When we see celebrities living the lifestyles of the rich and famous, it’s hard not to be a tad jealous. Their luxurious cars, homes, and clothing jump off of glossy magazine pages and web sites, mocking us with their loveliness. In reality, not everything is always as it seems.
Some of these stars go from having it all to losing everything in the blink of an eye. Whether it’s bad financial choices, legal issues, or lying to the IRS, these stars have lost millions. Keep reading to learn about the celebrities who were once public figures and how their luck changed, leaving them without the extravagant lifestyle they’d come to know.
Lauryn Hill Thought Taxes Stunted Her Creativity
Once upon a time, people would go wild for the chance to see Lauryn Hill perform live. The lady had a set of pipes on her that no one in hip-hop or R&B could match. It’s too bad that the Grammy Award-winning artist decided to “go off-grid” and not pay her taxes, landing her in a bit of a financial snag.
She’s said that the “climate of hostility” and “manipulation” was hurting her creativity, and therefore she should not have to pay taxes. That landed her in jail for three months on top of owing the IRS $554,000. At least she’s touring again, so maybe she’ll bounce back!
Tyga’s Luxury Cars Were Repossessed
The rapper Tyga might be used to the finer things in life. But everything started to go downhill for him back in 2012 when a few women from his music videos sued him. As it turns out, Tyga used scandalous footage of the women, even though he promised it would be edited out of the final cut. Not cool.
One year later, he owed a jeweler $185,000 for a watch he borrowed and decided never to return. It didn’t get easier. In 2015 and 2016, the rapper didn’t pay his rent. Ultimately, he had his Bentley, Lamborgini, Maybeck, and Ferrari, repossessed to pay off his legal fees.
Nicolas Cage Owed The IRS $14 Million
For being one of the biggest film stars in the 1990s and early 2000s, one would think Nicolas Cage would be set for life. Especially with all of the royalty checks he is most likely getting for his blockbuster movies, such as National Treasure. Well, that’s not exactly the case
Cage should have hired a financial adviser who would have deterred him from purchasing a private jet, yacht, exotic animals, and his own island, all while disregarding the $14 million he owed to the IRS and $13 million for a divorce settlement. It’s safe to say that Mr. Cage isn’t too picky with the roles he accepts nowadays.
Lil’ Kim’s Legal Team Sued Her
Known as the “Queen of Rap,” Lil’ Kim’s media presence nowadays has nothing to do with her music and more so with what the latest surgery she’s undergone. Unfortunately for fans of the rapper, she looks way different than she did back in the late 90s early 2000s. And that’s not the only thing that’s changed in Lil’ Kim’s life.
After seven years of not paying her taxes, the rapper wound up owing the government a whopping million dollars. On top of that, her legal team sued her for not paying them.
Katie Price Was Declared Bankrupt In 2019
Television personality Katie Price rose to fame in the 90s when she was a “Page 3” girl for the British tabloid The Sun. From there, she released a few studio albums, hosted multiple of her own reality television series, and appeared in I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!
The last show should have been a forewarning for Price’s impending financial doom. 2019 was not the year for the TV host. For one, she found herself in some legal issues, including losing her license. Then, later in the year, Price was declared bankrupt. It looks as though the former “Page 3” girl is no longer living the high life.
50 Cent Filed For Bankruptcy
In the early 2000s, kids couldn’t wait until 50 Cent dropped a new hip-hop album. It meant that the school dances were going to get that much more interesting. Unfortunately for the Grammy-nominated rapper, he found himself in a few legal situations that drained him of his hard-earned cash.
First, he was sued by a woman who caught him filming her, asking for a settlement of seven million dollars. Then, to make matters worse, he had to hand over $14 million to a company after a failed business venture. Unfortunately, it resulted in 50 Cent filing for bankruptcy.
Lindsay Lohan Came Down With Child Star Syndrome
Lindsay Lohan is the epitome of someone who wound up with child star syndrome. Having starred in movies like Parent Trap, Freaky Friday, and, of course, Mean Girls, most fans of Lohan thought she was going all the way to becoming an A-list celebrity. That didn’t happen.
