It’s A Long Way Down: Celebrities Who Had Millions Then Lost It All

June 6, 2014  |  
1 of 15

What would you do with a fortune? Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis spent it all — $50 million — and was just arrested for assault. And he’s not the only one to have it all and then hit rock bottom.  Here are 15 other celebrities who had millions then lost it all.

Allen Iverson

Allen is the poster boy for balling out of control.

Back in 1996, Allen Iverson was rookie of the year. He went on to earn $154 million during his career, but by 2012 he’d spent it all and owed some — including an $860,000 bill to a jeweler.

Allen had a chance to recoup some of that with a position on the NBA D-League’s Texas Legends. But the 38-year-old former baller said he’d rather hold out for another shot at the NBA…

Gary Dourdan

Gary Dourdan may be gorgeous, but he’s definitely not good with money.

After eight seasons on CSI, Gary declared bankruptcy in 2012.

What happened? Gary made more bills than money.

He was worth $1.8 million, but owed $1.73 million to creditors.

Now, after the creditors take their cut, Gary says he has just $400 of expendable income a month.

Joe Francis

The Girls Gone Wild mogul lost all of his $50 million empire. How? Most of it went to fight lawsuits filed by the women who flashed the camera in his sketchy videos. Joe declared bankruptcy earlier this year.


Nas cheated on Kelis and left her broke and eight months pregnant. But Kelis didn’t stay bankrupt for long.

She took Nas to court. Now he has to pay her $44,000 a month in child support plus $80,000 for court and labor fees and umbilical cord stem cell banking.

Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay was one of Hollywood’s most popular child actors.

But thanks to a lot of partying and substance abuse, Lindsay had to declare bankruptcy — despite a $100,000 cash infusion from Scary Movie 5 co-star Charlie Sheen.

MC Hammer

By 1991, MC Hammer’s empire was $33 million — and few celebrities managed to spend their cash as fast as he did.

Hammer spent it all on luxury cars and airplanes, a 17-car garage, baseball diamond and the largest entourage in history.

By 1996, he was $14 million in debt and declaring bankruptcy.

Marion Jones

Marion Jones was the first woman to win five Olympic medals — and it was all downhill from there.

In 2007, not only did Marion Jones declare she was flat broke, she also admitted to being under the influence of performance-enhancing drugs during the 2000 Olympics.

Marion was stripped of her medals and most coaching opportunities. Now she makes ends meet with motivational speaking about the importance of owning up to your mistakes.

Michael Vick

In 2005, Michael Vick was the fourth highest paid athlete on planet earth. But he spent it all on bad business investments, a 30-person entourage…and a dog-fighting ring.

And in 2008, Mike went bankrupt while serving time in jail for animal cruelty. But now that he’s out, he’s back to making tens of millions on the football field.

Mike Tyson

Mike made $300 million during his boxing career. It was all gone by 2003 thanks to scheming financial advisers (according to Mike).

Now the former Heavyweight Champ is trying to earn some of it back with acting roles including Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth, a one man show written by his wife Kiki and directed by Spike Lee.

Natalie Cole

Nat King Cole’s daughter Natalie headlined as a singer during her hey day. But a heroin and crack addiction bankrupted the star in 1997.

Nicolas Cage

Nic Cage appears in around three movies a year. But almost no percent of his salary actually goes into his pocket.

Back in 2009, the star found himself several million dollars in debt to the IRS thanks to a few years of unpaid taxes.

Nic narrowly escaped declaring bankruptcy, but the government seized most of his properties and garnishes his wages to pay back what he owes.

Pamela Anderson

In 2009, Pamela Anderson went from being a million-dollar Baywatch beauty to living in a trailer park.

What happened? A lot of poor money management that ended with a custom built Malibu mansion that she couldn’t afford.

When she filed bankruptcy she owed $800 thousand to the construction company and $1.7 million in taxes.

Sarah Ferguson

Even royalty isn’t immune to going broke. The Duchess of York blew through her inheritance and owed $8 million by 2011.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, she was caught on video trading access to the royal family for cash.

Disgraced and broke, she had to resort to crashing at her ex-husband Prince Andrew’s house.

Terrell “T.O.” Owens

Baby mamas were a big part of what bankrupted T.O. He has four, each of which he pays around $55,000 a month.

Add those monthly bills to a lot of extravagant spending and you end up burning through $70 million in football money.

Sheryl Swoopes

Terrible investments and bad business ideas resulted in the loss of almost all of Sheryl Swoopes’ $50 million in WNBA money.

But Sheryl refused to stay down for the count. She learned her financial lesson and started the basketball camp Swoopes House of Hoops to start earning back some of her lost millions. And now she’s a color analyst for Texas Tech women’s basketball.

Trending on MadameNoire

View Comments
Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN
blog comments powered by Disqus