It’s a thing of pride – when we can’t admit to ourselves or others that we’re coping with financial problems and we tend not to ask for help even if we desperately need to. Usually, in Hollywood, when a celebrity is struggling with money problems, they like to announce it to anyone who would listen as if they were accustomed to hand-outs that were provided. Lindsay Lohan was one actress who did that exact thing: when she found herself in a hole, she asked for those around her to throw her a rope and when they did, she spat on them (Charlie Sheen actually gave her $100,000 and she never thanked him). However, there are some celebrities who prefer to keep their money problems under wraps until they’re able to solve them themselves. Here are 15 celebs who managed to keep their money issues on the down low.
15. Stealing (and Selling) The Declaration Of Independence Could Come In Handy Now – Nicolas Cage
He was once one of the most coveted actors in the business, but yes, Nicolas Cage found himself in hot water financially not too long ago. And this was because he couldn’t really curb his spending issues. He was constantly buying luxury yachts, vintage cars, homes all around the world (two of which were literal castles) and some rare jewelry. Thanks to blowing all his money, the IRS hit the actor with a $6.2 million tax lien back in 2009. While he managed to keep some of it out of the tabloids, things really got messy after he turned around and blamed his money manager for the problems, claiming negligence and fraud. The manager just called Cage out on the accusations and blamed Cage’s reckless spending for going into debt. Since then, Cage has been trying to sell off those properties in order to break even.
14. Not-So-Model Behavior – Naomi Campbell
When you hear the name Naomi Campbell, a lot of things pop into your mind: the fact that she’s one of the most famous supermodels in the entire world, the fact that she suffers from a rage issue, but the fact that she had money issues? Someone would never really assume that a model trailblazer like Campbell ever struggled financially after making it big. Unfortunately, this happened to be the case back in 2010 when the IRS smacked the supermodel with a tax lien that totaled over $63,000 for taxes assessed in 2009. And that’s actually a pretty low number considering what others in this list had to pay up to the government after they attempted to keep their spending a secret. She was able to pull herself out of it, thankfully.
13. “Running Through The 6 With My (Money) Woes” – Drake
Ah yes, THIS guy. Hip-hop artist Drake is one of the most recognized names in the industry these days. He globe hops all over the world, dropping massive amounts of cash where ever he lands (including once spending $60,000 in cash at a club). What a lot of people don’t know is that Drake owed a lot of people some money back in the day. His ex-stylist went up against him and took legal action, claiming that the artist owed him nearly $80,000. The claim against him noted that Drake usually spent $30,000 per months on stylists alone, some of whom he flies all over the country with him. While he was always a good employer who paid his stylists on a regular basis, he suddenly stopped and the bills started to mount. While Drake idolizes money, he should watch his spending habits or he might fall in line behind others who have filed for bankruptcy.
12. Ugh, Stupid Men – Mary J. Blige
Mary J. Blige, one of the most recognizable names in hip-hop history, managed to keep her financial issues under lock and key until she decided to actually get a divorce back in 2016. And when she did, her whole financial world seemed to collapse in on itself like a dying star. Blige’s husband, Martin ‘Kendu’ Isaacs, demanded that she provide spousal support after the two separated so Blige was forced to pay Isaacs $30,000 a month. Thanks to this, it was revealed that the star makes around $300,000 a month from royalties and earnings from her production company which may seem like a lot, but when you owe the IRS over $6 million big ones, it’s not that much at all. Blige actually owes that much thanks to her not paying back taxes from 2008 to 2016. Ouch.
11. More Like Johnny Debt – Johnny Depp
No one and I repeat, NO ONE thought that one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood today was suffering from massive money issues. So it came as a shock when it was revealed that Box Office gold, Johnny Depp, was treading so, so, so very far out in the red. $650 million just seemed to vanish into thin air, which sent both Depp and his business managers at each other’s throats. Even though it was only revealed this year that Depp has been suffering financially, the problem goes back to 2012 when his managers told him that his cash flow “had reached a crisis point”. He wouldn’t be able to afford his 40-person staff he paid $3.6 million a year for, the monthly $350,000 he shoveled out to maintain his luxury yacht, the hundreds of thousands of dollars he paid monthly in child and spousal support, all of it. Of course, Depp pointed fingers at everyone else for his financial incompetence and sued his managers.
10. Richie No More – Lionel Richie
This one shocked me, yet not really since superstar singer Lionel Richie is known to be a private man who was raised in a society where it wasn’t considered polite to discuss finances in an open setting. Back in 2012, it was revealed that the singer owed the government $1.1 million in unpaid income taxes in 2010. After he was hit with this and a tax lien, means that Uncle Sam had the right to seize all his valuable assets, Richie lined up some serious gigs in order to pay off his debt. Now, THIS is how people who happened to be irresponsible with money are supposed to act: with grace and vigor in their mission to repay the debt owed. Richie didn’t point fingers or place the blame on someone else’s shoulders. He stood up, claimed the blame, and worked out ways to fix it.
9. Debt Is Killing Her Softly- Lauryn Hill
Singer and actress Lauryn Hill has always been a serious force of nature since she entered the scene so many years ago. But, even though she’s a force to be reckoned with, she couldn’t shy away from Uncle Sam when it came down to money. Back in 2012, Hill pleaded guilty to tax evasion when she failed to pay federal income taxes and the artist even had to serve three months behind bars. Recently, it appears that she’s still struggling with those financial hiccups along with brand new ones as well. “This has been an ongoing process, and I have been working steadily towards a resolution,” she said in a series of tweets posted on Twitter. “It has been an uphill battle, but we’re getting over the hump.” She says her money woes started when she left the spotlight back in the early 2000s, but she doesn’t regret the decision since it did wonders for her emotionally.