Lohan began to act out, finding herself amidst a lot of legal problems. After a while, no one would hire her for work, and she was no longer seen on the big screen. She’s tried for a comeback or two, but nothing has stuck for the former child star. One thing for sure, she’s persistent. Does anyone remember the short-lived LiLo dance?
Drake Bell Didn’t Find A Way
Nickelodeon’s heartthrob Drake Bell had it all when he was on the hit shows The Amanda Show and Drake & Josh. The latter put him on the map as a talented singer, too. People thought he was going to be fine after all of the shows came to an end.
Bell tried his hand in music, thinking that his solid fan base from Drake & Josh would help launch his career. That didn’t happen. Even so, he went on to become a successful voice actor, voicing Peter Parker /Spider-Man in the Ultimate Spider-Man series. Still, his house was foreclosed in 2014 on top of a $581,000 debt.
Mischa Barton Shouldn’t Have Left The OC
Pretty girl next door Mischa Barton had everything going for her in the early 2000s when she played troubled teen Marissa Cooper on the hit soap opera The O.C. Teens loved to watch her on-screen, during interviews and thought of her as a total fashion icon.
Too bad for Barton, she thought her popularity would shoot her straight to the top of Hollywood. So, she left the show to pursue film, quickly finding it a lot harder to snag roles, and her finances were taking a hit. It didn’t help that her own mother was stealing her money, too.
Brendan Fraser Was Blacklisted From Hollywood
Known for his work on the original Mummy films, as well as George of the Jungle, Bedazzled, and Crash, Brendan Fraser was Hollywood’s golden boy for a bit. But, as Fraser quickly realized, not everything lasts. For the actor, that didn’t only mean his financials were taking a toll, but he was also blacklisted from Hollywood after making allegations towards Philip Berk.
After his wife filed for divorce, the court ruled him responsible for paying $900,000 in spousal support. That was fine (kind of) until he was no longer working and making money like he used to. Fraser is currently rebounding in smaller, supporting roles.
Mike Tyson Went From Over $300 Million To $3 Million
Once, Mike Tyson was known for being one of the best boxers in the world. And for owning a tiger, obviously. With a net worth of over $300 million, it’s easy to see why Tyson spent his money on lavish things like homes, parties, and exotic animals. Well, the money was all well and good until he had to settle one too many divorces.
And it wasn’t just the divorces that drained his bank account. The former boxer also owed the IRS a substantial sum – $60 million, the be exact. Today, Tyson is still worth around three million.
Pamela Anderson Had Her Now Ex-Husband Pay Her Debts
Pamela Anderson was the epitome of American beauty when she’d run slow motion down the beach in her signature red bathing suit on the hit television series Baywatch. From there, no one really took her seriously as an actress, and she wasn’t able to land lead roles.
After years of financial insecurity, owing to the IRS, and a slew of romantic relationships gone bad, Anderson finally seemed to be settling down with Hollywood producer John Peter. The two married but broke up only 12 days later after Peter paid off her $200,000 debt. As he told The Mercury News, “There’s no fool like an old fool.”
Bow Wow Pretended To Fly On A Private Jet
The singer and actor Bow Wow was on his way to stardom in the first decade of the 2000s. Little did he know, but his work was about to lose massive steam. Not only was he not landing any roles, but he wound up having to pay an ex-girlfriend $3,000 a month in child support and he was only able to pay half.
His reputation took a turn for the worst when fans finally realized he wasn’t living the life he claimed. He took a picture of a private jet, saying that he was on his way to NYC. Too bad someone in coach spotted him and took a picture.
Amanda Bynes Lost It All
Another child star to go off the deep end when they were old enough to figure out what was happening around them is Amanda Bynes. Once known as one of America’s sweethearts, Bynes went from hosting her own comedic sketch show and starring in films to being unrecognizable.
After dabbling in illegal substances, having a few stints in jail, and dying her hair every which color, Bynes is finally settling into normal life. She even went to school and earned a bachelor’s degree from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in 2019.
Tila Tequila Went From Reality Star To A Harsh Reality
Back when Myspace was uber-popular, it generated one of the first social media stars, Tila Tequila. She went on to appear in numerous reality TV shows in the early 2000s, a majority being on MTV. You know, when they stopped playing music videos and started thinking dating shows like A Shot At Love with Tila Tequila was a better option.
