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25 Celebrities Who Went From Filthy Rich to Totally Broke

It’s all too easy to imagine that celebrities live a life of constant fame and money. While it is true that many celebrities are paid exorbitant amounts of money for their work, be it acting, business, or singing, not every celebrity is paid nearly as much as you think. Some celebrities can pay large sums of money to release an album or filming a box office movie. But what if they experience filthy rich to broke?

It’s all too easy for a celebrity to become used to the glitz and glam of fame. They will buy expensive cars, beach houses, and all sorts of ridiculous luxuries that only the richest of the rich can afford. This lifestyle can be fun for some time, but if that celebrity’s career ever hits a rough patch, they’re in trouble.

Too many celebrities have gotten so used to expensive living that even when the money starts to run out, their dangerous spending habits only make their financial situation worse. Even as some celebrities become progressively poorer, they can’t seem to give up their frivolous lifestyles.

In today’s video, we’re going to take a look at 25 different celebrities who used to be filthy rich, but eventually ended up broke. Make sure you stick around, because we’re also going to reveal the shocking reason why music legend Michael Jackson was $400 million in debt at the time of his death!

Larry King

Larry King is one of the most iconic television show hosts in America. Today, he holds numerous accolades under his belt, including two Peabody Awards, 10 Cable ACE Awards, and one Emmy Award. He began his career in 1957, working on various radio shows. In 1978, his work finally went national, but that very same year, he ran into quite a bit of trouble.

Years back, in 1971, King found himself charged with grand larceny, and his business partner at the time accused him of stealing $5,000. The charges drop, but the situation is terrible for publicity, and his career grew steadily less reliable over time. In 1978, Larry King had to file for bankruptcy. Thankfully, he is able to revitalize his career after offering the position of radio talk show host in Washington, DC.

Michael Jackson

After working with his siblings in The Jackson 5, Michael Jackson embarked on a solo career with Motown Records in 1971. In 1979, his fifth studio album, Off the Wall, which finally gained him stardom. However, Jackson was notorious for spending exorbitant amounts of money on various luxuries. He took out countless loans to buy houses, cars, and items that fit his expensive taste. His opulent lifestyle eventually caught up with him, however. Michael Jackson died extremely in debt, as he rarely paid back any of his loans.

After his death, a forensic accountant did some digging and found that he was somewhere between 400 and 500 million dollars in debt! Since his death, however, his estate has managed to pay back these debts, and since 2012, Michael Jackson has been the top earning dead celebrity in the world. While the dead celebrity is not receiving any of the money himself, you can rest assured his family will live quite comfortably for the remainder of their lives.

Dennis Rodman

Dennis Rodman is a former professional basketball player, revered for his skills in defense and rebounding. He began his playing career in 1986, and was a famous player until his eventual retirement in 2006. While playing, Rodman earned a great deal of money, which meant he could certainly afford a luxurious lifestyle.

In 2012, however, Rodman’s money ran out. He owed $800,000 in child support, and he couldn’t even afford basic living expenses.

No longer able to rely on money from playing basketball, Dennis Rodman resorted to a life of thievery. He accuses of stealing an expensive amethyst crystal, as well as large amounts of name-brand clothing. While Rodman vehemently denied the accusations, others found it hard to believe him.

Nicolas Cage

Nicolas Cage is one of the most famous Hollywood celebrities today. This Academy Award winning actor is famous for his roles in popular action films, such as City of Angels, National Treasure, and Ghost Rider. He is also one of the top-paid celebrities in the world today. In 2009 alone, he earned $40 million for his work as an actor.

While Nicolas Cage is a huge earner in Hollywood, he is also notorious for his spending habits. Between 1996 and 2011, Nicolas Cage squandered away his earnings of $150 million, spending it on things like cars, multiple houses, and rare and valuable items. After not paying his taxes in 2007, Cage realized he was in serious financial trouble. He had to sell many expensive belongings in order to get his life back on track. Today, he has regained some of his fortune, and is now worth $25 million. Hopefully, he gets his spending habits in check, and will no longer have to worry about going broke.

Wayne Newton

Wayne Newton is a renowned singer and actor who released huge music hits such as “Daddy, Don’t You Walk So Fast,” “Years,” and his signature song, “Danke Schoen.” He found even more success as a lounge singer in Las Vegas, Nevada. In 1983, he was the highest-paid performer in the United States.

