The life of fame and fortune can be a slippery slope for those who are unwilling to take serious financial advice. Once the money starts rolling in some celebrities have a difficult time controlling their spending and end up in a pile of debt. If anything the thousands of dollars they make each month does nothing but enable them to spend more money that they do not have. Debt can be crippling and can easily spiral out of control they’re not careful. What happens when you’re so in debt it’s impossible to pay off everything you owe? You file bankruptcy. Without further ado, here are five celebrities who have filed for bankruptcy.
Toni Braxton is known for three things – her beauty, her voice and her terrible money handling skills. For a woman who is so well-established in the music industry, it’s hard to imagine she would file for bankruptcy twice during her career. During her first bankruptcy in 1998, it came to life that the singer really enjoyed spending a lot of money on material objects. Between that and her not earning as much as she thought after each tour, Braxton drove herself straight into a pool of debt. Her first bankruptcy gave her a new life and it was shortly followed by a new record deal that would guarantee her millions. Unfortunately her fans did not like her new sound and her next three albums ended up selling only a few hundred thousand copies each. Braxton was later diagnosed with microvascular angina, a narrowing of vessels in the heart and later lupus which is a hereditary disease. The life-threatening diagnosis squashed her business in Las Vegas and has caused her second bankruptcy. She revealed in interviews that she had let herself down knowing she should have shown improvement after her first bankruptcy.
He gained popularity for his acting in films such as Lethal Weapon, Predator 2 and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. In 2012 Gary Busey filed for bankruptcy and luckily for him he had most of it cleared except the $450,000 debt he still owed in taxes. According to reports, Gary Busey filed that he had less than $50,000 to his name and was up to a possible $1,000,000 in debt. It said he owed money to the IRS, lawyers, UCLA Medical Center, Wells Fargo and a woman named Karla Lafleur who sued Busey for attacking her. Imagine being assaulted by a celebrity and then it turns out you don’t get the money from the settlement because that celebrity filed bankruptcy. After his bankruptcy, Busey claimed that his best trait was breaking even. For an actor who was featured in over 70 movies, you would think financial issues were the least of his problems.
Larry King Live has been one of the longest-running CNN programs in history. This makes Larry King one lucky guy in his career but what about before the show started up? He was a radio show host and his path to fame wasn’t as easy as some others. Soon after his radio career began, Larry King was spending his money recklessly. It didn’t take him long to find himself $350,000 in debt. In 1978, he filed for bankruptcy. It happens to be the same year his career completely took off, he signed off on a new radio job and then seven years after he began his show on CNN’s Larry King Live. Now he has ‘Larry King Now’ on Hulu and ‘Politicking with Larry King’ which is a weekly political talk show which airs on Thursday evenings. Who would have known that 40 years later, Larry King would have a net worth of $120 million.
In the 90s you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about MC Hammer whose real name is Stanley Kirk Burrell. In 1991, he was earning upwards to $33 million a year but in just a few years his fortune was gone. Burrell employed over 200 people to work for him, as he built a mansion that cost about $30 million. The payroll alone for his employees would reach anywhere from $500,000 to 1 million in a month. MC Hammer also lost money in a lawsuit against Rick James who brought him to court for ripping off his songs. In 1996, Stanley Burrell filed bankruptcy with his debt at over 13 million dollars. He was forced to sell his mansion for a fraction of the price, he paid off his debt and became a minister for a while before jumping into the world of technology .He now invests and spends time with 8 different technology companies, at least he reinvented himself and overcame his debt.
Donald Trump has had to file bankruptcy for his businesses on six different occasions. While being a candidate for the Republican Party for president, he was confronted in a debate with Hillary Clinton who exposed Trump for filing for bankruptcy six times. He argued that he used the laws to his advantage as other business people do and that he only filed four times. PolitiFact uncovered the last two bankruptcies, one was in 2004 for Trump hotels and casinos resorts where they accrued almost two billion dollars in debt. The last bankruptcy was in 2009 after his Trump Entertainment Resorts had a severe downfall following the 2008 recession. His first bankruptcy was six months after he had opened Trump Taj Mahal in 1990 in Atlantic City. His other two Atlantic City casinos and their properties made it impossible for him to keep up with the debt which led to him declaring bankruptcy for both of them in 1992. He also declared bankruptcy for his Plaza Hotel in New York. Donald Trump is the only president in United States history that has had to file for bankruptcy more than once.