Top 10 CELEBRITIES WHO WENT BROKE
Welcome to Top10Archvie! Ah, the broke celeb. It’s an all-too-familiar image in today’s era of fast-paced media--and, evidently, fast-paced lifestyles. We’ve seen stars and starlets rise with astonishing speed, only to fall due to overindulgence and terrible judgment. Here is our top 10 pick of celebrities who lost it all.
Yes, this pick was a breeze. How could it not be? Nicolas Cage rose to fame in the 1980s and ‘90s through popular and critically acclaimed films, including Adaptation, Face/Off, Con Air, and National Treasure. At one point, Cage owned a fleet of yachts, nine Rolls-Royces, a jet, two castles and an island – yes, a freakin’ island! Then the 2008 housing bubble burst and took much of Cage’s investments with it. Uncle Sam and big-name lenders came calling, and it wasn’t long before Cage was having to give up his oceans of wealth, including exotic art, many homes, and even his beloved comic book collection. Since his financial collapse, Cage’s kept himself employed with such screen-poopers as Drive Angry and Left Behind – a far cry from Moonstruck and Leaving Las Vegas.
There was a time when Wesley Snipes demanded an eight-figure salary per film, making him one of the highest earning actors in the world. That time has long passed. The actor, best known for his role as the vampire-hunter Blade, was busted by US authorities for owing a whopping $12 million in taxes after filing fraudulent refunds. After trying to claim he wasn’t a real US citizen – despite being born in Florida – Snipes was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment in 2008. The good news is that Snipes has remained employed since his release; the bad news is that he now relies on low-budget direct-to-video releases to pay the bills.
This was another one you could see happening from a hundred miles away. “Iron Mike”, as he was once known, was a boxing god back in the 1980s. At just the age of 20, Tyson won three heavyweight titles to become the undisputed king of the ring. Then came the rape of Miss Black Rhode Island, three years of imprisonment, and that unforgettable ear bite against reigning champ Evander Holyfield. Tyson soon became the most hated man in sports. In 2003, American and British tax authorities came knocking, claiming the fallen champ owed $17 million. Two years later, Tyson abruptly stopped a losing fight mid-match and quit boxing. Two years after that, Tyson admitted he was addicted to cocaine after being arrested while under the influence. Then even after that.. OK. We’ll stop there. It’s depressing us.
This one’s obvious, but no less painful, and that’s because Lindsay Lohan was one of Hollywood’s top draws, winning over audiences with The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday, and Mean Girls. But the charming “every girl” image Lohan promoted faded as her troubles attracted more and more radar. Failed romances, drug use, arrests, and bad behavior on set all added up to an uninsurable and utterly depressing mess. Lohan’s financial status became so bad that she reportedly had to borrow $100,000 from Scary Movie 5 co-star Charlie Sheen just to keep the IRS off her back. That still didn’t stop Uncle Sam from seizing the star’s bank accounts and filing liens of up to $94,000.
Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson went from world’s top rapper to fallen idol in what seems like a blink of an eye. Aided by Eminem and Dr. Dre, 50 Cent hit the charts in 2002 with the album Guess Who’s Back. Jackson’s hard-edged lyrics and equally hard-edged life made him the darling of hip-hop. Not content to stay in music, 50 Cent expanded into acting and international investment. Forbes Magazine went so far as to label him a “future billionaire.” Well, Forbes got it wrong. On July 13th, 2015, 50 Cent declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing debts totaling $32.5 million and assets under $25 million. In a humiliating deposition, Cent admitted that most of his visual wealth was a farce, borrowed or rented because he couldn’t afford it. It remains puzzling just how this rap mogul fell so far so quickly.
This one is just sad, and slightly laughable. Toni Braxton was one of the hottest R&B singers of the 1990s, scoring hit after hit and award after award. Fame brought with it a lavish–and very expensive–lifestyle, one that drove the star to bankruptcy in the late-’90s. You’d think she’d learn to be more thrifty after that… you’d think. Despite a lull in her music career, Braxton didn’t stop living the high life, declaring bankruptcy again in 2010, declaring debts in the $50 million range. It doesn’t end there: Braxton then bought a $3 million mansion a mere SIX MONTHS after that second bankruptcy cleared.
Canseco’s fall from grace was slow, ugly, and painful. Jose came to fame as a superb hitter with the Oakland A’s in the 1980s, becoming a league MVP, Rookie of the Year, six-time All-Star, and two-time World Series winner. Then came the ‘90s and, with them, a slide. As his triumphs became fewer, his arrests become more common and in 2003, he was busted for steroid-use. Two years later, Canseco burned all his bridges to the league when he authored a tell-all that accused Major League Baseball of secretly encouraging steroid use. Any satisfaction the former ballplayer had was short-lived: by 2008, Canseco’s home was in foreclosure, due to, what he claimed, because of two costly divorces. In 2012, Canseco declared bankruptcy with just $21,000 in assets and nearly $2 million is debt. Since then, Canseco has tried just about anything to revamp his career, including Mixed-Martial Arts and a stint in minor league baseball.
Who didn’t see this one coming? Terrell Owens was–not very long, mind you–the NFL’s most acclaimed wide receiver with a dozen league records over a 16-season career. He was also the most notorious player in the league, despised for his trash-talk, egotism, and bawdy lifestyle. Reality shows, spitting on other players, and poor attitude just fueled public apathy. The guy even wore an opposing team’s jersey just to piss off his own team. Owens’s antics made him a pariah within the NFL. By 2012, the former star was relegated to a small-time “indoor” football league and owed millions to the IRS and his four children – all from different mothers. According to Owens, bad investment advisors were a major contribution to his monetary collapse. What a fall for a guy who earned, by one count, over $80 million.
For a brief flicker of time, M.C. Hammer was the most popular entertainer in America. The rapper shot to fame with the 1990 hit “U Can’t Touch This”, followed a year later with “2 Legit 2 Quit”. Hammer garnered a lot distinction for his bling, hair-styles, and those unforgettable parachute pants. Hammer’s tremendous success led to a lot of splurging: huge entourages, a $30 million mansion, a private jet, and 19 thoroughbred stallions as well as a lawsuit with Rick James, who claimed he ripped off the “Super Freak” riff for “U Can’t Touch This”. But an extravagant lifestyle and dwindling album sales led the entertainer to declare bankruptcy in 1996. Post-hip-hop, Hammer founded a ministry and came back in the spotlight through–what else?–reality TV.
Corey Haim and Corey Feldman
We know, this is technically two, but bear with us: Corey Haim and Corey Feldman were intertwined for a generation. First appearing together in 1987’s The Lost Boys, Hollywood and the movie-going public took an immediate liking to the duo. Studios responded by tying the two together in forgettable flicks, such as License to Drive and Dream a Little Dream. As with most teen idols, the two Coreys soon lost their appeal, youth, and fortunes.Times were unkind to Haim and Feldman, both of whom struggled financially and personally post-1980s. In desperation, the Coreys re-teamed in the 2000s for a reality show and very briefly in a straight-to-video sequel to The Lost Boys. Neither project amounted to a comeback, with Feldman’s marriage falling apart in 2009 and Haim dying from an apparent drug overdose in 2010. Together, they represented the worst-case scenario of the troubled child-star.