Special Feature

Celebrities You Didn’t Realize Had Serious Money Problems

Celebrities make so much money they are able to buy whatever they want.

Big houses, luxury cars, and designer clothing become a staple of a celebrity’s spending.

Unfortunately, sometimes celebs go overboard and buy a little too much.

Let’s take a look at the celebs that couldn’t control their spending habits, or had other difficulties, and faced some severe financial troubles…

Nicolas Cage

Nicolas Cage was once considered one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood.

But, he somehow got himself in a rather large amount of debt: $14 million.

His futile spending was the cause of the problem.

Cage bought multiple mansions, castles, yachts, and cars.

He ended up behind on his mortgage payments which led to multiple foreclosures.

His house in New Orleans, worth $6.8 million, was foreclosed.

He allegedly owed $5.5 million in mortgage payments and $151,730 to New Orleans in real estate taxes.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson was once named and still holds the title, in the Guinness Book of World Records, for the most successful entertainer. However, his hefty spending habits led him to spend all and more of his fortune. He took out a loan for $25 million to buy in the infamous Neverland Ranch. However, in 2007, he still owed the bank $23 million. He couldn’t make his mortgage payment on the ranch multiple times as well. Unfortunately, bad financial planning led to him foreclosing the Ranch and filing for bankruptcy. At the time of his death,  The King of Pop was $400-500 million in debt.

R. Kelly

In 2011, singer R. Kelly was sued by JP Morgan bank for $2.9 million. The bank claimed R. Kelly hadn’t paid his mortgage payments, on his Chicago mansion, in over a year. When R. Kelly bought the house in 1999, he took out a loan for $3.8 million to purchase the $5.2 million house. Unfortunately, due to the real estate crash, the value of his house sank to $3.8 million. He tried to sell in in a short sale for $1.595 million. However, no one wanted to buy it.

Teresa & Joe Giudice

The tumultuous tempered couple, Teresa and Joe Giudice of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” pled guilty to federal fraud charges. The couple was charged with lying about their income while applying for loans. The pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud and mail fraud amongst other charges. Both Teresa and Joe served time in prison. Their beach house was recently foreclosed and demolished in the beginning of 2017.

Tori Spelling & Dean McDermott

Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott are no strangers to financial issues. However, it recently got worse for them. A judge recently ruled in favor of City National Bank and slapped a default judgment, of $188,000, on the couple. This stems from a December 2016 issue, where the couple had not paid back a $400,000 loan. The Bank is also demanding the $17,000 Tori overdrew from her checking account. If not paid soon, the bank is allowed to start taking ownership of the couple assets.

Chris Tucker

This American comedian and actor has certainly had some financial issues. He was on the rise in the 90s when he had roles in “House Party 3,” “Friday,” and “The Fifth Element.” He reached true stardom after appearing in the “Rush Hour” trilogy, with Jackie Chan. He was once considered the highest paid actor in Hollywood when he received $25 million for his role in “Rush Hour 3.” However, today he now faces foreclosure on his Florida mansion and he has publicly stated he can not afford to pay his bills. He now has a net worth of negative $11.5 million.

Courtney Love




Despite being given 25% stake in Nirvana’s assets, frontwoman of Hole, and wife of Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love, still dealt with lots of financial issues. In 2014, she was slapped with a $320,000 tax lien. This was decided after love received a tax bill for over $266,000. The bill included unpaid taxes from 2009 and 2011. That same year she was ordered to pay fashion designer, Dawn Simorangkir, $96,000 after Simorangkir had sued Love on grounds defamation.

Lena Headey

Lena Headey may be a surprise on this list, as she currently stars in the hit TV series “Game of Thrones.” Unfortunately, her money problems are not from unnecessary spending, but from an intense divorce settlement battle. During her marriage, she had quit work after giving birth to her first son, Wylie. She said her and her husband “incurred a substantial amount of consumer debt to pay for our living expense during the marriage.” She also claimed to only have $5 in her bank account at the time of the divorce. Her husband was asking for much more than that.

