15 Celebrities Who Have Unexpectedly Gone Broke


15 Celebrities Who Have Unexpectedly Gone Broke

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We're all big suckers for a good rags to riches story. They warm our hearts and make us believe in the American Dream.

While these stories are fun to read, riches to rags stories are so much juicier.

When most of us think of celebrities going broke, the first person that comes to mind is MC Hammer. He blew more than $30 million in just a few years!

To be fair, if I won the lottery I would probably have no idea how to control myself and would buy the most ridiculous things.

Managing your assets is not easy. These actors found out the hard way...

1. Kate Gosselin

The TLC star was raking in a lot of money when Jon & Kate Plus 8 was the show everyone was obsessed with.

When the network decided not to renew another season, Kate went under great financial stress to take care of her eight children.

According to an insider, her money started running out fast, and sending her kids to private school is costing her approximately $150,000 a year.

Luckily she's getting a new reality show called Kate Plus Date, which will be focusing on her romantic life. If the show flops, it's not going to look good for her and her family.

2. Pamela Anderson

The sex symbol of the '90s is just another celebrity who owed a lot of money to the IRS.

All those overdue taxes forced her to sell her home in Malibu and Australia, leaving her to move into a trailer park in California.

That being said, she's not broke anymore. Anderson claims that everything's "all sorted out now."

"I have a beautiful home in Canada, nine little cabins on the dock that I'm building on Vancouver Island and a store in the front. That's going to be kind of my sanctuary. I think eventually I'll be out of LA. I have been building my place in Malibu for four years, it's not finished yet."

If her claims are true, she definitely bounced back.

3. Courtney Love

You'd think that Kurt Cobain's wife would be set for the rest of her life after receiving all her deceased husband's money. Not even close.

Love was an actress and the lead singer of the band Hole, so she was generating her own income as well.

She admitted in an interview with UK's Sunday Times that she lost approximately $27 million of "Nirvana money" as she tried to settle lawsuits. Then another time she claimed she somehow lost $530 million.

In 2009, Love reportedly defaulted on her credit cards and was sued by American Express, owing them $350,000.

Things got so bad she had to borrow a couple million from her daughter's trust fund.

4. Willie Nelson

The country music legend didn't try to hide his financial woes when times got rough.

He released an album called The IRS Tapes: Who'll Buy My Memories? so that he could repay the IRS $16.7 million in loans.

He had to declare bankruptcy in 1990 because of it. At the time, that figure was the largest individual federal income tax bills ever given to someone.

Surprisingly, his debt was cleared in only a few years. The lesson here is, don't buy twenty properties in four different states.

5. Nicholas Cage

Nicholas Cage flying economy. Huffington Post

The Academy Award winner has starred in some of the most famous Hollywood films, which would probably mean that he's raking in a lot of dough.

That's actually far from the truth. Even being part of the wealthy Coppolla family couldn't save him.

Cage is quite the spender, and is still being sued by investment companies for failing to repay millions of dollars in loans. He reportedly owes the IRS more than $6 million in property taxes.

It's not shocking in slightest that purchasing deserted islands, castles, yachts, cars, waterfront properties would get you in a whole lot of debt. Billionaires don't even spend money like that.

If you thought these celebrities have it tough, keep reading...

6. Cyndi Lauper

The '80s pop sensation couldn't make ends meet, even after getting her band, Blue Angel, signed.

The band's manager sued her and her bandmates for $80,000, forcing her to file for bankruptcy in 1981. She worked as a waitress and in retail to pay off the debt.

Two years later, she bounced back after releasing hits like "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" and "Time After Time."

After that highly successful album, Lauper's music career tanked. In early 2018, she sold the home where she wrote "Kinky Boots" to move closer to the city. That's a good sign though, right?

7. Brendan Fraser

The Hollywood heartthrob of the '90s and '00s didn't have much luck when it came to matters of the heart.

Once his acting career flopped, his fortunes also went down the drain.

This mostly happened because of his divorce to Afton Smith in 2007. He had to pay $50,000 a month in alimony payments and on top of that he had to pay child support for his three sons.