The reality star was definitely living a life of luxury during that time. But, social media got the best of her, and the stardom she loved took a turn for the worst.
Tori Spelling And Debt Go Hand In Hand
For former 90210 star Tori Spelling, life wasn’t too good once the popular soap opera wrapped up filming. That’s saying something too, since her father, Aaron Spelling, is one of the most revered producers in Hollywood. Even having a literal silver spoon in her mouth since birth, Spelling ran into some tough financial times before the 90210 re-boot.
Spelling owed City National Bank for $220,000, the IRS for $707,000, and American Express $88,000. It’s said that the only reason she took the reality show deal with Oxygen was to help her and her husband pay everything off.
Lisa Marie Presley Blames Her Financial Adviser
Being the daughter of legendary rock and roll singer Elvis Presley should have kept Lisa Marie Presley financially stable for life. After all, she’s the beneficiary of her father’s estate, collecting every penny.
During her divorce settlement in 2018, it came to light that Presley was actually $16 million in debt, including a stack of unpaid credit cards and mortgage payments that she had yet to pay. She went on to sue her financial adviser for $100 million, claiming her lost funds to be his fault. Hopefully, that works out for her.
Alexis Bellino Is In for A Whole New Reality
With an image to maintain for The Real Housewives Of Orange County, one would think Alexis Bellino would make it her mission in life to keep her millions. Alas, she detached from the reality show and wound up spending money she thought would always be there. Bellino’s downward spiral into normalness happened during her divorce from real estate company owner Jim Bellino.
Thinking she would get some millions from the company as part of the settlement was probably her plan. But Bellino never thought her ex-husband’s company would go bankrupt around the same time she filed. We’re not sure if that’s karma or not, but we’re going to go with it.
Rupert Grint Got Some Bad Accounting Advice
As one of the three main faces of the Harry Potter franchise, it’s hard to imagine Rupert Grint not living a lavish lifestyle. Whereas his two co-stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, have since starred in other films, Grint hasn’t been so lucky. Even though he’s been able to snag tiny parts here and there, it wasn’t enough to keep the actor out of financial trouble.
Honestly, Grint probably would have been fine floating off of all things Harry Potter were it not for some, what he calls, “bad accounting advice.” In 2016, Grint owed one million to the IRS.
Chris Tucker Owed The IRS $14 Million
Chris Tucker used to be cast as the head of many comedic blockbuster movies, including Rush Hour with Jackie Chan. In 2007, he was even named the highest-paid actor in the world. So, what happened to make Tucker fall from his good standing? Well, it’s a tale that seems to be making a few celebrities’ finances take a fall.
In 2014, the IRS came looking for Tucker and $14 million, threatening the actor with jail time if he didn’t pay. Thankfully, he was able to settle the bill. Of course, like so many others, Tucker chalked his debt up to bad advice.
Courtney Love Found Herself Under A Mountain Of Debt
Wild child Courtney Love was front and center during the grunge scene of the mid-1990s. With the popularity of her band Hole and her marriage to Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, Love seemingly had it all. Unfortunately, Love went off the deep-end after Cobain passed away.
Her music career was all but gone in the early 2000s, making her funds dry up alongside it. By 2012, Love owed the IRS a substantial amount of money, as well as legal fees that accumulated to around $30 million. Thankfully, she’s been able to pay off her debt with installments from her ex-husband’s estate.
Abbey Lee Miller Lied To The Government
Abbey Lee Miller is best known for her appearance on the hit television series Dance Moms. Unfortunately for Miller, people’s thoughts about her quickly turned when they found out she lied to the government about her net worth. Apparently, she was pleading poverty, even though she had over $700,000 stored away in some secret bank account.
As a result, Miller spent some time in jail, her funds were dried up, and somehow she wasn’t fired from her new television series. For now, she’s trying to get her wealth back.
