25 Broke Celebrities

The Most Wasteful Purchases by 25 Now-Broke Celebrities

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25 Broke Celebrities


From athletes and musicians to actors and socialites, celebrity usually coincides with massive wealth. However, there is no shortage of stars who find a way to squander even the most impressive fortunes. From lavish lifestyles to bad investments, these superstars found a way to lose it all, mostly on bigger purchases than these more common wastes of money.

Mekhi Phifer
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Wasted it on guns and a leather bed
In 2014, "ER" and "8 Mile" star Mekhi Phifer filed for bankruptcy, claiming debts of $1.3 million and assets of just $67,000. Part of his problem might have been his $7,500 monthly income and $11,600 monthly expenses -- but it also might have had something to do with high-end purchases like his gun collection and a bed made of leather.

Allen Iverson


Wasted it on jewelry
Including endorsement deals, Philadelphia 76ers great Allen Iverson earned around $200 million over the course of his career. By 2012, however, he was broke. His lavish lifestyle included mansions and cars and, of course, jewelry. By the time he went bust, he owed $859,000 to a single jeweler.

Stephen Baldwin
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Wasted it on a high-end homeless crash pad
Baldwin brother Stephen of "The Usual Suspects" fame declared bankruptcy in 2009. At the time he was underwater on a New York property on which he still owed at least $2.3 million but was worth only $1.1 million. The born-again Christian had also opened his property to a homeless man who was later arrested as a suspected drug dealer.

Gary Busey


Wasted it on addiction
After starring in more than 70 movies, Gary Busey was down to his last $50,000 by 2012, when he filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. He owed at least 10 times that amount to a laundry list of creditors and to the IRS. The notoriously eccentric "Point Break" star once admitted to an all-consuming cocaine addiction. Before going broke, he appeared on "Celebrity Rehab."

Burt Reynolds
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Wasted it on a giant estate in Florida
In 1996, '80s Hollywood heartthrob Burt Reynolds declared bankruptcy after claiming to be $10 million in debt after losing his $40 million fortune. Facing foreclosure on his four-acre estate, the actor tried to sell it for far more than it was worth in 2011 but found no takers.

Lindsay Lohan
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Wasted it on a pricey London flat
In 2016, actress Lindsay Lohan was facing bankruptcy after failing to pay the rent on her 3.5 million pound ($4.61 million) London flat. The rent on the apartment was a whopping 78,000 pounds, which comes out to roughly $103,000.

Warren Sapp
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Wasted it on a lion skin rug (in a really big house)
In 2012, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Hall of Famer Warren Sapp joined the list of athletes who squandered a fortune on lavish purchases. Although he earned more than $82 million over the course of his career, Sapp had just $826.04 in his bank account by 2012, thanks to purchases such as 240 pairs of sneakers and a lion skin rug — both of which were housed in a 15,000-square-foot mansion.

MC Hammer


Wasted it on payroll
Arguably the biggest name in music in the early '90s, MC Hammer earned $33 million by 1991. Five years later, it was all gone and Hammer was in debt to the tune of $13 million. One of his biggest expenditures were the hundreds of new best friends he found and "employed" once he got rich. At one point, the rapper's payroll exceeded $1 million a month.

Antoine Walker
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Wasted it on houses and cars
NBA star Antoine Walker earned $108 million over the course of his remarkable career. By 2010, he had nothing to show except a bankruptcy proceeding. His baller lifestyle included lavish expenditures on houses, cars and shiny things. He also took on legions of hangers-on who treated him as a human ATM machine.

Wesley Snipes


Wasted it on an $8 Million Mansion
One of the most high-profile criminal tax evasion defendants in modern history, Wesley Snipes served time in federal prison for tax fraud. Part of his trouble came from following the advice of a shady anti-tax advocate, but another part was lavish spending. He purchased an $8 million mansion in Alpine, NJ, an exclusive haven for rappers, athletes and other new-money millionaires.

50 Cent
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Wasted it on a 52-Room Mansion
In 2016, a judge approved a resolution for rapper 50 Cent's bankruptcy proceedings, which had been playing out in public for a year. His problems were mainly wrapped up in his house, whose previous inhabitants also all went bankrupt or even went to prison for bankruptcy fraud. The 50,000 square-foot Connecticut mansion had 52 rooms, nine kitchens, a basketball court, and a $70,000 monthly maintenance and upkeep fee.

Kim Basinger


Wasted it on a bad movie
Few actresses had hotter careers than Kim Basinger in the 1980s. Unfortunately, by 1993 the "Batman" star was embroiled in several ugly lawsuits that eventually drove her into bankruptcy. In a judgment that was eventually overturned, Basinger was ordered to pay $8 million for breaking an "oral contract" regarding a movie called "Boxing Helena," which Basinger never even appeared in.

