When a celebrity makes it big, you ordinarily expect them to be rolling in money forever. Well, sometimes that’s just not the case. Plenty of celebrities end up having to file for chapter 11. And even if they don’t have to do that, they may not be able to afford to live the lavish lifestyles they used to in the past. Here are some of the celebrities that lost it all.
Willie Aames was once a child star and had a famous role in the series Gunsmoke. However, the years have not been kind to him or his bank account. A common trend you’ll see on this list is that substance abuse was at least a factor in these celebrities losing a ton of money. Aames, himself, once said, “at one point I went from eating at the White House to sleeping in the bushes and brought back again.”
Fantasia Barrino is a beautiful singer. She rose to fame after winning the third season of American Idol in 2004. In 2006 she even got nominated for a Grammy. Unfortunately, she couldn’t pay back a $1.1 million loan she took out in North Carolina for a house. It was repossessed and she was rendered homeless.
Brett Butler starred in the 1993 comedy series, Grace Under Fire. It ran for five seasons and Butler was making plenty of cash and garnering plenty of acclaim. But a few years later, she lost it all. It was another case of addiction and she ended up losing everything. Although, she fortunately has managed to recover in recent years.
Sinbad became rather prominent as a comedian thanks to HBO specials and guest appearances on several prominent television shows. Not to mention, his roles in films like Necessary Roughness and Good Burger. But then after a while, the well just seemed to dry up for him. Not only was he barely working, but he ended up getting a tax bill for $8 million. He had to mortgage his house and file for bankruptcy.
T-Pain really seemed to be coming into success when his second album, Epiphany, reached number one on the US Billboard 200 chart. His success only continued to grow as he won two Grammys and even formed his own record label. But a series of bad investments and poor spending habits made him nearly destitute. He said at that he even needed to borrow money to get his kids Burger King. He’s now doing much better with his finances, having certainly learned his lesson.
Teresasa Giudice became famous for her part in the reality show The Real Housewives of New Jersey. But in 2013, she and her husband were charged with conspiracy to commit mail, bank, and wire fraud. She ended up getting 15 months in jail, while her husband got 41. They had to pay a lot of money in back taxes and Teresa is still having trouble getting back on her feet.
Mekhi Phifer became famous for his role in the show ER. He also acted in several films, like 8 Mile and Clockers. He got a lot of money from his roles, but he didn’t exactly make enough. His tastes were incredibly expensive, buying tons of firearms and a bed made entirely of leather. In 2014 he had to file for bankruptcy.
Tionne “T Boz” Watkins
Tionne Watkins was a big singer and songwriter during the 90s. She was the “T” in the band TLC. The band was about to make a big comeback years later, but Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez sadly passed away. And without a steady income, Watkins was left in a bad situation. She ended up filing for bankruptcy three times. In 2013 she even tried to apply for a debt pardon, but was denied.
Curt Schilling is a former pitcher that led the Red Sox to World Series, after years of them being a losing team. He received millions of dollars as professional athlete and decided to invest it. Unfortunately, none of the investments went well. He bought a video game studio, but it tanked pretty quickly. He had to spend $75 million just to keep it afloat. He filed for bankruptcy and had to pay $120 million to creditors. On top of that, he had to pay an additional $2.5 million to the state of Rhode Island.
Eggert rose to fame as the blonde, bombshell lifeguard Summer Quinn in Baywatch. However, her fame was short-lived. She started to have a lot of trouble to find roles. While she’s not exactly broke, and occasionally does get hired for voice overs, she does still have to budget her spending properly.
An icon of soul and funk music, Sly Stone hit his peak as the front man of Sly and the Family Stone. However, despite his importance to the genres of soul, funk, and rock, Stone never received his royalties for his music. On top of that, he also started to develop problems with addiction. He ended up homeless and living in a van. He took the issue to court, but the judge ruled in favor of the production company.
Taylor Lautner started as a child star in films like The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lava. But he later evolved into a teen heartthrob due to his role in the Twilight Saga films as Jacob Black. However, after he finished the last film in that franchise, it became increasingly difficult for Lautner to get work. He’s not exactly broke, but he’s not cashing many paychecks either. And he’s not living lavishly either.
