1. Lady Ga Ga
Lady Ga Ga thrives off media attention. Known for her elaborate costumes and bizarre fashion sense, Lady Ga Ga is renowned for her string of hits that have made her one of the biggest stars in the world.
But in 2011, the wacky singer paid the price for her unique fashion sense that left her £1.82 million in debt and forced her to file for bankruptcy. As part of her Monster’s Ball Tour, the singer splashed the cash on crazy outfits that cost millions of pounds.
With no idea of the magnitude of her financial problems, the famous singer continued to splurge on expensive items including a Rolls Royce for her parents, unaware of the extreme debts she had already acquired. Openly admitting that the reason she was so unaware of her financial situation was because money is not important to her, we wonder how long it will be until she finds herself in a similar situation?
2. Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson was forced to file for bankruptcy after finding himself in legal troubles relating to sexual assault charges.
As one of the world’s most famous boxing champions, Tyson regularly splurged on lavish cars, properties and expensive holidays, leaving him with little disposable cash when it cam to paying his mounting lawyer fees. Unable to pay, he was forced to declare himself bankrupt.
3. Lindsay Lohan
This is a childhood star whose life has unraveled in front of our eyes from the time she shot to fame in The Parent Trap.
Blaming the demands of childhood stardom for her wild partying, car crashes, arrests and rehab visits, the former Disney Child star paid the price for her wild lifestyle in the 2012 when she was forced to face the realization that her finances were out of control.
With unpaid tax bills reaching in excess of $900,000, the IRS were forced to seize the star’s bank accounts after she failed on several occasions to pay back the money that she owed.
4. Pamela Anderson
Famous for her role in Baywatch, model and actress, Pamela Anderson found herself in financial difficulty after spending an eye-watering $800 thousand on her extravagant Malibu Mansion.
This alongside a tax bill of $1.7 million dollars left her facing the reality that she would have to declare herself as bankrupt. She was forced to give up her lavish mansion to move into a trailer park with her two sons. She’s a prime example of how you can have it all one day and nothing the next. We’re sure she’ll be back on our TV screens in no time at all.
5. Shane Filan – Westlife
One fifth of one of the world’s biggest boy bands of all time, no one could foresee or even predict that Westlife’s Shane Filan would ever be in a position where he would have to file for bankruptcy.
With a successful music career behind him and a hefty pay packet to go with it, it seemed that he had the world at his feet. But with over £18 million in debts caused by a series of ill-fated property investments, Shane found himself plunging into bankruptcy.
Westlife’s decision to call it a day back in 2011, didn’t help the situation. In fact, the break up of the band was the fatal blow that saw him face one of the most desperate situations of his life – the realisation that he would have to declare himself bankrupt.
Recalling the process as, “horrible, hideous and humiliating” in his latest biography, My Side Of Life, Shane documents how the bankruptcy almost destroyed him.
Following the news of his ordeal, loyal friend and manager, Louis Walsh offered Shane a solo deal and world tour, allowing him to get his life back on track.
6. Kerry Katona
Singer and reality TV star, Kerry Katona made the headlines back in 2008 when she was forced to file for bankruptcy after struggling to find the money to pay an £86,000 unpaid tax bill. 5 years later, she was then forced to file for bankruptcy for a second time having admitted that she was still struggling to clear her growing debts.
As a former member of pop group, Atomic Kitten, Kerry is a familiar face in many tabloid newspapers and celebrity gossip magazines. Known for her string of turbulent relationships and estranged husbands, Kerry’s career has had many highs and lows.
Having immersed herself in an elaborate celebrity lifestyle that saw her splash the cash on luxurious cars, holidays and houses, Kerry made no secret of her love for spending her money as quickly as she earned it. But, in an industry that offers little financial stability, Kerry quickly found that she was unable to maintain her luxurious celebrity lifestyle. Has she learned her lesson?
7. Joe Swash
Actor and TV presenter, Joe Swash is another celebrity who found himself in financial difficulties due to failing to pay a £20,000 tax bill back in 2009.
Having owed the Inland Revenue more than £120,000 in unpaid taxes, Joe was able to clear the balance apart from an outstanding £20,000. Unable to pay the additional money, Joe was forced to file for bankruptcy as the Official Receiver declared control of his assets.