Nearly a decade later, however, Newton filed for bankruptcy and found himself $20 million in debt. He is able to pay the debt off, but just as he is finding his financial footing again, he sues by the IRS for not paying taxes after selling a house. His property seizes in 2010 for another failure to pay taxes, and Newton forces to turn it into a public attraction to pay it off. Today, while he still finds moderate success in his work, Wayne Newton is still struggling financially.

Kim Basinger

Kim Basinger is a woman of many talents, who has gained fame for her work as an actress, singer, and fashion model. Starting her career as a model in New York, but eventually pursued acting in 1976. She made her film debut in the 1981 movie Hard Country. She is now an Academy Award winning actress who nobody would have expected to go broke.

In 1989, however, Basinger purchased an entire 1,691 acre town in Georgia, which she paid $20 million for. She bought it with the goal of turning the town into a tourist attraction, but it caused her too much financial strain. In 1993, she forces to declare bankruptcy and promptly sold the property. Later, after attempting to back out of an oral contract for acting in a film, she sues for a total of $8.1 million, which only added insult to injury. She was eventually able to settle, however, and she has finally found success once again in her career.

Floyd Maxweather Jr.

Floyd Maxweather Jr. was so skilled at boxing that he earns himself the nickname “Money,” which alludes to the fact that he never loses a boxing match throughout his career. The nickname “Money” is quite ironic, however, when you learn that he was deeply in debt. Maxweather refused to pay taxes for many years, and as a result, he found himself owing $22.2 million to the IRS.

His financial situation was so bad that some even wondered if he would have to come out of retirement in 2018 in order to earn enough money to pay back his debts. To make matters worse, he was also sued for defamation in 2015, although the results of that particular case are still pending. Unfortunately, Floyd Maxweather Jr. has not been able to crawl out of financial trouble just yet, and is still struggling to pay back his debts.

Cindy Lauper

Today, Cindy Lauper reveres her work as a solo artist, especially after the release of her hit “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” While she currently is doing very well financially, life wasn’t always so easy for the singer. Before she starts her solo career, she is part of a group, Blue Angel. The group released one album, which barely sold any copies. The group then got into an argument with their manager, who they fired. The manager fought back, however, and sued them for $80,000, which put Cindy Lauper in a precarious situation. In 1981, she had to file for bankruptcy.

Thankfully, Lauper knew she had great talent, and released the hit album She’s So Unusual. Finally, she earned the fame she deserved, and she is still earning plenty of money from her latest music releases.


T-Pain has explained in one interview that his entire career has been a rollercoaster. While he does very well when his career is at a high point, the money isn’t always reliable. At the highest point of his career, T-Pain explained that he had $40 million. Later on, however, after what he describes as “bad investments,” he leaves with virtually nothing. At one point, he even had to ask a friend for money so he could buy his children Burger King.

T-Pain explained that his low points have helped him to learn how to better manage his money, and a combination of smarter spending habits as well as an uptick in his career have left him in a much more stable financial position. From now on, T-Pain vows to be more careful about his spending, as well as pay more attention to his finances, both for himself and for the sake of his family.

Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson earns as much as $400 million throughout his career as a heavyweight champion, but after a time, he hits hard by the realities of life. He squandered away his savings, and by 2003, he realized that he owed $23 million to a large number of people and organizations, including the IRS, his ex-wife, and several lawyers. He declared bankruptcy and served time in jail as well as rehab.

Today, he seems to be relying on his entrepreneurial skills to make money, and as of 2018, has been running a marijuana company called The Ranch Companies. Despite his serious financial troubles earlier in life, Mike Tyson has supposedly turned over a new leaf, and he seems to be doing quite well today.

Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye began his prolific career as a singer, songwriter, and record producer in 1957. The talented soul singer released countless amazing hits, such as “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and “Let’s Get It On.” Today, he reveres as one of the most famous musicians in history.

In 1976, however, Marvin Gaye found himself tremendously in debt. After divorcing his first wife, Anna Gordy Gaye, he pays alimony. He fell behind on his payments, however, and had to file for bankruptcy in 1976.

At the time, he owed her a tremendous amount of money. He was working on paying her back, but was tragically shot and killed by his father in 1984, when he was just 44 years old. He still owed his ex-wife a little less than $300,000 at the time of his death.

