There is the possibility that these celebrities’ actual earnings are significantly higher after taking into consideration their endorsement deals and other business endeavors.
Michael Jordan, former Chicago Bulls star and current Charlotte Bobcats majority owner, was valued at almost $1.6 billion in 2022 despite earning “only” $93 million in compensation throughout his NBA career.
Dr. Dre, a hip-hop tycoon, sold his Beats by Dre headphones line to Apple for $700 million and reportedly still receives annual royalties in the tens of millions.
Of all, even if you perform well financially, that doesn’t guarantee you’ll be able to keep your hard-earned cash. Many famous people have lost their fortunes because they trusted the wrong people or made poor choices.
1. Johnny Depp
For $15 million, Johnny Depp is the highest-paid actor in Hollywood.
Since the 1980s, Johnny Depp has been in the acting business. His best hits, such as the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series, have netted him as much as $20 million each picture. Over $3 billion has been made from his films.
In spite of this, Johnny Depp nearly lost it all as his fame diminished and his lavish spending habits caught up with him. He never filed for bankruptcy and is now back on his feet financially. But it was close, and the lessons he learned on the trip from fame to near-bankruptcy are valuable lessons for everyone.
When and Why Johnny Depp Lost His Money
In 2017, Depp’s lawsuit against his longtime business managers Joel and Robert Mandel for fraud and other charges confirmed the actor was having financial difficulties.
After he ran out of money in 2016, the Mandels gave him an ultimatum: sell his cherished French estate and other precious possessions or face financial collapse. To say that Depp was involved in the management of his own affairs would be an understatement, but even he was surprised to learn that he had spent $650 million since retaining his business managers in the year 2000.
In his case, Depp claimed that the Mandels had mismanaged his money and gained excessive personal gain. They countersued, saying he was being “selfish, reckless, and irresponsible” by not changing his behavior.
The thing is, they were onto something there. Depp had a vast fine wine collection and property portfolio that included 14 houses, a 156-foot yacht, many smaller boats, dozens of cars, and enough memorabilia to fill several storage units. At his most extravagant in the middle of the 2010s, he was said to spend about $4 million per month on things like paying 40 employees, taking trips around the world in a private jet, and buying even more wine.
What Johnny Depp Did After His Fall from Grace
Because of the massive success of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” film franchise, Johnny Depp was able to avoid bankruptcy thanks largely to the over $300 million he made in salary and profit sharing. Modern bestsellers like “Alice in Wonderland” also helped.
Unlike many other performers, Depp never went through a prolonged time of not being productive and had sufficient residual money to see him through regardless of his struggles with spending and substance abuse. His wealth has recovered to nine figures recently, though it is still only a small fraction of what it once was.
Off-screen, though, Depp’s notoriety persisted. When Depp’s bitter divorce from actress Amber Heard went to trial, it turned into a spectacle fit for the tabloids. Although it remains to be seen whether the affair would hurt Depp’s reputation and earnings, financially speaking, Depp came out ahead, with the jury ordering Heard to pay Depp $10 million and Depp to pay Heard $2 million.
To lessen the financial blow of the verdict, Heard reportedly filed for bankruptcy.
2. Donald Trump
Donald Trump, now the 45th President of the United States, first gained notoriety as a bombastic New York real estate tycoon with an eccentric haircut, high-profile romantic escapades, and a knack for self-promotion.
How did Donald Trump file for bankruptcy?
Trump has had six companies file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy between the years 1990 and 2005. There were five casinos involved, including Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts, the parent company of the world-famous Trump Taj Mahal. The majority of occurrences took place during or after the severe real estate downturns of the early 1990s and the middle to late 2000s.
Trump’s first bankruptcy, in 1991, was the most devastating to his lifestyle. Trump took on massive amounts of high-interest loans to build the Trump Taj Mahal for $1 billion. A little over a year after its debut, the resort had already lost more than $3 billion, with Trump personally responsible for $900 million of that sum. Trump Shuttle and Trump’s own yacht were sold as part of the settlement.
There were even more staggering figures in subsequent Trump bankruptcies. Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, for instance, had more than $1.8 billion in debt when it initially filed for Chapter 11 in 2004.
However, Trump’s personal money and way of life weren’t significantly impacted by these bankruptcies. Mostly because Trump didn’t put his own money into the loans that funded the faltering endeavors. Further, Trump’s late-career focus on low-risk licensing contracts mitigates the likelihood that his businesses will experience significant financial difficulties in the future.
3. Toni Braxton
Toni Braxton, an R&B singer, was a multimillionaire who twice experienced complete financial collapse. Braxton said she signed a fake contract that only gave her $2,000 in royalties despite selling 20 million albums. She filed for bankruptcy in 1998 after a failed lawsuit against her record label.
