10 Celebrities who sadly made big money mistakes
You’d have thought that a celebrity who has made millions of dollars would be financially secure for life, but an amazing number of ‘A’ list celebs have fallen foul of the tax authorities, crooked accountants, ex-wives and their own extravagant lifestyles. To go from having more money than most of us could ever dream of, to being a bankrupt who owns nothing at all, must be tough, but at least they have their fame to fall back and most of them do bounce back. Here are ten top celebrities who made some catastrophic money mistakes and ended up losing the lot.
1. Michael Jackson
Even the king of pop, Michael Jackson, who was the most successful entertainer of all time, managed to overstretch himself. On paper, the megastar was worth and absolute fortune, but only 0.5% of what he owned was readily available in cash. He filed for bankruptcy in 2007 when he could no longer afford to make the payments on a loan he had the Neverland Ranch. In his case, the stars’ lavish lifestyle was simply too grand, even for his income.
2. Willie Nelson
Country music star Willie Nelson went bankrupt in 1990, owing the tax man $16.7 million. His accountants had not been paying his taxes and they had used some rather dubious methods to try and avoid tax. To pay back his tax, Nelson released an album entitled “The IRS Tapes” and all the money that he made from that went straight to the IRS.
3. Toni Braxton
Award winning R&B singer Toni Braxton has sold over 67 million records worldwide, but she has managed to go bankrupt twice! In the late 1990’s she had a massive hit with “Unbreak My Heart”, but it seems she didn’t curb her spending to match the lower sales of subsequent releases. She filed for bankruptcy in 2010, and then, just three years later, it happened again.
4. Dionne Warwick
If you worry about your tax bill, then give a thought to the fact that Dionne Warwick managed to rack up a $10 million dollar debt with the tax authorities. She filed for personal bankruptcy in 2013 and her publicist said the reason for this was the ‘negligent and gross mismanagement’ of her finances over several consecutive years.
5. Mickey Rooney
Talk about riches to rags, at the height of his career, Mickey Rooney had a personal fortune of around $12m. Sadly, though, his career was a bit of a roller coaster ride and, as his popularity declined, so did his bank balance. When he went bankrupt in 1967, he had just $500 to his name.
6. Pamela Anderson
Another celebrity who has fallen into disfavour with the IRS is the Baywatch star and lover of rock stars, Pamela Anderson. She had been telling the IRS that she couldn’t afford to pay her taxes, but then she spent $1m renovating her home. The tax authorities were none too pleased with this deception and she had to file for bankruptcy and sell the home she had just spent all that money on.
7. Wesley Snipes
He might have been good at hunting vampires, but Blade star, Wesley Snipes, wasn’t so hot at balancing his books. His financial mismanagement landed him with bankruptcy and a spell in jail. He owed the tax man $12m dollars, but he just didn’t want to pay it, so he was busted for tax evasion and made a bankrupt.
8. Gary Coleman
The diminutive child actor from “Diff’rent Strokes” made 8 million dollars from his appearances on the show, but the money was managed by his parents until he reached the age of 18. Unbelievably, by the time he did reach 18, his bank account had dwindled to just $200,000. Thanks to his own parent’s squandering of his money, Coleman had to declare bankruptcy in 1999.
9. Nicholas Cage
Nicholas Cage simply got carried away with his spending and it was his love of mansions, yachts and flashy cars that were his downfall. Despite the numerous blockbuster movies that he starred in, when he declared bankruptcy, he had amounted debts totalling $14 million.
10. Marvin Gaye
Marvin Gaye was one of the biggest acts in the planet for a while and he had 70 hit songs to his name. Sadly, his spending habits were too much, even for his millionaire income. Gaye had been spending way more money than he had been earning and he was hoping that his future income would cover his overspending. When he was tragically shot by his own father in 1984, Gay was virtually penniless and he had been living on other people’s couches for the last five years of his life.