Mickey Rourke had a prolific career, appearing in several well-received (and a few less well-received, but still commercially successful) films. His biggest role came in the film The Wrestler, which some say was his best performance. However, he culdn’t score any big roles after this. And his expensive habits ended up draining his bank account. Careless behavior combined with substance abuse was just a recipe for disaster.
Alicia Silverstone had appeared in a few things before then, but her performance in the film Clueless catapulted her to stardom. However, in 1997, things took a turn for the worse. Being casted as Batgirl in Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin didn’t do her career any favors. She even won the Razzie for Worst Supporting Actress. She’s had a few more minor roles since then, but isn’t living the same extravagant lifestyle as some of her peers. She’s focusing more on animal rights now as a dedicated activist.
Josh Harnett was another Hollywood heartthrob that just couldn’t keep things going. After the 2000s, he basically just disappeared. He is still acting, but mostly in indie films. His big paychecks have stopped, but he’s still making money. It’s just that he’s not making as much as he used to.
Mena Suvari was considered one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood in 1999. She received acclaim for her roles in American Beauty and American Pie and seemed to be on the fast track to becoming a superstar. However, she was already having trouble securing roles by 2001. And in 2010, things got even worse. She got married to a man named Simone Sestito, and they divorced 18 months later. And she was forced to pay a monthly stipend of $17,000 in spousal support.
Strangely enough, being the star of one of the most lucrative franchises of all time didn’t help Mark Hamill secure any roles. For a while, people only saw him as Luke Skywalker. Since people wouldn’t hire him for films, he ended up becoming a rather prolific voice actor. In more recent years, he’s been able to grace the screen again, outside of the newer Star Wars films, so he might joint he ranks of the fabulously wealthy once again.
Charlie Sheen became one massively famous and prolific actor, with his career kicking off in 1984 after starring in Red Dawn. Being the son of Martin Sheen, a legendary actor, probably also helped him catapult his career to new heights. He wasn’t just starring in movies either, but got his own show in the form of Two and a Half Men. Unfortunately for him, he was kicked off the show for reckless and lewd behavior. His finances also took a massive hit, having over $12 million in unpaid debts and $5 million in unpaid taxes.
Natasha Lyonne is still having a rather fruitful career, starring in the new show Poker Face. And let’s not forget the big paycheck she got years ago for her role in American Pie. But there was a time when she was jobless and suffering from a substance abuse problem. Fortunately, she’s managed to bounce back and get clean, having gone to rehab.
Lil’ Kim was a really big rapper in the 90s, but it’s not her job, or a lack thereof, that forced her into destitution. Turns out she had an issue with tax evasion, having not paid a single cent in them since 2010. She owes more than $126,000 in back taxes alone. On top of that, she was even sued by her own legal representation, and now owes them $200,000.
Stephen Baldwin enjoyed supporting roles in the films Born on the Fourth of July and The Usual Suspects, but that was basically it. Unlike his brother, Alex, Stephen didn’t have the same level of success. In 2009 he actually got caught performing tax evasion. He had to file for bankruptcy and foreclose his home.
Dionne Warwick has won six Grammys. She’s an absolute music legend. Not to mention, a former TV show host and a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. Unfortunately, she’s also been convicted of tax evasion. Despite her fame, she’s apparently been struggling with money since the 90s. She owed millions to the IRS and even after paying off the initial debt, her bank account’s still in the red.
Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola has directed some of the most famous films of all time. Even if you haven’t watched them, you’ve at least heard of some of his works, such as the Godfather trilogy, The Rainmaker, and Apocalypse Now. But, as it turns out, Coppola isn’t exactly smart with money. He’s had to file for bankruptcy three times in ten years. His movie One from the Heart was a box office disaster and he reported owed over $98 million as a result of this.
La Toya Jackson
Tales of La Toya Jackson’s money problems have persisted for years. Most famously was how she filed for bankruptcy in the 90s because she owed an absurd amount of money to the Moulin Rogue club in Paris. Some say La Toya’s funds disappeared because of her gold-digging husband, but regardless, she never got to really enjoy the celebrity lifestyle like her siblings.
Dennis Rodman was a great basketball player in his prime. However, that doesn’t mean he’s good with his money. His lawyers even claimed he couldn’t afford basic living expenses, let alone his children’s child support. He tried to live an extravagant lifestyle, but he just couldn’t afford it.