In 2008, she had to cancel her Las Vegas show unexpectedly owing to health concerns. When her insurance firm Lloyd’s of London refused to pay up (claiming she hadn’t disclosed her pre-existing medical issues in the insurance policy), she had to pay for everything herself.
She was sued by numerous creditors in 2010, prompting her to file for bankruptcy for a second time. Meanwhile, sources in early 2019 claimed that Braxton owed more than $500,000 in past taxes, suggesting that she may be headed for additional financial difficulty in the near future.
4. 50 Cent
50 Cent’s success in other industries besides music attests to his savvy as a businessman; he amassed $300 million in a short time span (an early investment in Vitaminwater, for example, reportedly paid off big time).
The rapper raised eyebrows when he filed for bankruptcy in 2015, claiming to be more than $20 million in the red, despite having an estimated net worth of $500 million.
He also raised eyebrows when he posted photos of himself on social media holding stacks of $100 bills spelling the word “broke” (his lawyers insisted the cash was actually “prop money”). After paying off his $22 million in debt in 2017, he was released from bankruptcy.
5. Marvin Gaye
Soul legend Marvin Gaye, who had a run of singles including “Heard it Through the Grapevine” and “What’s Going On,” filed for bankruptcy in 1976 following his divorce settlement, which required him to pay his ex-wife $600,000 in alimony out of the proceeds from his next album (Here, My Dear).
An ever-growing and pricey cocaine habit are said to be another reason Gaye ran out of money so quickly. His later years were marred by poverty and drug abuse, culminating in his terrible shooting death at the hands of his own father during a family dispute.
6. Michael Jackson
It was not immediately apparent that pop icon Michael Jackson was in financial problems when his turbulent life ended in 2009.
With the benefit of hindsight, it’s evident that the tens of millions of records sold and the thousands of sold-out concerts weren’t enough to sustain a luxury lifestyle punctuated by legal difficulties and questionable investments.
Jackson’s mental health issues limited his ability to tour in his last years and cut into his earnings. though he never filed for bankruptcy, if he had lived much longer he would have had no choice.
7. Lisa Presley
Presley has always had plenty of cash on hand, which allowed him to enjoy a lavish upbringing complete with stallions, private jets, and theme parks. He (the father) was notoriously generous with his money.
He once took his girlfriend to Idaho in a private jet so she could play in the snow, only to have her return to him twenty minutes later. The musician-artist was saddled with $16 million in debt after a violent divorce from Michael Lockwood.
8. Mike Tyson ($15 million in wealth).
Mike Tyson, the most feared boxer of all time, made over $400 million at the height of his career. Also well-known was “Iron Mike’s” lavish way of life, which included lavish purchases such as jewels, homes, sports vehicles, parties, and even Siberian tigers as pets.
In his 2003 bankruptcy filing, Tyson listed more than $27 million in debt, over $18 million of which was due to unpaid taxes. Legal bills totaling $600,000 and overdue child support of $50,000 rounded out the list of other debts.
9. Kim Basinger
Following the advice of her doubtful relatives, actress Kim Basinger spent $20 million to purchase approximately 1,700 acres in Georgia with the intention of converting it into a tourist destination by constructing a movie studio and staging a film festival.
After Basinger experienced financial troubles and was forced to sell up large portions of the property, she stated in an interview that “nothing positive came out of it,” and the ordeal reportedly drove a wedge between her and her family.
Then in 1993, there was the movie Boxing Helena, which Basinger initially agreed to go in before ultimately deciding against it because of its creepiness. In court, the studio ultimately prevailed, and Basinger was compelled to pay a sum totaling $8.1 million.
Basinger filed for bankruptcy as a result; after an appeal was granted in her favor by a higher court, she reached a settlement with the studio for $3.8 million. This was all in advance of her acrimonious breakup with Alec Baldwin.
10. Lindsay Lohan
According to the popularity rankings, Lindsay has the lowest score of anyone. In her early career, when movies like Just My Luck and Herbie: Fully Loaded earned her $7.5 million, she was the highest-paid young actress in the world. She was already valued at over $30 million in 2004 when she was 18 years old.
A conservative estimate placed her wealth at $800,000 in 2020. She is now one of the most famous people in the world and is also one of the poorest. You’re looking at the top 15 most famous people in 2022 who are completely cash-strapped and some of whom are really living on the streets.
Everything in life is unpredictable, and this article should serve as a reminder of the importance of careful financial planning. Invest prudently when you’re at the top of your game since things could change overnight.
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