside fellow Hall of Famers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine with the Atlanta Braves. But, that fame still couldn't prevent him from taking part in a bad real estate investment. Smoltz bought a lot in the Snake River Sporting Club development in Wyoming, which going bankrupt. It wasn't so much that Smoltz couldn't pay for the lot, as he earned over $135 million over the course of his career and was doing ok for himself as a television baseball analyst. Rather, it was one of those cases where Smoltz had to "eat" the ramifications of taking part in a bad real estate deal, where they essentially stop wasting good money on a bad deal.
15 Mischa Barton – 8-Bedroom Mediterranean Villa In Beverly Hills
In a sad twist of irony, Mischa Barton's acting and the California real estate market shared a similar story: a meteoric rise, and a just as devastating collapse. The former star of The O.C. primetime television drama purchased an 8-bedroom, 11-bath Beverly Hills villa at the height of the real estate boom, for $6.4 million. But as her career started unravelling, so too did the real estate market around her. After numerous attempts to sell the home, it sat on the market for quite some time, and still remained on the market as of 2016. According to public records, Barton was sent a Notice of Trustee's Sale that showed a remaining principal sum of more than $4.3 million. She'll be off the hook for that money if that home ever sells, but she's continued to default on mortgage payments month after month until she can find a buyer.
14 Allen Iverson – Custom-Built 10,000-Square-Foot Mansion In Atlanta
At one point in time, Allen Iverson was one of the most popular stars in the National Basketball Association, combining a huge on-court salary with numerous off-the-court endorsement opportunities. But his legal troubles and issues with alcohol abuse derailed his Hall-of-Fame-caliber career, and his ridiculous income stream went dry very quickly. In 2013, Iverson lost his 10,000-square-foot Atlanta mansion, which had custom built for him and his family, to foreclosure. The home had a gourmet kitchen, master suite with "spa-like" bath and luxury accents such as copper gutters. After spending approximately $4.5 million to have the home built, the bank purchased the mansion for $2.5 million. That repossession came only a couple of years after Iverson lost his $3.875 million mansion in Cherry Hills, Colorado to foreclosure as well.
13 Burt Reynolds – 12,500-Square-Foot Home In Hobe Sound, Florida
At one point in time, Burt Reynolds was one of the top "big screen" stars in the country. But since his heyday, he's fallen on a myriad of financial troubles. People around him have stated he's in millions of dollars worth of debt to multiple people and entities. Case in point? Reynolds is believed to have not made payments on his $1.2 million mortgage for one of his homes in Florida for over two years. The property is now on sale for $5 million, but Reynolds is "upside down" on his mortgage, meaning the house is worth less than he originally purchased it for. Reynolds' former home spans 12,500 square feet, sits on four acres of land, and boasts a helipad and dock for a yacht.
12 Evander Holyfield – 54,000-Square-Foot Mansion In Fairburn, Georgia
Former professional boxing heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield's 109-bedroom mansion just outside of Atlanta, Georgia sufficiently lived up to "the Real Deal" nickname given to Holyfield. But unfortunately, after his pro boxing career ended, he found out that the mortgage payments on that 54,000-square-foot property were "the real deal" as well. After owing more than $14 million on his property at one point, Holyfield basically abandoned the home, and lender J.P. Morgan Chase eventually foreclosed on the property. The bank then sold the home at auction for a price that was less than 50% of the original purchase price; it's believed to have been purchased by rapper Rick Ross for $5.88 million. "Rozay" now owns the home spanning 104 acres, boasts one of the nation's largest swimming pools, and has a dining room that can seat up to 100 people.
11 Jamarcus Russell – 5,800-Square-Foot Home In Oakland, California
Most NFL fans are well aware of the free-fall that was the career of former #1 overall draft pick Jamarcus Russell. The quarterback from LSU was the top pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, and signed a six-year contract worth up to $68 million, with $31.5 million guaranteed as his rookie deal. But between a combination of partying too much, poor conditioning, and eventual substance abuse of codeine destroyed Russell's career, and he blew through all his money before he knew it. Just over two years after signing his deal, Russell defaulted on the mortgage of his 5,800-square-foot home in Oakland, California. Russell bought the home for $3 million, and it was eventually auctioned off by the bank for less than $500,000. Russell remains out of the NFL to this day.
