The name Scott Storch is known mainly to the most dedicated hip-hop fans. Storch was a hit producer in the early 2000s. By 2006 he had worked on records for Beyoncé, 50 Cent, The Game, T.I., Chris Brown, Christina Aguilera, Dr. Dre, Nas, Snoop Dogg, and Pink.
He was running with a fast crowd and he was making a ton of money. But it turned out his spending quickly exceeded his earnings because of a high-dollar cocaine habit. In 2009, MTV reported that, by the end of 2006, Storch had blown nearly $30 million in six months because of the habit.
No one believes that Storch managed to snort that much coke. Indeed, Storch himself says that he could have kept pace with his earnings if he was only spending the cash on drugs.
“The cost of the drug didn’t affect my life,” he said.“It was the poor decisions I made, that were so poor financially, that caused me to go into this situation where I was forced to change my lifestyle … forced to change a lot of things.“
What was he doing? Well, he was making sure that he had “15 to 20 cars at all times,” when he admitted that he probably only needed three or four. He also dropped $250,000 more than once on one-way, private-jet trips to the Riviera.
Storch’s six-month-long drug binge proves what many who have witnessed such debauchery already know: That the cost of drug-induced decisions can easily outpace the money spent on the drugs alone. The toll taken on personal and family finances can be debilitating. Storch himself fell behind in both child-support payments and his taxes.
It’s an amazing story really — blowing that kind of money in six months.
But what kind of drug habit leads someone to such behavior? It’s unclear just how much of Storch’s fortune he snorted. But in the case of other celebrities we know, either through personal admission or the conjecture of friends, just how much they were wasting on their drug habits.
Here is a list of five celebrities who are alleged to have had some of the most costly drug habits.
5 Philip Seymour Hoffman
The world was shocked in February to hear that Hollywood-favorite Philip Seymour Hoffman had died at age 46. But once the sad news spread, few were surprised that the death was drug related.
Hoffman spoke openly about his past battles with drug addiction in the months preceding his death. He told interviewers that he hadn’t touched heroin in over 23 years but had recently fallen off the wagon.
When Hoffman’s body was found in a Greenwich Village apartment with a syringe stuck in one arm, friends started to come forward and open up about his habit.
One source told reporters that the talented actor was not only using heroin at alarming rates, but he was also hooked on the prescription drug Oxycontin.
“He was what we call a heavy ‘red liner.’ That means he liked to shoot heroin with a needle but he also sniffed it daily. And he was majorly hooked on Oxy, too,” the unnamed source said.
How much was he spending? The source said at least $10,000 a month.
“He just bought five bundles of dope last week,” the friend said at the time.
“Heroin is one of the cheaper drugs, but Hoff wasn’t buying the cheap stuff," the source said. “Still, to be spending 10 grand, he was using hard.”
4 Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston died in early 2012 after a tumultuous life that sadly included abusive relationships and years of drug abuse.
Unlike Hoffman’s death, the most surprising thing about Houston’s eventual demise was that she managed to live as long as she did.
Rumors of her prolific cocaine abuse had been swirling for years.
After her death, it was revealed that Houston had blown through about $100 million, over the course of her career, on both drugs and high-living. One of her dealers came forward saying that he had sold Houston $7 million dollars worth of cocaine over the course of their “business” relationship.
It is unclear just how long that relationship lasted so it is impossible to determine just how much she was spending per month during her last days.
But friends were concerned as far back as 2010 about her coke consumption.
During a tour in Europe one promoter told news outlets that Houston was spending about $6,000 a week on cocaine.
“Whitney is a dead woman walking! With the amount of drugs she’s buying, she won’t be able to live long. She’ll be dead in months,” said the source.
He wasn’t far off. She died a year and a half later.
3 Steven Tyler
Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler once kept pace with Houston’s habit, but these days he considers himself lucky to be alive.
“Left to my own devices I probably would have been dead several times over,” Tyler once admitted in an interview.
With the exception of a brief stint in rehab a few years ago for a painkiller addiction, Tyler has been off the truly hard stuff since the ‘90s. But before that the rocker went through a huge pile of cash, spent mainly on cocaine, heroin and booze.
In a 2011 autobiography he said, “I blew 20 million. I snorted my Porsche, I snorted my plane, I snorted my house in that din of drugs and booze and being lost.”
If $20 million seems like an unbelievable sum, that’s for good reason. Perhaps Tyler meant he spent that kind of money procuring drugs for groupies, roadies and fellow band members. Or perhaps it is just plain ol’ exaggeration. One would be hard-pressed to believe that he could, personally, do that many drugs.
In 2013 he revised that number down a bit.
"Probably, realistically, 5 or 6 [million], easy," he said when challenged on the $20 million figure.
That’s still quite a pace for two decades, and it works out to be about even with Houston’s $25,000 a month.
2 Charlie Sheen
If he is unable to stay clean, another celebrity who may soon go the way of Houston and Hoffman is Charlie Sheen.
The actor made headlines in 2011 after a series of bizarre interviews and even more bizarre public outbursts. It was that year that the actor was kicked off of his popular TV sitcom Two and a Half Men, a firing that prompted the drug and booze-addled actor to climb to the top of a building in Beverly Hills and shout “Free at last” while waving a machete.
He went to rehab and said he got clean. But by late 2012 a friend reported that he was back to his old antics.
The friend told reporters that he had “spent nearly every day” with the then-47-year-old actor and that Sheen was spending $2,000 a day on cocaine.
“When Charlie gets his coke he immediately cooks it with baking soda in his bathroom to make crack,” the friend said. “Then he smokes it out of a makeshift pipe that he made out of a Fiji water bottle! He'd get so high he was just absolutely out of his mind, mumbling incoherently and tweaking.”
At that rate Sheen was more than doubling Houston’s consumption, but he is apparently willing to put the brakes on his binges. He said later that he had kicked his cocaine habit (again) although he admitted he was still drinking.
He has stayed out of the news recently. That could mean that he is staying relatively clean or simply that the media has grown tired of reporting on his behavior.
1 Flavor Flav
Flavor Flav was a founding member of Public Enemy, one of the top hip-hop groups of the ‘80s and ‘90s. He is still active in the hip-hop world but to a much lesser degree. At the height of his career, though, the rapper was seriously hooked on coke.
In 2011 he told an interviewer he got clean in 2003, but before that he was snorting an enormous amount of cocaine.
How much? Well, this is what he said in the interview:
“I was spending $2,600 a day, for six years, every single day. I don't know how much that is but if you did the math, wow, I went through a lot of money. If I did the math I'd probably be shocked on how much money I spent, I'd probably punch myself in the face.”
The math works out to about $80,000 per month, or close to $960,000 per year. That means during the six years that he was hooked on the drug, Flavor Flav blasted through almost $5.7 million. He beats Charlie Sheen in both frequency and long-term stamina. Nothing to be proud of, but it puts him at the top of this list.
It is amazing he is alive to tell the story.