The rich and famous have it easy in life. But like all of us, they do sometimes struggle to live within their means. So much so, despite their perceived millions there are examples throughout modern history of celebrities even declaring bankruptcy. Here’s 7 celebrities who went legally broke…

7 Surprising Celebrities Who Went Bankrupt

50 Cent

Though his rap name doesn’t have anything to do with the incident, 50 Cent declared for bankruptcy in July 2015, despite being named by Forbes as one of the five wealthiest hip-hop artists the same year. Yes, Curtis James Jackson III lost his worth through some bad investments and one gigantic lawsuit where he was ordered to pay $5 million to a woman who claimed the star posted a sex tape of her online without consent. ‘Fiddy’ estimated his debt to be between $10 million and $50 million and his assets in roughly the same range so filed for bankruptcy in order to get his finances in check. In July 2016, 50 Cent emerged from bankruptcy with a plan to repay more than $23 million in debt over the next five years.


George Best

George Best will forever be considered one of best British footballers of all time. As well as earning a place in most football fans’ hearts, he also acquired a modest wealth. But a self-confessed hedonistic lifestyle which consisted of “booze, birds and fast cars” led the Manchester United legend to lose all his money on more than one occasion. Things were so bad that in 1988, he was forced to leave the flat he’d lived in for 13 years after it accrued £70,000 of mortgage debt. After his death in 2005, Best’s son Calum admitted, “my dad was bankrupt twice, [and upon his death] I wasn’t left with a penny, was actually left with debt.”


Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson may have made some serious cash during his boxing career – with some estimations coming near the £250 million mark – but ‘Iron Mike’ was forced to file for bankruptcy in 2003 due to reported debts of $23 million. Yes, the controversial boxer admitted to CNN that he squandering millions of dollars in his heyday, saying that in a year where he made $65 million, he spent $62 million on partying and cars.


Kim Basinger

Back in 1993, Kim Basinger filed for bankruptcy after being sued by a production company. The film star pulled out of a film called ‘Boxing Helena’, and was sued by production company Main Line Pictures for a breach of contract worth an estimated £6.2 million. Basinger and the company eventually settled for £2.9 million. The episode caused Basinger to take a three-year hiatus from acting, before being persuaded by director Curtis Hanson to star in L.A. Confidential as Veronica Lake. The rest is history with Basinger winning a Golden Globe. She’s now worth an estimated £28 million.


Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga is one of the biggest pop stars on the planet, but believe it or not she went bankrupt in 2009 during her Monster’s Ball Tour having spent all her money on elaborate staging and costumes. The tour landed Gaga in £2.1 million worth of debt and in a subsequent interview, she admitted that her complete lack of interest in money was responsible for the episode. Thankfully, the Tour was an incredible success, bringing in a staggering £100 million for Gaga and Live Nation. She’s now worth a reported £137 million.


Michael Jackson

He may be in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the most successful entertainer of all time, but Michael Jackson’s 700 million worldwide record sales didn’t stop him from filing for bankruptcy in 2007. Jackson was allegedly unable to keep up payments on his $25 million loan for his home, Neverland Ranch – hardly surprising given the popstar did install the estate with a zoo and an amusement park complete with Ferris wheel, Carousel, Zipper, Octopus, Pirate Ship, Wave Swinger, Super Slide, roller coaster, bumper cars, and an amusement arcade. Since Jackson’s death in 2009, it’s estimated he has earned over $1 billion.


Donald Trump

For a man who claims his business acumen is proof of his presidential capabilities, it may be slightly shocking to hear that bankruptcy has plagued President Donald Trump throughout his career. Though Trump has never declared for bankruptcy personally, his companies have gone bankrupt an extraordinary six times. The first time was in 1991, when his Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City went bust. Several more of his casinos and hotels went bankrupt in 1992, and two more casino and resort went broke in 2004 and 2009. Makes you think…


Speaking of Trump, here are 10 famous celebrities who became politicians.



Tickled your fancy?



Ouch! There was a server error.
Retry »

Sending message...

Latest Posts