50 Cent

The famous rapper 50 Cent became popular in the 1990s, but mostly relied on his business empire to pay the bills. In 2015, however, it reveals that 50 Cent owed $32.5 million to countless lawsuits, as well as child support, which he had been refusing to pay. Just a year later, after scrambling to pay people back, he filed for bankruptcy.

Some reports came out in 2018, announcing that 50 Cent’s investments in bitcoin made him a millionaire. However, 50 Cent denied these claims, saying he never owned bitcoins. His albums seem to be more successful over time, however, so we’re hopeful that his financial situation has improved.

Gary Coleman

Gary Coleman was a beloved child actor who earned a great deal of money for his role in the 1980s sitcom, Diff’rent Strokes. However, both his parents and business advisor took complete control of his earnings, and their mismanagement of his money left him in a precarious situation. In 1999, an adult Coleman files for bankruptcy, and says bitter towards the people who had mismanaged his earnings. Coleman’s career is hurt by this, his situation.

It’s terribly sad that Gary Coleman’s entire life affects by the poor management of his earnings, especially because it wasn’t his fault. Of course, Gary Coleman’s parents and business advisor certainly weren’t the first people to handle money poorly. Make sure you stick around until the very end, because we’re going to reveal how Burt Reynolds’ expensive lifestyle forced him to declare bankruptcy! And if you’re enjoying this video so far, please take a moment to like this video, and don’t forget to subscribe to Facts Verse for more!

Toni Braxton

Famous singer Toni Braxton is popular for releasing hits like “Un-Break My Heart” and “You’re Makin’ Me High/Let It Fly.” As of 2020, she sells over 70 million copies of her albums throughout the world and recognizes as one of the most successful R&B musicians to date. Despite the success of her career, she had to file for bankruptcy on two separate occasions.

First, Braxton filed for bankruptcy in 1998 after a contract that left her with very little money. In 2008, after suffering health issues, she was forced to cancel a revue in Las Vegas, which caused her to file bankruptcy again.

Since these financial difficulties, however, Toni Braxton has become far more successful, and even started her own reality TV show, Braxton Family Values. Furthermore, she continues to make music and has since released several successful albums.

Stephen Baldwin

Stephen Baldwin is a prolific director, producer, and actor who is known for his appearances in films such as The Usual Suspects, 8 Seconds, and Bio-Dome. He has also starred in a number of reality shows, such as Celebrity Apprentice and Celebrity Big Brother. In 2009, however, he was forced file for bankruptcy after failing to pay taxes and mortgages which left him deeply in debt.

Baldwin found his footing after some time, but soon fell back into his old habits. In 2017, his house was foreclosed after refusing to pay a mortgage for a total of 6 years. He was once arrested for not paying taxes for three years, as well. With so many transgression, we can only hope that Stephen Baldwin has decided to make a change in his life.

Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson is an iconic country singer who has released hits like “On the Road Again,” “Pancho and Lefty,” and “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before.” He is also well known for his activism, particularly in regards to the legalization of marijuana. However, Willie Nelson is also notorious for his many money problems.

After avoiding taxes for several years, Nelson owed the IRS $16.7 million, and while his lawyer was able to negotiate to $6 million, Nelson still didn’t have the money. As a result, his house was seized, as well as many of his assets. Long-time fans raised money through fundraisers, which helped Nelson pay off some of his debt.

Today, Willie Nelson is doing much better, and he continues to make music and release albums.

Aaron Carter

Aaron Carter became a huge pop star after releasing albums when he was just seven and nine years old. As a teen, he released even more albums, but after he turned eighteen, all of that success ended up hurting him more than helping him. In 2009, he owed $1 million in taxes, and after struggling to pay back his debt, Carter sadly had to file for bankruptcy in 2013.

At the time, things looked especially grim for Carter, whose music career was becoming less popular as he grew older. Thankfully, today, he’s been able to rebrand himself and is now more successful than ever as an artist.

Mark Twain

Believe it or not, iconic American author Mark Twain suffered greatly from financial problems. It all began when he was just 11 years old. After his father died, he and his remaining family members were left incredibly poor. Even after publishing The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain was never able to satisfy his dream to become rich. He was poor all his life, and his publishing house went bankrupt. This made him even poorer, and he had to file for bankruptcy in 1894.

Over time, he was able to earn more money through publicity such as a speaking tour. He then invested $30,000 in a protein powder company, which proved to be his downfall. He lost all of his money as a result of the risky investment, and the famous American author died as poor as he was as a child.