Michael Vick

Michael Vick’s name is synonymous with 2 things: football and dogfighting. During his time in the NFL, previous to his dogfighting conviction, Vick had earned over $100 million. However, after his ,   he had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, in 2008. He claimed he owed over $20 million in debt and lost numerous endorsements. However, the Philadelphia Eagles gave Vick a second chance in 2001 and signed him to a $100 million, 6-year, deal. With this money, he was able to pay back much of his debt.

Heidi Montag & Spencer Pratt


After appearing on the “reality” series “The Hills,” Heidi Pratt and Spencer Montag were making more than $2 million per year. However, against professional advice, they squandered away their fortune with unnecessary spending. They bought a full staff of bodyguards, designer clothing, a crystal collection and dinners with $3,000 bottles of wine. After losing all of their money, the pair moved into Spencer’s parent’s house, in order to live rent-free.

Brendan Fraser

In the late 90’s Brendan Fraser was a huge Hollywood star. He appeared in films such as The MummyGeorge of the Jungle, and Monkeybone. However, after many professional expenses (i.e. paying agents, managers, etc.) and a divorce in 2007, Fraser found himself in debt. TMZ reported he owed over $87,000. He had filed documents in order to lower his alimony payments of $50,000 per month. TMZ also reported Fraser “makes about $205,704.04/month, but $112,803.25 goes to professional expenses, leaving him with $92,900.79.”

M.C. Hammer

Born Stanley Kirk Burrell, M.C. Hammer is a hip-hop artist who popularized his famous hammer pants. His famous line “Stop! Hammer time,” and crazy dance moves also made him a memorable music icon. Forbes once reported that Hammer’s net worth was close to $33 million. Unfortunately, it was also reported that due to his luxurious lifestyle and big spending habits he ended up $13 million in debt. He had to declare bankruptcy in 1996.

Larry King

Larry King once hosted CNN’s most watched and longest-running program, Larry King Live. It is hard to believe with so much commercial success he would have had financial problems. However, it was before he became a TV star that he faced his problems. In the 1970s, King had collected $352,000 in debt after his business partner accused him of larceny. King had to filed for bankruptcy in 1978. Luckily, it wasn’t long after that he got his big break on TV.

50 Cent

Rapper 50 Cent, born Curtis Jackson, found himself in deep debt after a lawsuit with Lavonia Leviston. Leviston claimed Jackson leaked a sex tape of hers in order to embarrass her. The judge ruled in her favor and Jackson was ordered to pay her $6 million. That same year he owed the audio equipment company, Sleek Audio, $17 million. In order to get his finances back in order, Jackson filed for bankruptcy. However, he has since recovered and is set to appear in 2 films to be released in 2018.

Mike Tyson

The former boxing champion Mike Tyson was knocked out with debt in the early 2000s. In 2005, he declared bankruptcy after being $23 million in debt. He worked with IRS for many years to come up with a plan to pay his debts. However, in 2014, Tyson said he gave the IRS a hefty check. In return, the IRS excused $2 million off his bill. Tyson said “The IRS was very kind to me the other day…I like the IRS now.”

Allen Iverson

Allen Iverson is still considered to be one of the best athletes to play in the NBA. His salary reached up to $20 million per season. However, he was notorious for not making sound financial decisions. He earned over $150 million throughout his career but was drowning in debt even before his official retirement. However, luckily, in 2001 he had signed an endorsement deal with Reebok. The contract stated Reebok would pay Iverson $800K every year for life, as well as set aside a trust fund of $32 million which he can start utilizing in 2030.

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga became an international superstar after releasing her debut album “The Fame”, in 2008. She quickly went on tour in 2009. She played to millions of sold-out crowds. Unfortunately, during this time, she has revealed, she was also broke. She told Entertainment Tonight, “I had $3 million dollars in the bank to my name and I threw it all in to make my stage, so I was bankrupt during the show.” However, her plan was to get the attention of the entertainment group, Live Nation, and she did.

Robert Downey Jr.

Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr., was once known for the juvenile decisions he used to make. He had gotten in trouble with the law and was addicted to drugs. However, all of his issues also lead to financial problems. The IRS had placed several liens on his assets. However, the last one, for $495,229, was removed in December 2007. He has since become sober and is making the best of his career (which includes a huge acting salary).


Related posts



Performance Psychology Skills Every Musician Should Master. Part Two


6 ways musicians communicate on stage