LeeAnn Rimes Couldn’t Keep The Spotlight On Her
LeeAnn Rimes found fame at the young age of 15 with her song “How Do I Live?” As music goes, being a one-hit-wonder isn’t going to keep a substantial amount of money in your bank account. Thankfully, Rimes released “Can’t Fight The Moonlight” not long after, helping her stay afloat a bit longer. It seemed like the spotlight was always fast to get away from her, though.
Then, she married actor Eddie Cibrian. The thing is, he’s not exactly a peak performer who is being hounded by producers to star in their films. So, to pay the bills, the two take roles on the Hallmark channel.
Jon and Kate Gosselin And A Divorce That Took Everything
Jon and Kate Gosselin rose to fame with their reality television series Jon and Kate Plus Eight. They were living the good life with their many children. What could possibly go wrong? Well, as it turns out, Jon had a thing for the nanny. When that news came to light, Kate wanted a divorce.
The settlement was messy, and after everything was said and done, the $75,000 they made per episode was gone. Jon moved back to his hometown to become a DJ and cook with two of the kids. Kate had a better outcome, though, making her way back on television with Kate Plus Eight.
Janice Dickinson Filed For Bankruptcy
Janice Dickinson was one of the very first supermodels. The issue with being a model of that standing is once designers feel you’re no longer “it,” your career is over. With her being one of the former greats, Dickinson tried to turn back time and go back to her former glory.
To “appear” younger, Dickinson spent a lot of her savings on cosmetic surgery. So much so that she went bankrupt after being unable to pay her surgery bills. That being said, in 2019, she won a settlement and is looking forward to a little financial leeway.
Don Johnson Was Accused Of Money Laundering
In the 1980s, Don Johnson was known for his character James “Sonny” Crocket on the hit cop show Miami Vice. And while he played a popular cop on television, that didn’t stop Johnson from running into issues with the law in real life. In 2002, Johnson was accused of money laundering.
He was found innocent, but the fallout was horrible for the actor. He wasn’t getting work, and his home in Colorado was going to be foreclosed with the actors increasing debt. Johnson then took out another loan, $14.5 million, to pay the debt off. It’s okay, though, he won a court case against Rysher Entertainment, granting him millions.
Vanilla Ice Didn’t Pay His Ex-Wife
Vanilla Ice defied all odds, keeping his music career afloat off his one hit single, “Ice, Ice, Baby.” Ice has been willing to milk that song for all its worth and isn’t hesitant to make any appearances that are willing to pay him.
Too bad his ex-wife took a lot of his hard-earned money. After their divorce, Ice refused to pay spousal maintenance unless a court stepped in. When the legal system finally got around to it, Ice had racked up a few hundred thousand dollars worth of support he had to hand over to his ex—a costly mistake on his part.
Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino Didn’t File His Taxes
If you make your mark on the world being a reality TV star for something called The Jersey Shore, we have one thing to say: when the show ends, be smart with the millions you’ve made. Don’t be like Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino and think you’re “all that” and can take the money and not pay taxes to the government.
Being “The Situation” racked up a total of nine million dollars for Sorrentino. Ironically, if he paid his taxes, he would most likely still be living a comfortable life instead of having to go to jail for a time.
Aaron Carter Didn’t File His Taxes
With the help of his Backstreet Boy brother, Nick, Aaron Carter was able to get a few hits of his own off the ground. “Aaron’s Party,” “I Want Candy,” and “Crush on You” became very popular anthems for the pre-teen crowd of the late 90s early 2000s. But, his success didn’t last.
His financial issues started when, surprise, he didn’t file his taxes. Having to owe the IRS over a million in back taxes is enough for any child star to struggle. The biggest payday for Carter has been from appearing on Dancing with the Stars. Even so, it looks like he spends most of his money on tattoos now.
Joey Lawrence Is Selling Memorabilia On eBay
Joey Lawrence was a household name all through the 90s. He was on multiple hit television shows, including “Joey,” “Joey and Melissa,” and “Blossom.” But, like a lot of 90s stars, his acting career came to a screeching halt at the turn of the century.
It took a few years, but Lawrence finally filed for bankruptcy in 2017. At the time, his and his wife’s documents showed that they only had $8,000 between the two of them. The former actor has since been known to auction off memorabilia, his clothing, and random household goods on eBay for some extra cash. We wish him the best.