A Dinosaur Skull — Nicolas Cage
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Wasted it on shrunken Pygmy heads, a dinosaur skull and a private island
Actor Nicolas Cage is back on top, but at one point, he faced financial ruin after blowing $150 million on, among other things, a $150,000 pet octopus, 15 homes (including a bunch of giant mansions and two castles in Europe), his own island in the Bahamas, shrunken pygmy heads, and a quarter-million dollar dinosaur skull that he had to return after it was determined the fossil was stolen.

Joe Francis


Wasted it on luxury cars
By 2015, "Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis was so broke he was facing arrest for failing to surrender two luxury cars as ordered by a bankruptcy judge. By that time, Francis had been convicted of assault, owed over $10 million to casino magnate Steve Wynn, and was in trouble with the IRS. His final downfall, however, was the Bentley Flying Spur and Cadillac Escalade he allegedly attempted to conceal.

Lenny Dykstra
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Wasted it on a mega mansion
By 2011, former Mets and Phillies slugger Lenny Dykstra was facing prison time for charges that included bankruptcy fraud and identity theft. His $58 million fortune was squandered, and his $18.5 million mansion — which he bought from Wayne Gretzky — was in foreclosure. His wife and kids had left him, and his immediate family was also estranged.

Aaron Carter
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Wasted it on a family compound
The kid brother of a Backstreet Boy, Aaron Carter was a pop star by the time he was seven years old. When he grew up, however, he made a whole bunch of money mistakes and blew his fortune, which equaled $200 million, before his 18th birthday. Among his expenditures was a 12-home Carter family compound.

Toni Braxton
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Wasted it on mansion addiction
In 2010, "Unbreak My Heart" singer Toni Braxton filed for bankruptcy after racking up $50 million in debt, including money owed on a lavish mansion she could no longer afford. Four years later in 2014, her settlement was complete, but the singer apparently hadn't learned her lesson. just six months later she plunked down $3 million on a new estate.

Sheryl Swoope
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Wasted it on bad investments
During her WNBA heyday, Sheryl Swoopes was the greatest women's basketball player in the world and had a $50 million fortune. After a series of bad investments, however, the first woman ever to get her own Nike shoe was so broke she had to sell her Olympic medals to pay an IRS debt.

Francis Ford Coppola
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Wasted it on a musical flop
Francis Ford Coppola is known for "The Godfather" trilogy -- but by 1992, the iconic director also laid claim to a trio of bankruptcies. They all stemmed from a massive 1982 investment in a costly musical called "One From the Heart," which was a huge, un-Coppola-like flop.

A $2.2 Million Gold Bathtub — Mike Tyson
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Wasted it on exotic tigers
Any discussion about squandered celebrity fortunes must include Mike Tyson. He grew up in poverty, amassed a $300 million fortune, and blew it all. Among his most lavish and legendary expenditures were three white Bengal tigers, which cost hundreds of thousands to buy and train and $1,500 a day to feed.

Curt Schilling
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Wasted it on a video game company
Former Red Sox great Curt Schilling lost $50 million on an investment in a video game company called 38 Studios. He was a better pitcher than an entrepreneur, it turns out. The company went bust and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning did not revolutionize the Massive Multiplayer Online market.

Michael Vick
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Wasted it on a dog fighting ring
Lots of celebrity athletes go broke, but Michael Vick stands out for actually paying what he owed his creditors. Six years after filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2008, Vick paid nearly the entire $18 million he owed after racking up debt in the wake of his downfall and incarceration for running an illegal dog fighting ring.

Chris Tucker
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Wasted it on a collection of houses
In 2014, funnyman Chris Tucker faced a massive $14 million tax bill that swelled through years of nonpayment. The "Rush Hour" star still found plenty of money to buy houses one after another. In 2007, it was reported that Tucker purchased his third home -- a $6 million, 14,000-square-foot mansion.

Dionne Warwick
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Wasted it on shopping
One of history's biggest hitmakers, Dionne Warwick racked up five Grammys, sold more than 100 million albums, and earned $100,000 a month. By 2013, she was down to her last $1,000, had amassed tens of thousands in credit card debt, and had a $10 million tax bill. She blamed her downfall on financial mismanagement — and a compulsive shopping habit.

Johnny Depp


Wasted it on everything
At the start of 2017, actor Johnny Depp was entangled in a series of nasty lawsuits with former managers attempting to assign blame for the actor's financial ruin. Out of the whole mess came a window into Depp's outrageous spending. This included $30,000 a month on wine, $300,000 a month to maintain a 40-person staff, $150,000 a month for 24-hour security, $200,000 a month on private planes, and $3 million to blast journalistic legend Hunter S. Thompson's ashes out of a cannon.