When it comes out that a celebrity has money problems, we tend to show disbelief. After all, how can someone who makes so much money end up in such bad circumstances? It doesn’t make sense to us regular joes that it is possible to spend so much, so quickly.
However, income alone doesn’t determine how successful you are in terms of finances. If you don’t carefully manage your money, you can end up overrunning your income – no matter how much money you make. Here are 10 celebrities who saw serious dents to their credit, thanks to various issues related to their financial habits:
10. Sheryl Swoopes
WNBA star Sheryl Swoopes was once called the “female Michael Jordan.” Her athleticism in the NCAA and in the WNBA led to a pretty good income. However, Swoopes couldn’t live within it. She had to liquidate some of her assets as part of her bankruptcy proceedings, meaning that some of her trophies, uniforms and medals ended up going to auction as part of the agreement.
Family friendly comedy won’t help you if you haven’t been paying your taxes. Apparently, he owed the state of California more than $2.5 million in unpaid taxes by the time 2008 rolled around. The state filed a lien, and then Sinbad declared bankruptcy.
8. Bill Buckner
Former baseball player Bill Buckner has been known for his bad luck. As a Major Leaguer, Buckner did quite well, winning a batting crown and playing first base. However, his major blunder in Game 6, a fielding error that cost the Boston Red Sox the 1986 World Series, became his legacy – little though he might have deserved it. When Buckner retired, he moved to Idaho. He decided to open a car dealership. Unfortunately, his business acumen as a car dealer wasn’t as good as it could have been. Eventually, in 2008, Buckner had to file for bankruptcy due to his difficulties and losses.
7. Lorenzo Lamas
Soap opera heartthrob Lorenzo Lamas racked up a number of different debts, mainly for various forms of transportation. He had a H2 Hummer, as well as a private jet (costing $200,000), and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The star also has four ex-wives – which means alimony is fairly costly. Between the vehicles and the legal obligations to his former sweethearts, Lamas found that filing for bankruptcy was his only real option. So he did so in 2004.
6. Stephen Baldwin
Unfortunately for the youngest of the famous Baldwin boys, being a professional reality star doesn’t pay very well. Stephen Baldwin might have been living the life of a Hollywood star, but his income didn’t have the same star quality. His income couldn’t keep up with his expenses. Indeed, as his home entered foreclosure, Baldwin had to add bankruptcy, sinking his credit score further.
5. Stan Lee
If you love comic books, and superhero movies, you know and love Stan Lee. Lee is the celebrated creator of Spider-Man, The X-Men, The Incredible Hulk, and The Fantastic Four. However, his creativity and his superheroes couldn’t save him from a bad business venture. Lee created a company focused on Internet comic books. Unfortunately, Lee’s partner faced security fraud accusations, and the company itself moved through capital rather quickly. Then came the dot-com bust. In 2001, Lee’s company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. However, since bankruptcies are off the credit report after 10 years, Lee’s credit should be improving.
4. Michael Vick
Football superstar Michael Vick ran into his financial troubles as a result of all of the legal fees stemming from his defense against federal dog-fighting charges. Vick found himself convicted of a felony, subject to heavy fines, and devoid of income (since the NFL wasn’t letting him play). Vick went to jail, and filed for bankruptcy while in the clink. Michael Vick is now out of jail, and back in the NFL. He’s rebuilding his finances, as well as his career, playing for the Philadelphia Eagles.
3. Mike Tyson
Boxing star Mike Tyson has been famous for many things. From a domestic abuse scandal, to buying pet tigers, to biting opponents’ ears off, Tyson has been known for his lavish lifestyle and outrageous behavior. But legal problems and pet issues aren’t his only troubles: In 2003 he had to file for bankruptcy (along with his company, Mike Tyson Enterprises) after his $400,000 monthly expenses resulted into $13.3 million in tax debt, and $27 million to other creditors. Tyson might have made millions, but he spent millions more.
2. Marion Jones
There seems to be something about sports, living the high life, and having terrible credit. Olympic track athlete Marion Jones was lauded for winning five medals in 2000, and at one time commanded as much as $80,000 per race. However, all of that money is hard to hold on to when you own multiple mansions, drive Porsches, and spend millions defending yourself against allegations of doping. Pretty soon, Jones saw her “dream home” foreclosed upon. As if that didn’t do enough damage to her credit rating, she then had to file for bankruptcy. One of the actions Jones took to pay some of her bills? Sell the home she had bought for her mother.
1. Donald Trump
Honestly, it’s a mystery that people continue to provide Donald Trump with loans to big massive hotel-casinos. Sure, Trump does ok with his TV show, and some of his other ventures, but his credit must be seriously lousy. He filed for bankruptcy in 2004, and then again in 2009. The first time, Trump sold his majority stake in Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts to help pay some of his debts. He had to step down from the board of one of his companies, Trump Entertainment Resorts (he’s re-acquiring the company now, through a relatively recent deal), during the 2009 bankruptcy. With two bankruptcies in five years, it seems incredible that anyone would fund Trump’s efforts to build more casinos. However, Trump could probably make a deal for real estate funding again tomorrow, no matter how lousy his credit score is.