His ex-wife thinks he's hiding his earnings so he doesn't have to pay so much money, but I can't imagine him paying that kind of hefty sum after disappearing from the limelight.

8. Corey Haim

The teen idol who made his way into the '80s "Brat Pack" seemed to have a lot of great things going for him. Unfortunately, his luck turned.

In 2010, the media reported that the actor died from overdose, but his death certificate listed pneumonia as the main cause of his death.

According to his friend, he was penniless after a decade struggling with substance issues.

Haim even tried selling one of his molars and a handful of his hair on eBay to make some money. Come on, you've got to be desperate to do something like that.  

If you're wondering, his tooth was auctioned for only $150.

9. Gary Coleman

If there's one celebrity who shouldn't have to pay off their debts it's the Diff'rent Strokes actor.

The child star was earning approximately $100,000 per episode, but after the show ended, so did his acting career.

Coleman's health deteriorated rapidly. He ended up having a host of health problems that resulted in him undergoing two kidney transplants and heart surgery.

He filed for bankruptcy in 1999 and was forced to work as a security guard to pay off his debts. My hearts breaks for this man!

He ended up dying penniless amidst allegations he was being abused by his wife.

10. Lena Headey

Game Of Thrones actors are raking in millions of dollars, especially main characters like Cersei Lannister.

That being said, the actress declared bankruptcy in 2013 after she filed for divorce. She told TMZ that at one point she had "less than $5 in her bank account."

She also took a loss on her investments, like her $1.8 million dollar home. Her acting career is not over yet, so we're sure she's going to make a nice comeback.

These next celebrities were swimming in money, until the worst happened...

11. Mike Tyson

You'd think the height of your career would mean riches, but for this former boxer it meant "bumming in the streets."

Tyson lost $300 million, which was basically all he had, and was forced to file for bankruptcy in 2003.

"For the past two years, I've been a bum," Tyson revealed in 2004. "I got nowhere to live. I've been crashing with friends, sleeping in shelters."

He told CNN that he was never "crazy" about money, but that he loved spending his fortune on jewelry, prostitutes, mansions and cars.

Of course, that was all before he went to jail for his cocaine use.

12. Toni Braxton

The R&B soul pop singer who gained fame in the 90s owed a lot of money to creditors, despite doing quite well in the music industry.

When she declared bankruptcy for the first time we were worried. She changed her business strategy and things seemed to go well for a couple years.

Then she declared bankruptcy for the second time, and we knew things were very bad for the young star.

The second time around she apparently owed creditors somewhere between $10 to $15 million!

13. Chris Tucker

The Rush Hour star seemed to be the next big comedic actor until he just wasn't.

He's been working to get more acting roles after losing his home to foreclosure and owing a huge sum to creditors.

According to Forbes, he owes more than $14 million to the IRS, meaning he's got to get his act together before it's too late.

14. Lindsay Lohan

The child actress who we all fell in love with for her role playing twins in The Parent Trap had to say goodbye to her lavish lifestyle after her troubled personal life got in the way.

Lohan reportedly owes more than $1 million to credit card companies and the IRS.

According to the Daily Mail, she owed almost $30,000 to her former chauffeur and faced bankruptcy in 2016 for failing to pay her rent.

Charlie Sheen even helped her out by giving her $100,000. Sheen said he "felt bad for her" and wanted to "pay it forward."

15. Randy Quaid

Randy Quaid and his wife, Evi, arrested.Uproxx

Just because your sibling is a super successful actor, doesn't mean you'll be.

Quaid was doing quite well for himself after a couple of Golden Globe awards, until he was forced to become homeless in 2010 after accumulating more than $3 million in debt.

Things got so bad he squatted on a property he used to own, probably reminiscing about the good ol' days.

In attempts to run away from the law, he fled to Canada, but was deported after his bid for permanent residency was denied.

Which riches to rags story shocked you the most?

[H/T: Stars]

Moojan has been a writer at Shared for a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at moojan@shared.com.