8. When All Else Fails, Blame It On The Dead Guy – Ludacris
Now this one is a weird one in a tragic sort of way. While rapper and actor Ludacris managed to keep his money issues on the DL for a bit, everything came crashing down after he literally blamed the late Paul Walker for his money woes. Oh yes, you straight up read that right. Because Ludacris wouldn’t pay the thousands of dollars he owed for child support, he went off and blamed the tragic death of Walker for the reason. Back in 2013, production for Fast and Furious 7, a film that starred Walker and Luda among other famous faces, was put on hold, and the actors had stopped receiving their payments for the film when it was. Apparently, it’s the dead guy’s fault that Luda wasn’t able to go out and pick up another job in order to pay the $15k a month in child support.
7. Even Batman Couldn’t Save Her – Kim Basinger
A lot of people don’t know that actress Kim Basinger actually went through a massive slew of money issues back in the 1990s when she was at the height of her acting career. It all started after some of her family recommend that the actress, who was making some serious cash back then, buy the bulk of some land in the town of Braselton, Georgia for $20 million. They were hoping that if Basinger bought the land, it would attract more tourists and perhaps even nab the attention of film studios who would rent it out for film festivals. But after she made the purchase, Basinger’s career took a hit after she decided to pull out of making the controversial film Boxing Helena, which ended in the studio suing her for a breach of contract. Basinger had to file for bankruptcy and had to sell off parts of the land she bought. Apparently, it caused a rift in her family as well.
6. (Un)Picture This – Annie Leibovitz
Even if you don’t know her name, you’ve seen her work, I guarantee that much. Annie Leibovitz is the uber famous photographer whose work has graced the cover of almost every single magazine out there, from Vanity Fair to Vogue. Thanks to her celebrity and the fact that she’s the most sought-after photographer in the world, so you’d be surprised to learn she almost lost everything back in 2005 after she had to pay back a $24 million dollar loan. During that specific year, Leibovitz ended up losing her partner Susan Sontag AND both parents along with giving birth to twins (via a surrogate) so the money borrowed went fast and she had to end up pledging her entire photographic library as part of the collateral to pay the loan back.
5. Take A Bite Out of This – Evander Holyfield
Does anyone remember when the most talked about boxing match of all time was between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield? Remember how THAT particular story ended? If you don’t, I’ll refresh your memory: it ended with Tyson snacking on both of Holyfield’s ears because Tyson was on the verge of losing the match and his dignity. Both boxers had a lot to gain from that highly publicized fight and the profits that flooded in afterward. However, that didn’t last long and years later, Evander found himself in some serious financial trouble. His troubles were relatively small in the beginning, from letting child support back up and forgetting to pay back small loans, but they soon snowballed to the point where he was forced to sell his mansion to pay back what he owed the bank, along with over $200,000 in back taxes.
4. Not-So Method Man
Rapper Method Man was best known for his career with The Wu-Tage clan and later his acting in shows like Law and Order SVU. What he is NOT known for is having some serious money woes. The rapper wrongly assumed he was immune from paying the government its cut of cash and owed over $30,000 in taxes, which doesn’t even seem like that much, but if you’re busy blowing the cash on other things and dodging the IRS, surefire debt and some pretty hefty fines are going to catch up to you. The rapper actually ended up avoiding jail time by pleading guilty (a four-year sentence along with a fine of $100,000 to be exact). Hopefully, he ended up learning his lesson after the fact because he is that great of an actor and artist.
3. CSI: In the Red – Gary Dourdan
If you don’t recognize actor Gary Dourdan beautiful, steely blue peepers, you must be on something. Dourdan is known for his role in the crime drama CSI and thanks to the show, Dourdan was rolling in dough. Only, he didn’t really know how to manage it all too well and ended up squandering it away, which wouldn’t have been too much of a problem if he wasn’t let go from the show itself. Dourdan actually dug himself a $1.73 million dollar hole that he was barely able to climb out of. So what do you do when you can’t make your bills? Blame it on someone else, of course! In Dourdan’s case, he ended up blaming it on being let go from the show. After being let go, Dourdan defaulted on two mortgages when he couldn’t find any work that matched the paycheck he received on CSI. Sigh, always blaming someone else appears to be common for most men actors or artists these days.
2. More Like Francis Ford Nada – Francis Ford Coppola
With a man as bulletproof as the talented director Francis Ford Coppola seemingly is, you would assume that he never really had suffered from any sort of money issues, but that’s not the case. No one is immune to Uncle Sam, it appears, even Coppola. The director’s money issues go as far back as 1982 when his musical One From The Heart proved to be a financial black hole that sucked the money out of everything it touched, which eventually drove Coppola to file for bankruptcy. The director would go on to file two more times in order to pay off the massive debt he owed to the creditors who helped finance his company, Zoetrope Corp. Goes to show you, never attempt to finance your own project if people tell you NOT to. At least Coppola learned from his mistakes… at least after the third time he had to file for bankruptcy.
1. Larry, King of All-Things Suspenders
Sure, he’s king of suspenders now, but way back when famed talk show host and casual “know-it-all” Larry King had to file for bankruptcy back in the 1970s when he was just a mere radio announcer in Miami. King spent more than he was bringing in but all the money issues didn’t really come to a head until he was arrested in 1971 and charged with grand larceny for stealing a whopping $5,000 from his business partner at the time. After that, King couldn’t really get a job in radio again since it left a dark mark on his record. Because King couldn’t hold a job for very long, he dug himself a money hole composed of $320,000, which forced him to declare bankruptcy. But the year he filed, he was offered to host a late-night talk show in D.C, and the rest is history.
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