Wably Celebrity

31 Celebrities Who Went Broke

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MC Hammer

Image: Huffington Post

Celebrities often seem like they have it all. Fame, friends, the glamorous life and fortune. But then again, some celebrities go broke. It’s hard to have too much sympathy, especially when you consider the differences between celebrity broke and real people broke. That’s why we don’t feel bad about our list of 31 celebrities that went broke.

1. Allen Iverson

The famous ‘balller Allen Iverson ran into hard times despite making as much as $20 million a season in his prime. He notoriously spent insane amounts of money just to have an entourage the size of a small village.

2. MC Hammer

We guess MC Hammer’s fleeting fame and success didn’t set him up for a lifetime of comfort. The ‘Can’t Touch This’ rapper is known for his large entourage, but he was also stupid enough to buy a $30 million mansion.

3. Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson is probably the most famous performer of all time. But he’s also one of the most tragic. He spent all the money he made trying to recreate a childhood denied him by such early success.

4. Chris Tucker

Chris Tucker standup

Despite earning $25 million for a single movie — Rush Hour 3 — Tucker went broke and was forced to sell 3 mansions because he didn’t pay his income tax. Don’t mess with Uncle Sam.

5. Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds in hot tub

Image: Express

A costly divorce and and bad restaurant venture caused this Hollywood hunk to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1996.

6. Kim Basinger

The Hollywood starlet filed for bankruptcy after pulling out of the 1993 film Boxing Helena, when the studio sued her for $7 million. They eventually settled on $3.8 million.

7. Larry King

In 1978 King filed for bankruptcy after being sued by a former business partner. In 1978, King also started the show he is now famous for. He’s come out all right.

8. Wayne Newton

Wayne Newton

Image: ABC News

Newton acquired over $20 million in debt after numerous failed business ventures, despite being one of the highest paid performers of all time. He filed chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1992.

9. Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson looking angry

Tyson earned over $400 million from boxing and endorsements, but the fiery guy never could manage his money, eventually having $50 million worth of debt. He’s since turned his situation around and is in great financial shape.

10. Gary Coleman

Gary Coleman

Image: Howard Stern Show

In 1999, Coleman filed chapter 7 bankruptcy claiming a debt of $72,000.

11. Toni Braxton

We feel bad for Toni Braxton, because, despite enormous success, she has filed bankruptcy twice, and neither time was her fault. The first time was because of a one-sided contract that gave most of the revenue she generated to her studio, and the other because she had to give up performing because of illness.

12. Terrell Owens

Terrell Owens in sunglasses

Owens made around $70 million playing in the NFL, but knocking up four women and producing kids with each of them would eventually cost the star over $50,000 a month, just in child support.

Our advice? Wear a condom.

13. Dionne Warwick

Dionne Warwick has the voice of an angel. An angel that owed over $11 million to creditors before her 2013 bankruptcy.

14. Meat Loaf

Meat Loaf Singing

Meat Loaf filed for bankruptcy in the mid-1980s to avoid paying a former business partner anything after a lawsuit was filed against the rocker.

15. Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins

Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins

Image: CNN

Tionne’s recent financial troubles have come as a result of high medical bills from treating a brain tumor, so she definitely has our sympathy there. In 1995, however, she filed bankruptcy for unknown financial mismanagement.

16. Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson

Image: KOM

Owing over $16 million in back taxes, Willie Nelson declared bankruptcy in 1990. In 1991 he released an album about it and was able to pay back everything to the IRS.

17. Tammy Wynette 

Tammy Wynette

Image: The Boot

The country legend filed for bankruptcy in 1988 after she invested heavily in two Florida shopping malls that failed.

18. Janice Dickinson 

The former supermodel had to file bankruptcy in 2013 after amassing over $1 million in debt, most of which belonged to the IRS.

19. Warren Sapp

At the time of his 2012 bankruptcy filing, Warren Sapp had assets totaling $6.45 million, but had debts of $6.7 million. Some of his assets included a pricey lion skin rug and an Air Jordan collection worth over $6 thousand according to court documents. Hmm, we wonder why he went bankrupt.

20. Mickey Rooney 

TV funny-man Mickey Rooney once estimated his net worth at over $12 million, but in 1962 filed for bankruptcy citing only a net worth of $500.

21. Sinbad

Sinbad performing standup


The comedian had a great career, but he made a lot of really bad investments that eventually caused him to have over $11 million in debt and owning back taxes. He filed for bankruptcy recently and said he wouldn’t change a thing.

22. Evander Holyfield

Evander Holyfield

The boxer’s extravagant lifestyle eventually caught up to him, and despite earning over $200 million from boxing and endorsements, Holyfield’s 108-room mansion went into foreclosure and he was forced to sell it to pay off over $14 million in debt. Oh, he also owed back child support. Again, wear a condom.

23. Gary Dourdan

The CSI star filed for bankruptcy in 2012 claiming that his monthly income was down to a paltry $312 and that he owed $1.7 million to creditors — despite $1.8 million in assets. Something doesn’t seem completely right here.