But it would seem that the star failed to live and learn from his mistakes. Once again, in 2009, Joe found himself in deep water with the tax office having failed to pay a £50,000 tax bill.
8. Christopher Biggins
Christopher Biggins was forced to file for voluntary bankruptcy having succumbed to the unpredictable nature of celebrity work. When the actor was not earning, he found it difficult to curb his spending during periods of having no work.
Unable to give up his love of dining out in fine restaurants and his fondness for champagne, Biggins built up large debts that he could no longer afford to pay. In a bid to gain control of his finances again, he made the decision to file for voluntary bankruptcy.
9. George Best
Manchester United football legend, George Best will always be remembered for his commendable football career, but even more so for his champagne lifestyle that left him facing bankruptcy, a prison sentence and spiraling debts that ultimately saw him lose control of his life.
Plagued by alcoholism and an unsustainable playboy lifestyle, in 1998 he found himself in £70,000 mortgage arrears and facing eviction. But still his memory will always live on as one of the greatest footballers of all time, both on and off the pitch.
10. Marvin Gaye
Known as one of the greatest musicians of all time, Marvin Gaye is the creator of hits such as “What’s Going on”, “Sexual Healing” and “Heard It Through The Grapevine.” But his personal life was far from perfect and, despite earning millions of pounds from his successful music career, he found himself in a position where he had to file for bankruptcy.
Following a rocky marriage of 14 years to Anna Gordy Gaye, their marriage came to an end in 1976. But a messy divorce settlement led to Marvin Gaye having to file for bankruptcy. His estranged ex wife even considered suing the Mowtown singer for invasion of privacy over the content that featured in his album – the court ordered him to pay her $600,000 in royalties.
11. Dexter Fletcher
Growing up, actor Dexter Fletcher openly describes himself as a reckless teenager who experimented with drugs and alcohol. But unable to accept adult responsibility, Fletcher soon lost control of all areas of his young adult life, and found himself addicted to drugs and alcohol.
Having starred in more than 40 film and TV series, the popular actor first rose to fame at the age of 9 when he played the one of his most famous roles in children’s gangster movie, Bugsy Malone. It was this role that he believes led to his initial troubles as a young teenager, as he was unable to cope with the stardom that came hand in hand with the success of the movie.
By his early 20s, he was addicted to alcohol and drugs and, as a result, he became bankrupt and homeless. With serious debts that ran into the thousands, Dexter found himself buying cars that he could not afford, partying for days on end and doing drugs. This soon led to him accruing debts of over £90,000, resulting in him losing his house, car and sleeping rough. Was it a case of too much too young?
12. Jim Davidson
Comic Jim Davidson shot to fame during the 80s and 90s for his presenting roles in well-known TV shows such as The Generation Game and the BBC’s Big Break however, his success wasn’t to last.
In 2003, his career began to slide and so did his personal life. Unable to support his four ex wives and children, Jim Davidson found himself unable to pay over £700,000 in taxes.
Labeled by the press as being, “sexist, racist and homophobic,” he has consequently struggled to find work since – fame really is an unpredictable game of highs and lows. You can be up there on a pedestal one day and ridiculed by the press the next day.
13. Toni Braxton
Known for releasing hits such as, “You’re Makin Me High” and “Un-Break My Heart,” Toni Braxton enjoyed a flourishing pop career and the carefree spending that comes hand in hand with overnight success.
Despite having a platinum album, Braxton was spending far more than she was earning – nothing was off limits. However, her carefree spending soon came to an abrupt end when she was forced to file for bankruptcy due to debts that were out of control.
But the R& B star didn’t learn her lesson, in 2010, the singer found herself in a position where she had to, once again, declare herself bankrupt due to her extreme spending habits.
14. MC Hammer
It’s inevitable that if you spend more than you earn, you will find yourself in deep water when it comes to your finances.
Having earned over $33 million in 1991, by 1996, rap legend, MC Hammer had amassed over $14 million worth of debt. His out of control spending seen him splurge on cars, mansions, airplanes and luxury yachts until he was forced to declare himself bankrupt.
He is the prime example of celebrities who find themselves unable to handle what seems like a never-ending cash flow when they are at the height of their career.
15. Willie Nelson
Last on our list is country legend, Willie Nelson. He found himself in deep financial troubles during the 90s when he owed the I.R.S an astounding $16.7 million. As a result his bank accounts and real estate holding were seized.