Fame is often accompanied by success and money. However, fame can also be quite fickle. And, who knows this better than celebs who can no longer afford their lavish lifestyles?
Fantasia Barrino won the third season of American Idol back in the year 2004. After that show, she signed a lucrative record deal, wrote a best-seller, and was also involved in a biographical production. Years later, she faced many lawsuits and lost the North Carolina house she had purchased for $1.1 million. Her financial situation became so dire that she ended up becoming homeless.
Best known for Grace Under Fire, comedian and actress Brett Butler was at peak of her career during the 1990s. She was making lots of money, and her career was on an upswing.
A series of bad investments and her addiction issues made her lose her fortune. Due to the dwindling work offers, her financial situation in 2021 became so critical that she had to start a crowd-funding campaign to raise funds for herself.
Television announcer, actor, singer, and host Ed McMahon was at the top of his game from 1957 to 1962. His show Who Do You Trust? was performing exceptionally well and McMahon was basking in the show’s success and fame.
Soon after, he experienced a financial downfall owing to his lavish spending habits. A hefty $4.8 million home loan left him almost broke taking his net worth to -$2 million in the year 2009.
‘King of Pop’ Michael Jackson has been at the center of many controversies including financial ones. This celebrity was said to spend a lot more than he earned as per the forensic accountants.
A large portion of his earnings covered his ever-growing legal expenditure (he was facing seven lawsuits in 2003.) His Neverland ranch proved to be a white elephant for the star. In 2012, the ranch was sold off to clear his debts, seven years after he passed.
American rapper T-Pain witnessed success with his second album Epiphany. In the years to come, he won two Grammys and delivered a slew of hits. That success was accompanied by financial lows, however, mostly due to the rapper’s overspending habits.
The situation became so dire that, at one point, he had to borrow money to get burgers for his children. This should be a lesson that he should really manage his finances better.
The soul singer and creator of the Shaft theme, Isaac Hayes was at peak of his career in the 1960s. Issac was one of the creative forces behind Stax Records. The record would run into a series of financial problems. In 1976, Hayes had to declare himself bankrupt.
By then, Issac was drowning in six million dollars of tax debt. His financial situation is said to have worsened due to mismanagement, incompetent staff, and spending too much on everything.
Teenage heartthrob David Cassidy soared to fame with his portrayal of Keith Partridge in The Partridge Family. He used this fame as a launchpad for his musical career.
His musical career took off, gaining him legions of fans. His song “I Think I Love You” broke all the records and became #1on musical charts. While his music career was flourishing, Cassidy was getting in trouble with the law. Then, a messy divorce proved to be so expensive that he had to put his mansion on the market.
Known for his portrayal of Arnold Jackson in the popular sitcom Different Strokes, Gary Coleman was one of the highest-paid stars on the show. When the series concluded in 1986, Coleman’s financial problems began. Apparently, his parents and business manager had made a mess of his finances.
The celebrity sued them for the damages. Though he won the case, the compensation he received wasn’t enough to keep him going. To sustain himself, he had to accept the job of a security guard before declaring bankruptcy in 1999.
Motormouth Teresa Giudice became a widely recognized housewife after she starred in reality show The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Despite her success on the show, the reality star has had her share of financial troubles and shortcomings.
She along with husband Joe were charged with mail fraud, bankruptcy fraud, wire fraud, and tax evasion in 2014. The duo had to serve jail time. While Teresa was sentenced to 15 months, her husband was given 41 months!
Burt Reynolds’ lavish spending habit became his financial undoing. This ‘70s star had a difficult time controlling his purse strings. Reynolds was known to blow his money on the most lavish of things including a private jet, a helicopter, sports cars, 150 horses, mansions, and more.
He is believed to spend $100,000 just on toupees. In an interview with Vanity Fair, he claimed that “it’s always possible to spend more money.” His attitude led him to bankruptcy in 1996 with over $10 million in debt.
Baseball pitcher Curt Schilling during his two-decade career made more than $115 million. After his retirement from sports, he decided to become an entrepreneur by launching a video game company, 38 Studios. Curt pumped all his life savings into the business.
Sadly, his business tanked and he found himself in a lawsuit filed by the state of Rhode Island. To cover up the losses to some extent, Curt had to take up a job in ESPN and start afresh.
In the ‘70s and ‘80s, model and actress Farah Fawcett had a huge fan following. And why wouldn’t she? A beloved icon, Fawcett won hearts from all over thanks to her portrayal as Jill Munroe in Charlie’s Angels.
The star was diagnosed with cancer back in 2006. The celebrity passed away three years later in 2009. Fawcett led a fairly regular life during the last decade of her life.
American star Nicole Eggert rose to fame with her character of Summer Quinn in the popular drama The Baywatch. She later went on to do a handful of television and movie projects. However, her projects thinned out gradually and the former star was struggling to make ends meet.
In 2013, she declared bankruptcy and sold her Los Angeles home to offset her losses. In a recent interview, she claims that her Baywatch success terrified her — leading her to premature exit from the show.
During the ’60s and ’70s, Sly Stone had everything from name to fame — and even an overflowing bank account. This soul and funk singer is considered the pioneer of his music genre. Alas, he never received his musical royalties. His savings subsequently began to dwindle and he ended up becoming homeless.
He was forced to live in a van and lead an austere life. Apparently, Stone hadn’t read the fine print properly and had given away all his music rights to the label.
Mickey Rourke was enjoying commercial and critical success in the ’80s thanks to his movies such as The Pope of Greenwich Village, Barfly, Angel Heart. The actor continued delivering hit after hit with Sin City, Iron Man 2, and The Expendables.
He was immensely praised for his portrayal of an aged wrestler in The Wrestler in 2008. Unfortunately, it went downhill from there. The acting offers dwindled, his addiction grew, and his finances took a hit.