10 Mel Gibson – $14.5 Million Home In Malibu, California
The fact that Mel Gibson faces foreclosure on one of his homes could be considered proof, for some people, that karma really does exist. Gibson's career fell off a cliff after he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery charges, related to domestic allegations, back in 2011. Right around then, Gibson faced foreclosure on three of his properties in Malibu, California, after he was unable to settle a $12,000 bill with contractors. The contractor took it one step further, filing a suit against the holding company that owned Gibson's personally-funded church, stating that they would accept foreclosure as sufficient settlement for a separate $200,000 tab that Gibson owed them. To make matters worse, Gibson's ex-wife Robyn alleged that her former husband also owed her $212,000 in unpaid bills.
9 R. Kelly – 22,000-Square-Foot Home In Olympia Fields, Illinois
Sitting on top of the R&B world at one point in time, Robert Sylvester Kelly – better known by most as R. Kelly – had a custom-built home spanning 22,000 square feet just outside of his home town of Chicago, Illinois. But between the real estate crash of the mid-2000's, as well as Kelly's own legal and financial troubles, Kelly fell behind on mortgage payments, and selling the home outright would not have helped him, as the market value of the home fell from $5.2 million to $3.8 million in the span of just one year; Kelly even tried to sell the home for $1.595 million at one point, yet couldn't find any buyers. The bank eventually repossessed the home, and sold it at auction for just $950,000.
8 Chris Tucker – 10,000-Square-Foot Home In Lake Apopka, Florida
Comedian-turned-actor Chris Tucker fell victim of the catastrophe that was the real estate market in Florida. In 2007, Tucker purchased a five-bedroom estate just outside of Orlando, Florida, for $6 million. The home had three fireplaces, a personal spa, an outdoor kitchen, and even a pirate-themed basement with a wooden deck and a ship's mast and sail. But after the market crashed, Tucker found himself upside down on the home, and already owing as much as $11.5 million in back taxes to the IRS, Tucker had to negotiate a deal with the lender of the Lake County home, effectively selling it back to the bank for $2 million, even though he still owed $4.4 million on his mortgage. Sadly enough, that wasn't the only real estate mess Tucker was in. Just a few months prior, Tucker sold off one house for $1.05 million, after previously purchasing it for $1.5 million.
7 Toni Braxton – 11,400-Square-Foot Home In Duluth, Georgia
Even with an album that went 8x platinum and sold over 10 million copies worldwide, legendary R&B singer Toni Braxton couldn't avoid her share of financial and real estate troubles. The six-time Grammy Award-winning singer fought for years to keep her 11,400-square-foot home in Duluth, Georgia, from being foreclosed upon by the bank. After taking out a $1.5 million loan to save the property, Braxton failed to make payments as many as 10 months, which lead to the bank re-taking ownership. The home, which has 6-bedrooms, 6-baths, an acre of land, jacuzzi tub, gourmet kitchen and a library, was placed back on the market for approximately $1.1 million in 2012. Braxton had filed for bankruptcy two different times in a 15-year span, as a result of debts that are reportedly as high as $15 million, by some estimates.
6 Teresa Giudice – $3 Million Mansion In Montvale Township, New Jersey
The Real Housewives Of New Jersey cast member Teresa Giudice's issues with bankruptcy and foreclosure were much-discussed over the course of the show. In 2009, Giudice filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, after accumulating a total of $11 million in debt, thanks to $100,000 in credit-card bills, monthly payments on a Cadillac Escalade, and almost $6 million in what was reported as "business investments." Despite that mess, the couple managed to save their 10,000-square-foot mansion in New Jersey from being foreclosed upon. Teresa and her husband Joe had put their home located in Montvale Township, New Jersey, on the market for $3 million after falling behind on mortgage payments (thanks to the aforementioned financial troubles), but they somehow struck a deal with the bank to keep the home.
