Join

Enter Details

Comment on stories, receive email newsletters & alerts.

@
This is your permanent identity for Business Insider Australia
Your email must be valid for account activation
Minimum of 8 standard keyboard characters

Subscribe

Email newsletters but will contain a brief summary of our top stories and news alerts.

Forgotten Password

Enter Details


Back to log in

From Bank To Broke: 20 Celebs Who TANKED Their Fortunes

Anna Nicole Smith

With the news of Betsey Johnson, the Octomom and many other celebs facing bankruptcy in this economically uncertain time, it seems appropriate to look at other celebs who have really tanked their finances.More often than not, these actors, singers and entrepreneurs are just starting out and hoping to break out in their respective industries. But many celebs are just irresponsible with finances and blow everything they earned (we’re looking at you Courtney Love). 

Anna Nicole Smith thought she was the victim of secret sabotage.

When Anna Nicole Smith's 90-year-old oil-mogul husband J. Howard Marshall passed away, she was left with nothing despite the fact that she was told a trust fund would be set up for her.

Smith sued her husband's estate claiming Marshall's son was sabotaging her chances of getting the money she was 'owed.' Smith had to file for bankruptcy in 1996 during the legal battle after she was hit with a sexual harassment claim from a housekeeper.

Unfortunately, Smith died before she could hear the results of the claim she made to Marshall's fortune: It was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Nicolas Cage bought a pyramid. Seriously.

Technically, Nicolas Cage never fully went bankrupt. But he was oh so close.

The notoriously crazy actor was charged with unpaid taxes totaling more than $6 million by the IRS. And that was just the taxes for the 2007 fiscal year.

Cage has been known for some ludicrous expenditures, from the skull bones of a dinosaur to buying a funeral pyramid. After getting into hot water with the IRS, Cage had to sell off a few houses and some valuables.

He also decided to sue his business manager Samuel Levin for tax evasion, but Levin didn't take that lying down. He countersued for Cage's disregard of Levin's advice to stop spending so much money.

Singer Kelis apparently harvests stem cells from her baby.

Elton John spent $400,000 a month on his credit cards.

In 2002, pop icon Elton John filed for bankruptcy despite being one of the most famous singers of all time.

How on earth did John lose all the money he received for hits like 'Tiny Dancer,' 'Candle in the Wind,' 'Your Song' and more? Apparently the reason for John's astounding debt of $2 million per year comes down to his admitted passion for spending.

Looks like he should have made a 'Sacrifice' and stopped buying those crazy outfits to save more money.

The singer has dug himself out of debt and hopefully he won't be heading toward Chapter 11 again soon.

Cyndi Lauper had to work in retail to get extra cash.

Before she realised that 'Girls Just Want to Have Fun,' Cyndi Lauper was strapped for cash.

The singer had to file for bankruptcy in 1981 and work in retail because her record contract with Blue Angel music failed.

But Lauper bounced back and made it big with albums like 'She's So Unusual' and 'True colours.'

MC Hammer owed $500,000 to former NFL star Deion Sanders

When you have a $30 million mansion and a 200-person entourage that costs you $500,000 a month, it only makes sense that no matter how much money you earn for one album, you're still not making enough to support those spending habits.

MC Hammer filed for Chapter 11 in 1996 stating exactly that -- he did not have the funds to sustain his elaborate lifestyle.

Now, Hammer has bounced back and is in the process of creating his own search engine, called WireDoo. We're not kidding.

Nadya 'Octomom' Suleman wants to do porn now to get some finances.

Just last month, the Octomom had to file for bankruptcy. Here's what she told E! News:

'I have had to make some very difficult decisions this year and Filing Chapter 7 was one of them. But I have to do what is best for my children and I need a fresh start.'

The papers she filed in Los Angeles state she is 'no longer able to pay her bills, has less than $50,000 in assets and owes between $500,000 and $1 million in liabilities.'

'Rush Hour' star Chris Tucker faced foreclosure on his $6 million home in Florida with more than $4.4 million owed to the Sun Trust Bank.

According to court documents filed at Lake County, the IRS has a lien of $11.5 million so that they can collect federal income taxes.

Kim Basinger bought a town in Georgia ... and promptly regretted it.

Seems like trying to start a tourism hub in a small town in Georgia and reneging on a verbal contract aren't so great for the personal finances.

After backing out of starring in the film 'Boxing Helena,' Kim Basinger had to sell her $20 million cut of Braselton, Ga., to pay the $8.1 million a judge ordered her to give the movie studio.

Only problem? The tourism capital of Braselton didn't work out in Basinger's favour. Her property was only worth $1 million. Basinger filed for bankruptcy in 1983.

But she did later appeal the ruling over the movie contract and settled out-of-court. Then she went on to win an Oscar in 'L.A. Confidential' and had an ugly divorce with Alec Baldwin. You win some, you lose some.