24. Michael Vick

Michael Vick went broke after being imprisoned for his dog fighting ring when his $100 million football contract with the Atlanta Falcons was terminated. He made it out okay — unfortunately.

25. Joan Rivers

The late funny-gal Joan Rivers was forced to file bankruptcy after her husband committed suicide. She picked herself up and came back better than ever. She’ll be sorely missed.

26. Walt Disney

Walt disney


Before succeeding with his animation studio and theme park, Walt Disney had numerous failed business ventures and filed for bankruptcy in 1923. We think he came out of it just fine.

27. Nicolas Cage

Hollywood crazy-man Nic Cage famously wasted millions on islands and dinosaur eggs. Yeah, those weren’t smart investments.

28. Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper filed for bankruptcy as a struggling musician before making it big. She fought and succeeded where many others failed. Good for her.

29. Tia Carrere

The “General Hospital” star sued the studio claiming they didn’t pay her enough to maintain her lifestyle. That just sounds greedy.

30. Gary Busey

Gary Busey

Busey is just crazy. I mean, look at that face.

31. Wesley Snipes

We’ve discussed the dangers of not paying your taxes, and that’s what caused Snipes to go bankrupt, owing more than $12 million to the IRS.

  • Jack Oliver

    I’m not surprise there are so many blacks on the list.

    • Caillou

      I’m not surprised that this is coming from a white guy

    • Rae Ajiboso

      @JackOliver … you’re a damn idiot. There was just as many whites on the list and if your reading skills were up to par, you can see that a lot of them ended up fine after a rough time. Again, like they said in the beginning, celebrity “broke” is not like regular people broke….I’m sure being a racist computer troll, while living in your mama’s basement brings in all the big dough….gtfoh….

      • Jack Oliver

        It’s “your” you damn idiot. lol You try to insult me and can’t even get it right.

        • Kackzie Wackzie

          Um…you’re wrong. You’re is a contraction of you are. The second use of “your” was also correct as it implies something belonging to you. Again the 2nd use of “your” is correct, since it implies posession, “your mama”. This writer wrote the insult correctly.

          • Jack Oliver

            You obviously have no idea what your talking about.

        • Rae Ajiboso

          Yes, I did insult you and you just insulted yourself…. again….like I said before, You’re (YOU ARE) a damn idiot!….not “YOUR”….that’s a possessive pronoun…..idiot…. *drops mic…my work here is done*

    • Kai

      Why ???

      • Jack Oliver

        because blacks are bad at managing there money and the government just gives them mine and yours through welfare

        • Steven Jay

          Jack Oliver…dumb ass since forever!!! You sure didn’t make good grades out of high school…if you ever went!

  • drmgatsby

    Tell you anything? Throwing money at the blacks is not the answer to America’s black problem.

    • Kackzie Wackzie

      Jerk! These were entertainers, sports celebrities, etc. Money wasn’t “thrown” at them. Most people who aren’t rich and then make a lot of money don’t have the savvy to invest. Not a part of their upbringing. That’s why many people who win the lottery go broke too.

      • drmgatsby

        Thanks, you just made my point.

        • Kackzie Wackzie

          Yes. Your point was made to the many who live on the low road of life and can’t seem to dig their way out of the hole and mental stagnation they live in. I feel sorry that you have remained ignorant and racist into adulthood. Thankfully, your breed is dying out.

    • Jack Oliver

      Right? These liberal apologists can’t seem to understand that the blacks need to improve their lifestyles before they should be trusted with money. Too many drugs and having babies with anything that moves.

      • Rae Ajiboso

        …and this is coming from an internet troll that doesn’t know the difference between “you’re” and “your”…..maybe you should ask some well to do Black people, like myself, to offer you some money so you can further YOUR education because apparently YOU’RE a child left behind… *pulling out pen and check….* How much do you need again?? LMAO!!!!

  • Patricia Hanlon

    I’m not surprised that stupidity regarding finances is interpreted by a racist. Why not laud Asians for not being on the list? Donald Trump and Walt Disney are white, and filed bankruptcy 3 times.

    • Kackzie Wackzie

      Good points. I think the list was limited. I don’t think the article was by any means an in depth expose of rich celebrities who have gone bust. It’s hard to believe that this short list was by any means exhaustive. It is interesting that all the racists saw was color and that became dominant to the point of them relating it to welfare. (See drmgatsby’s comment below if you haven’t read it. I guess “throwing money at blacks” who are celebrities is different than “throwing money” at whites who are celebrities. I have learned that few racists ever changed. They have grown up with racists all their lives, and it is a part of their thought patterns. There is nothing new under the sun. Cain slew Abel and ushered in generations of people who walk the low road in life.

  • Jane Ellen Hautanen

    Waste of time

  • RAZZ

    Gosh…Every damn article I read turns into a race argument!! smdh

  • Tom Passerella

    passerella for us president
    will debate on any podcast with Trump or any others !!

    best wishes !!
    please share @Rock4prez on twitter

  • Mark Braun

    Sad for Toni Braxton, who was hit with horrible, relentlessly predatory management and a son with some kind of illness.

    Whether by their own hand or another preying on they, greed as the root of every case here.