5 Dina Lohan – 4,119-Square-Foot Colonial-Style House In Merrick, New York
Dina Lohan was the original "momager" – a mom doubling managing their child star's manager – before Kris Jenner made the term mainstream. Benefiting from daughter Lindsay Lohan's successes, Lohan took out a $1.3 million loan, and then, according to legal documents, she subsequently defaulted on making payments on the principal, interest or taxes, assessments, water rates, insurance premiums, escrow and/or other charges associated with the money she borrowed. Lender JPMorgan Chase Bank sued mama Lohan for defaulting on payments, leading to the bank filing for foreclosure on the two-story home in Merrick, New York, where Lindsay and her three siblings were raised. As of early 2017, it appeared that Dina was not contesting the foreclosure proceeding, and may have resigned herself to losing the home.
4 Latrell Sprewell – 9,200-Square-Foot Home In Purchase, New York
For all his accomplishments as a professional basketball player, former NBA All-Star Latrell Sprewell will forever be remembered by NBA fans as the guy who said three-year deal worth $21 million would not be enough to feed his children. In hindsight, he might have needed more money from his former team (the Minnesota Timberwolves) because of the real estate mess he found himself in. Sprewell bought a 9,200-square-food home in Purchase, New York for $2.3 million in 2000, but after failing to make mortgage payments on the house, it was foreclosed upon by the bank. Despite the fact that it was assessed in 2008 as being worth $3.95 million, the bank turned around and put it on the market for as low as $1.5 million.
3 Nicolas Cage – 11,817-Square-Foot Home In Bel-Air, Los Angeles
Given the fact that Nicolas Cage is known for a lot of bad drama and action movies that you see running on cable television all the time, he was still one of Hollywood's most successful actors during the late 1990s through the mid-2000s. Even though Forbes put Cage's earnings as recently as 2009 at $40 million, like many others in Hollywood, he had his fair share of tangles with the IRS, and lost more than one home to foreclosure. That ended up including the 11,817-square-foot home in the ritzy Bel-Air neighborhood of Los Angeles. After taking back the home from Cage, the original lender Citibank put the home on the market for a price of "only" $11.8 million, and had a steady stream of interested buyers even at that price point.
2 O.J. Simpson – 360 North Rockingham Avenue, Los Angeles, California
Perhaps the most famous name in the 1970's in the sports world, and in the mid-to-late 1990's in the legal world, Orenthal James "O.J." Simpson became more famous for his internationally publicized trial that resulted in his acquittal. However, while he was found innocent of criminal charges, Simpson lost everything after being sued by the Goldman family – specifically, the parents of Ron Goldman, one of the victims – and had to auction off all his belongings to pay the $33,500,000 in damages he owed. After missing more than $86,000 in payments on his famous home in Brentwood, California, where he had lived for the previous 20 years, the lender that originally held Simpson's mortgage and started the foreclosure proceedings actually ended up purchasing the home when it was put up for auction.
1 Wyclef Jean – Miami Beach Mansion
In 2004, former Fugees star Wyclef Jean, along with several partners, took out a $2 million mortgage to purchase a canal-front estate in Miami Beach. After purchasing the home, Jean then spent another $177,000 to renovate the home. But as we all know: nothing good happens when you start missing your mortgage payments. Jean reportedly stopped paying for the additional renovation costs with half of that loan left, and when the home was later repossessed and sold at auction for approximately $1.6 million, Jean was sued for the remaining balance. Eventually, Jean was slapped with court order to pay $484,000 as part of this real estate deal that went south. Jean's music career isn't anywhere close to what it once was, as his most recent album, titled Carnival III: The Fall and Rise of a Refugee (released in September of 2017), was panned by music critics.