Celebrities who went bankrupt: from top to flop

Celebrities are not immune to financial trouble. Some of them may have had all the money in the world, but that doesn't mean they were good at managing it. Read about these celebrities who went bankrupt.


These celebrities once had it all until it came to nothing.

close up hands man holding empty wallet
Even celebrities can lose all their money. Source: Freepik.

Most celebrities seem to have it all: fame, fortune, and a glamorous lifestyle. But there are also celebrities who went bankrupt.

Many celebrities have faced financial difficulties, but some lost everything!

After all, celebrities are people just like the rest of us. They’re prone to making the same kinds of flawed decisions, acting on impulse, and making hasty decisions.

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From riches to rags: the lifestyle of the not-so-rich but famous

man holding sign need a job bankrupt
These people have spent all their money and gone bankrupt. Source: Freepik.

You might recognize some of these faces from the movie screen, tv screen, or heard their music on the radio. At one point, some of these celebrities Were the most well-paid people in their field.   

Although being wealthy and famous usually go together, there are times when a celebrity’s financial problems get so bad that the only way out is to declare bankruptcy.

Here are 10 celebrities who went bankrupt and how they managed to get through it.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson died with a lot of debt, but he made music his profession.

The King of Pop’s financial issues dates back to when it seemed like all the money was going out anyway – even after selling more than 61 million albums in America!

He was eventually financially drained by lawsuits and high-interest rates on loans involving expensive properties such as Neverland Ranch.

Shortly before his death, Jackson was supposed to go on tour with the intention of using the proceeds to pay off his debt.

Kim Basinger

In 1989, Basinger bought the town of Brasel Town in Georgia and planned to turn it into a tourist attraction.

However, with her plans not going very far, she had no choice but to declare bankruptcy soon after purchase! The property was sold in 1993.

MC Hammer

Famous for his “You can’t touch this” single, released in 1991; the singer went bankrupt for his extravagant lifestyle.

MC Hammer’s success was short-lasting. He signed with Capitol Records and had an estimated net worth of $33 million, but it didn’t last long.

Dazzled with his fortune, he started spending impulsively. Mansions with a staff of 200 people, private jets, and a gold tub left this celebrity owing $13 million in 1996.

Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson is an infamous American former professional boxer. You might recognize him from the tattoo on his face. In addition to his troubled personal life, Tyson has had a few financial problems. In July 2003, Tyson filed for bankruptcy.

The boxer reported assets of $23 million, including the mansion and a fleet of fancy cars. He didn’t list any debts. However, the Internal Revenue Service claimed he owed $27 million in back taxes. Tyson agreed to pay $4.9 million over the next 18 months.

50 Cent

The musician had incredible success in his rap career, but it came with many consequences, and he turned into one of our 10 celebrities who went bankrupt.

His net worth at its peak was $260 million, but in 2015, he went bankrupt after facing a lawsuit, having reportedly 32.5 million dollars debt mainly due to lawsuits and child support payments.

Toni Braxton

worried woman looking at high bills bankrupt
Can you imagine earning millions of dollars and still going bankrupt? Source: Freepik.

The singer of the timeless classic “Unbreak My Heart” unfortunately wasn’t able to unbreak her pocket. She went through two files for bankruptcy.

Once one of the greatest singers and songwriters of the 90s. In 1998, the artist had to file for bankruptcy due to a recording contract that did not pay the artist what she deserved: she was receiving less than $2000 for her work.

Then, In 2008, she canceled her Las Vegas Revue due to health issues, which led to another bankruptcy filing. She is one of the celebrities who went bankrupt more than once.

After that, Braxton starred in a reality show about herself and announced a tour for “Sex And Cigarettes.”

Marvin Gaye

Financial trouble seems to affect even the legends like Marvin Gaye. In 1973 the singer went bankrupt after owing his former partner more than $600,000 in alimony after a divorce. Luckily, the singer recovered his money after realizing one of his most successful singles, “Sexual Healing.”

Larry King

Larry King is a well-known American television personality and radio host who has been in the industry for over 50 years and unfortunately became one of the celebrities who went bankrupt.

He started as an announcer, but after getting charged with grand theft from his then business partner, he fell into debt until 1978 when CNN offered him their own show called ” Larry king live.” This would be one of many milestones that made up what we know today about this great man!

Gary Coleman

Can you imagine getting $70,000 per week in the ’80s? That was a lot of money, and that’s how much this then-child star was getting per episode of ‘Diff’ente Stokes”.

Unfortaneyly, after some bad investments and lawyer fees from a lawsuit Against his parents and business advisors, Coleman had trouble finding work in Hollywood and went bankrupt in 1999.

Meat Loaf

Meat Loaf was a huge hit in the 1970s, but by 1980 he faced lawsuit after lawsuit, leaving him with a $80 million in debt. After these legal battles, Meat Loaf went bankrupt. Many people wondered how the star managed to lose that much money!

When discussing this topic in the interview, the musician said the only way to stop these lawsuits was to: declare Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. He also explained that he did not receive his royalties until 1997, which led to him having little money despite his success.

Learn the tips that could prevent these celebrities from going bankrupt

Celebrities can be so careless with their financial life. If Only They’d read our 10 tips for a better financial life article, maybe they could have avoided those mistakes.

And if you want to know how to take better care of your financial life, check this next article with some tips. 

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10 tips for a better financial life

Learning how to manage your finances will give you a lot of advantages in life. Put these tips into action, and you'll see the results.

About the author  /  Vinicius Barbosa

Vinicius Barbosa is a writer of finance-related content on this portal. Graduated in Social Communication, he writes about everything that involves the world of finances, from credit card recommendations to investment tips, for readers who want to make better decisions when it comes time to spend their money or invest wisely.

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