The Price of Trouble For Celebrities

January 6, 2011 ‐ By TheEditor

by Alexander Cain

Thanks in part to the popularity of celebrity media outlets like TMZ, Star Magazine, and countless others, access to the personal lives of our favorite celebrities is easier than ever. Twitters allows celebrities and anyone close by to share news and information to millions. The consequences of this information influx can be seen throughout media: more headline news of our favorite celebrities heading to rehab, getting into trouble, or showing destructive behavior. What might seem like harmless gossip about famous people can cost stars millions of dollars due to a loss in endorsements or a loss in work.

Personal lives and the celebrity persona are often blended together for many stars. As celebrities’ personal lives begin to take a hit, the public becomes engaged and the problems begin to mount for many of our famous figures. Two famous athletes, Michael Vick and Tiger Woods, are perfect examples of how an incident in one’s personal life can have severe repercussions to one’s celebrity. Michael Vick was sentenced to two years for his involvement in a dogfighting ring. According to a MSNBC report, his combined loss between his NFL income and endorsements was over $24.5 million a year. Even today, Mike Vick is still paying off all of the debtors he owes, because of all the income he lost while in prison. Even without committing a crime, a major event such as divorce or adultery can cost a celebrity millions.

Tiger Woods involved in the sex scandal also lost key endorsements including Gatorade, AT&T, and Accenture amounting to close to $22 million.  Even those affiliated with hip-hop, music that often boasts evading the law and engaging in unlawful activities, can be hurt by their unlawful ways.

T.I. who was recently sentenced to prison again for violating his probation, lost two of his major endorsements with Axe Body Spray and Remy Martin Cognac.  Even more important than losing an endorsement is losing time, which could’ve been spent on touring. For many artists, the income comes from touring. Artists can make upwards to $100,000 per show with increases depending on profit-sharing percentage. With prison time sentencing, while it might not mean a drop in album sales,  can mean less time for touring and less money earned throughout the year.

While prison might mean lost income for some, other superstars are immune to any losses for album sales. Lil’ Wayne stands an example of a superstar’s popularity that couldn’t be lessened. His album, I’m Not A Human Being, released during his prison stint was a Billboard #1 album and the first album since Tupac Shukar’s Me Against the World Album to reach #1 while the artist was in jail. Lil’ Wayne has proven that a star’s faithful following will continue to support an artist even while serving a stint in jail.

Getting into trouble forces celebrities to evaluate their private lives and re-assess their priorities. As they stay in seclusion away from the spotlight, they are also losing the attention of their fans and the public as a whole. With such an influx of media at everyone’s disposal, if a celebrity doesn’t make headlines, they are easily forgotten. The cost of getting into trouble can cause a celebrity millions in endorsement or other opportunities.

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  • Chaka1

    This article was extremely shallow and misses the point. The real story is when celebrities ruin their images, no one wants to hire, invest in, or work with them. Some have to sign legal clauses stating that they will stay off drugs during production of movie. Some are required to hire handlers that stay with them 24 hours to make sure they stay out of trouble. Investors pull out of projects because supporting the star has become too risky. Some stars have morality clauses in their contracts and they get fired for violating them. Please do more research.

  • Ariona Taylor

    I love a man that has a prison record, as long as it's drugs or murder. (no children or women). I know that's insane, but mama smoked while pregnant.


    How old are you, dear? The few celebrities that you've mentioned are GROWN MEN. And grown enought to make their own choices. If they cared that much about losing the cost of million dollar endorsements, then they would try to make more responsible choices. STOP! Giving these celebrities sympathy PROPS! Mike Vicke, "consciouly" knew that dog fighting was illegal. Tiger Woods, KNEW that he was married, and should not have been messing around with about twenty skanks. And TI knew along with "simple" minded Lil Wayne, that breaking the LAW could mean possible jail time. Instead of pampering these celebrities EGOS, you should be instisting that they take more responsiblity for the choices that they make in their personal lives. Maybe then, they won't have to worry about losing so many unnecessary endorsements. Please GROW UP


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