Meat Loaf

Meat Loaf starred in the cult classic film Rocky Horror Picture Show in 1975. This was a promising boost to his career, and he soon gained even more success after releasing the hit album Bat Out of Hell. The following decade, however, Meat Loaf found himself slammed with lawsuit after lawsuit, and soon owed $80 million. Worse even, while everybody assumed he was rich, he was actually quite poor at the time, because CBS did not pay him royalties until 1997. As a result, Meat Loaf had no choice but to declare bankruptcy.

Thankfully, in the 1990s he was able to get back on his feet after releasing the hit song “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That).”

President Ulysses S. Grant

Surprisingly enough, former President Ulysses S. Grant, who was also a General in the Civil War, ended his life very poor. He became a partner in a financial firm with a man named Ferdinand Ward. Ward, however, embezzled money from investors before promptly leaving the firm. This left Grant bankrupt in 1884. Even after receiving a military pension, Grant was swamped with hospital bills because he suffered from throat cancer.

He attempted to make some more money by hiring Mark Twain to write his memoirs, but Grant’s condition grew steadily worse. After smoking over twenty cigars a day, Grant’s throat cancer had left him debilitated. He tragically died from the illness before he saw even a penny from the memoirs that Mark Twain wrote.

Teresa Giudice

Teresa Giudice is known for starring in the reality show Real Housewives of New Jersey. In 2009, however, she and her husband Joe filed for bankruptcy in 2009, asserting that they owed $10 million. However, creditors discovered that they were secretly hiding money, and they were charged with fraud, along with conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud.

It wasn’t until 2016 that the couple was able to settle the case, but even today, they are still paying back taxes that they owe to the IRS.

MC Hammer

MC Hammer is famous for his iconic hit “U Can’t Touch This.” From that hit alone, he earned $30 million. He immediately spent all of that money on a mansion, as well as adjustment to the mansion and a staff of 200 people. Furthermore, he purchased a horse stable with 19 racehorses. Altogether, the expenses totalled over $30 million. Even after all of this, MC Hammer continued to spend money, and in 1996 he had to declare bankruptcy after claiming to be $13 million in debt.

He seems to be doing better financially these days, and as of 2019, he is still touring. Hopefully the musician has learned his lesson, and won’t be making any unwise financial decisions in the future.

Isaac Hayes

Isaac Hayes was so influential as a musical artist that he was even inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He also worked as an actor and producer, but is best known for the release of his amazing soul albums, such as Black Moses and Hot Buttered Soul.

In 1976, however, he filed for bankruptcy after announcing that he owed $6 million to the IRS. He claimed that, while overspending on his part did contribute to some of his poor financial situation, part of it was also due to mismanagement on behalf of his record label.

Later on in life, however, he found success after owning two restaurants and publishing a cookbook.

David Cassidy

David Cassidy was a star in the musical sitcom The Partridge Family, and also earned success as a singer, songwriter, and guitarist. During the peak of Cassidy’s career, he sold over 25 million records. However, several DUIs and numerous health issues contributed to his loss of money. In 2015, he filed for bankruptcy. The previous year, he had filed for divorce from his wife, Sue Shefrin, and in order to finance the divorce, he had to spend a lot of money. He was left financially destitute, and in 2017, a year after his divorce from Sue Shefrin was finalized, he died. A year later, however, it was revealed through a voice recording that Cassidy lied about suffering from dementia, and that the health problems he faced earlier in life were mainly due to alcoholism.

Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds dominated film between the 1960 and 1980s, and starred in such iconic movies as The Longest Yard, Smokey and the Bandit, and Cannonball Run. He was paid huge amounts of money for the many films he acted in, and for a time, Burt Reynolds didn’t even think to keep track of his spending. He became used to living with luxury, and it wasn’t until the 1990s that he realized he was way in over his head. After spending a great deal on real estate, expensive toupees, and even a private jet, Reynolds had to declare bankruptcy in 1996 after learning he was well over $10 million in debt.

Thankfully, he was able to reclaim some of his fortune after reevaluating his spending habits and starring in some more major box office films. By the time he died in 2018, Burt Reynolds was in a much better financial position.

There are so many sad stories of celebrities who once had it all before losing all of their money and becoming utterly broke. Were you more surprised to learn that Michael Jackson was $400 million in debt when he died, or that Burt Reynolds declared bankruptcy in the 1990s? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe to Facts Verse for more!

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