Twilight’s Hollywood hunk Taylor Lautner may be a surprising entry but he too has had experience with financial hardships. While the whole Twilight series had a box office collection to the tune of $3.3 billion, Lautner was struggling to find his footing as a star post Twilight.
He was finding it difficult to find worthy projects. Though he was seen in a couple of projects, his starry status has definitely taken a blow since his time as part man-part werewolf — and so has his lifestyle.
This celebrity made her celluloid debut in 1993 with The Crush. The movie became a hit earning her MTV Movie Award for The Best Breakthrough Performance. She soon signed Aerosmith’s music video for “Cryin.”
Clueless cemented her position in Hollywood. In 1997, Alicia went on to do Batman and Robin. The movie undid her celebrity status and earned her bad press. Her projects were reduced with Alicia gradually stepping away from the studio lights.
Josh Harnett was seen in some of the highest performing films of the 1990s and 2000s — be it Black Hawk Down, Sin City, and Pearl Harbor. If you see his filmography, however, there was a lull in his acting projects from 2002 to 2004.
It’s said that Hartnett moved on to do Indie projects and pretty much disappeared from commercial movies. The switch impacted his earnings and celebrity net worth, and the actor is no longer living the lifestyle he used to in his heydays.
Mena Suvari caught people’s attention when she starred in both the American Pie franchise as well as American Beauty. The tabloids went gaga over her beauty and screen presence. But not many people know what happened; the star just disappeared from the acting scene.
By 2001, Mena was more or less written off from Hollywood. In 2012, Mena got divorced and had to pay her ex monthly spousal support of $17000 (read: financial red flag).
Martin Sheen’s son, Charlie Sheen rose to celebrity prominence with films such as Platoon, Wall Street, Major League, and Young Guns. In 2013, he left hit series Two and a Half Men.
Although he was once the highest-paid actor on the show, the fame got to his head. Ultimately, he was sacked from the show. His finances took a dip and, this once-famous actor found himself drowning in colossal debt to the tune of millions.
Much before her Netflix show Russian Doll (renewed for a second season), Natasha Lyonne was stuck in a bad financial loop — or a vicious financial cycle, as some may say.
The actor’s financial woes were the result of her substance abuse issues. She suffered major health problems and had to be sent to rehab. But, the actress pulled herself together and re-built herself, one good habit at a time.
Actor Dustin Diamond was a part of the 1980s sitcom Saved by the Bell wherein he played the nerdy albeit lovable Screech. Though he was loved for his role, Hollywood didn’t seem to love Screech’s real-life counterpart all that much.
For years, he grappled to find the next decent project. His attempts were unsuccessful, though. In 2001, Diamond filed for bankruptcy. He also tried selling T-shirts in between to avoid the legal authorities from seizing his house. Unfortunately, he passed in February 2021.
Six-time Grammy winner Dionne Warwick had her brush with financial woes once upon a time. In 2013, the award-winning star was left with no other option but to file for bankruptcy.
Apparently, Dionne ran into financial problems due to the financial mismanagement of her assets and investments, delay in paying previous taxes, and more. The singer had $1,000 in cash when she made the decision to declare herself bankrupt.
Much has been written about basketball player Dennis Rodman’s edgy style. He loved — and, in fact, still loves — to splurge and how. His extravagant lifestyle proved to be a financial bane for him. There came a point when he wasn’t able to meet his daily expenses.
The sports star had made $27 million during his basketball career. In 2014, he filed for bankruptcy and appealed to be absolved from his child support fees.
Baywatch’s breakout star Pamela Anderson has had her series of financial mishaps. She once ran into trouble with IRS (Internal Revenue Service) for failing to pay her taxes. Apparently, her dues had piled up so high that the star was forced to sell her Malibu Mansion to balance her financial records.
In another account, Jon Peters (her 12-day husband) once shared that he had cleared a major chunk of Pamela’s outstanding debts before he broke up with her.
A legend in soul music, Marvin Gaye sang many evergreen songs such as “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” and “Let’s Get it On.” He also won a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 1996.
In 1976, the music legend had to declare bankruptcy after he failed to pay alimony to his ex-wife, Anna Gordy. The judge told Gaye to pay alimony from his royalties and rejected his petition for bankruptcy. Due to the court’s order, his financial standing took a hit and Gaye joined the ranks of celebs who could no longer live lavishly.
Mark Hamill played Luke Skywalker in the first installment of the Star Wars saga — 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back. It was followed by another cult Star Wars movie titled Return of the Jedi (1983).
However, the role undid his acting career. The producers and directors were wary of casting him in other roles. Hamill’s income started thinning, and he had to do voice-over projects to keep his house up and running.
Supporting actor Stephen Baldwin has appeared in films such as Born on the Fourth of July and The Usual Suspects. After these projects, Stephen had a hard time getting new work. His debts speedily began to pile up while his earnings dried.
In 2009, he appeared before the court to file for bankruptcy. He had to let go of (foreclose) his New York home to settle his massive $2.3 million debt.
During the ’90s, country outlaw legend Willie Nelson was slapped with a tax evasion notice from the IRS — he owed a whopping $16 billion! He was practically left with nothing.
With his lawyers, Nelson began an intense series of negotiations with the IRS. He had to auction his most prized possessions in order to escape prison bars. Though the IRS lowered his debt to six million bucks, a majority of his properties were sold.
Hollywood A-lister Johnny Depp might be one of the highest-paid male actors in Hollywood, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t had any financial setbacks. The actor is apparently a big spender when it comes to yachts.
He has also pumped a lot of his earnings into his non-performing record label. In 2020, the celebrity told the court that he was left with $100 million after his business manager swindled money off him to the tune of $650 million.