Buying a tiger and other elaborate items will make you broke like Mike Tyson.

Even though his career spanned two decades and several million dollars, in 2004 Mike Tyson was reported to be $23 million in debt and had filed for bankruptcy.

The boxer owed both the United States and British governments $17 million total in taxes, $750,000 to many law firms and $300,000 to limo services.

Tia Carrere thought the A-Team would come to her financial aid.

Actress Tia Carrere looked to be heading to the top of the A-List after starring in the hilarious 'Wayne's World' opposite Mike Myers, and she was starring in the hit soap 'General Hospital.'

But when the offers started pouring in, Carrere got greedy. In an attempt to get out of her 'General Hospital' contract and join the cast of 'The A-Team,' Carrere filed a lawsuit for bankruptcy stating that 'General Hospital' was no longer providing her with enough work to sustain her lifestyle.

She lost the suit and her potential movie star status.

Willie Nelson made an album to pay off the IRS.

Despite being a country-music icon, Willie Nelson had to file for bankruptcy in 1990 after owing taxes totaling at $16.7 million to the IRS.

To help pay his debt, Nelson released an album entitled 'The IRS Tapes: Who'll Buy My Memories?' with all the proceeds going to the IRS. During this time they had seized his bank accounts and real estate holdings in six states.

He paid off his debt in three years.

On Toni Braxton's list of creditors: Flamingo Las Vegas, Orkin Pest Control and more.

Toni Braxton had so many money problems that she had to file for bankruptcy twice.

In 1998, Braxton filed for bankruptcy despite having a huge hit album with 'Secrets.' She was reported to be in debt for $3.9 million. Her personal possessions were sold including awards she had received.

It seemed things were getting better, but Braxton filed for Chapter 7 again in 2010 due to her problems with Lupus, a divorce and a child with autism. She was believed to have debts from $10 million up to a possible $50 million.

Wesley Snipes was indicted in 2006 for tax evasion. He apparently tried to cheat the government out of almost $12 million and for not filing any tax returns for six years.

In the court case that followed, the claims were affirmed and Snipes surrendered for a jail stint in 2010.

Duchess Sarah Ferguson is obsessed with Chanel and Hermés.

While the Duchess of York has not officially filed for bankruptcy yet, she is constantly 'on the verge' of it.

Sarah Ferguson was caught offering access to the Duke of York to a tabloid reporter for half a million pounds and the subsequent scandal made her lose almost all of her finances.

'I lost all my jobs, I lost all my staff, I lost everything,' Ferguson stated on a documentary series.

The Duchess went on to say that she was just constantly worried about paying everyone off and that she doesn't understand finances at all. Add to that fact that Ferguson is also obsessed with shopping at designer boutiques, and you can see how the money troubles are consistent.

Neverland ranch alone shows us how much Michael Jackson used to spend.

When Michael Jackson passed away in 2009, reports surfaced that the iconic popstar was pretty close to broke.

According to The Daily Telegraph, the forensic accountant at Jackson's 2005 child sexual abuse trial stated that Jackson had been spending $20 to $30 million more than his earnings per year. The accountant went on to show that the 'Thriller' singer could be almost $285 million in debt.

Courtney Love has an ongoing feud with her American Express bill.

In 2009, it was reported on several sites that former Hole singer and Kurt Cobain-lover Courtney Love was getting really close to being broke.

American Express sued the singer for over $350,000 because she refused to make payments on her card. The British paper The Sun stated that Love allegedly was barred from dipping into a trust fund set up for her and her daughter Frances Bean.

Love is also facing another lawsuit by designer Dawn Simorangkir for libel, invasion of privacy, emotional distress, and breach of contract.

Larry King was sued by his business partner.

The former talk show host was embattled in a bitter scandal when he was accused of stealing money from his business partner Louis Wolfson.

King almost lost his career over the controversy and had to file for bankruptcy in 1978.

Luckily, King bounced back and became the 'King' of political and entertainment talk show hosts.

Gary Busey had only $50,000 to his name.

The eccentric actor filed for Chapter 7 in February with almost $500,000 is personal debts.

At his lowest point, Busey was said to have less than $50,000 in assets to his name even though he has appeared in over 70 films including 'Lethal Weapon' and 'Point Break.'

Find out more about Busey's bankruptcy troubles here.

Walt Disney once had a ill-performing film studio that sounded like a joke-telling telegram company.

Walt Disney wasn't always known for Mickey Mouse and happy places.

When the mogul first started out in the Hollywood/cartoon business, he was pretty terrible.

Disney originally created the 'Laugh-O-Gram' corporation in Kansas City, Mo., that was forced to file for bankruptcy after just two years due to investors pulling out of the company. By the end, Disney himself was suffering because of the company so he to start anew in California.

Lawsuits and bankruptcy go hand in hand

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.