12 Famous Celebs Who Filed Bankruptcy

Published on July 30, 2013. Updated October 23, 2015

Celebrities are known for earning millions of dollars each year. Unfortunately, celebrity status doesn’t mean you get a free pass when it comes to financial management. A surprising array of celebrities have filed bankruptcy over the years, for reasons ranging from poor money management to labor disputes and more. You might be surprised to see which of your favorite celebrities have made this list of bankruptcy filers…

12. Tia Carrere

Long before her classic role in the movie Wayne’s World, Carrere was engaged in a legal despute with ABC over wanting to leave her role on General Hospital. She filed for bankruptcy in 1986 after going financially broke.

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11. Burt Reynolds

A 1996 divorce left the star in the hole to the tune of more than $10 million. Within a year of filing for bankruptcy, Reynolds enjoyed a career comeback due to his role in Boogie Nights.

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10. Toni Braxton

Once wasn’t enough for Toni Braxton, who declared bankruptcy in 1998 and again in 2010, both events as a result of overspending as well as municipal and federal tax liens and fees.

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9. Latoya Jackson

In 1995, Ms. Jackson declared bankruptcy as a result of a resounding lack of success in her singing career, combined with extravagant spending habits and an inflated lifestyle. Her appearances in Playboy and her famous siblings weren’t enough to keep her financially afloat.

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8. Willie Nelson

Back in 1990, Willie Nelson was on the road to financial disaster. His nearly 17 million in debt was a result of unpaid federal taxes.

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7. MC Hammer

The rap star must not have declared “U Can’t Touch This” about his money, because he declared bankruptcy in 1996, just seven years after striking it rich from his multi-platinum album. The star was known for his extravagant spending and shopping habits, which led him straight to the hole.

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6. Kelly Rutherford

Legal fees over a custody battle resulted in Kelly Rutherford’s 2013 bankruptcy declaration. Additional taxes, debts to family and friends and credit card debt further added to her financial woes.

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5. Teresa Giudice

The Real Housewives of New Jersey and her husband, Joe, declared bankruptcy under Chapter 7 in 2009. The couple blamed failed real estate investments as the reason for their lack of funds. Their debts amounted to around 8.7 million dollars.

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4. Mike Tyson

Overzealous spending habits and more than a handful of scandals lead to Mike Tyson’s 2003 bankruptcy declaration. Even though the star boxer earned more than $300 million in his career by that point, he was more than $27 million in the hole at the time of declaring bankruptcy.

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3. Larry King

Well before his 25 years of success as a talk show host on cable network CNN, Larry King had amassed more than $350,000 in debt. He made a 1978 bankruptcy declaration, and was able to regain financial glory later in his career.

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2. Kim Basinger

The star’s decision to default on her contract to play the lead female role in the 1993 movie Boxing Helena resulted in her having to pay Main Line Pictures $8.1 million in damages. Her debt and legal fees resulted in a bankruptcy declaration by the end of that year.

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1. Donald Trump

Even The Donald himself isn’t immune to cashflow problems. Donald Trump’s companies filed for bankruptcy in 1991, 1992, 2004 and 2009. Each time, his companies have managed to rebound and rebuild, with Trump’s most recent reported assets topping more than $2 billion in various holdings.

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