The Most Famous Riches to Rags Stories
We looked at some of the world’s best rags to riches stories a few days ago. These are heart-warming and inspiring tales of people like Oprah Winfrey and JK Rowling, who have turned their financial lives around incredibly.
What about the other side of this issue, though? There must also be lots of people who had it all and lost it all? Indeed there are. Here are some of the most famous riches to rags stories if stars who ended up with serious financial problems.
Mike Tyson – Spending Like There’s No Tomorrow
He was once the scariest man alive and then he become one of the richest men on the planet. Tyson is estimated to have earned more than $400 million throughout his career. There is absolutely no way any sane person could blow that amount of money and end up bankrupt, is there? Well, if you spend $2 million on a bathtub and “invest” in ridiculously expensive Bengali tigers you could probably find a way of eating through a fortune like this. When he filed for bankruptcy in 2003 he had an astonishing $23 million of debts he couldn’t pay back. As recently as 2010 he was telling the world on chat shows that he was “totally broke”.
Willie Nelson – Those Old IRS Blues
This guy ain’t as scary as Mad Mike Tyson but he has also had his financial woes to deal with. Back in 1990 the popular country singer had the IRS on his tail for $32 million in back taxes which he never paid. Most of his assets were seized from him in order to pay this massive bill. He even brought out a special double album to try and pay IRS. The bill was eventually brought down through negotiation to $6 million and Nelson paid off his debts in 1993. He seems to have been a victim of bad investments and poor financial advice but it looks like he is financially healthy again.
Nicholas Cage – Still Rich But Not Quite as Much as Before
This one isn’t exactly a riches to rags story. After all, how can one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood become completely broke? At one point my wife’s favorite actor was buying houses all over the world in a mad spending spree. He even bought a dinosaur skull for a fortune once, which is a sure sign of having more money than sense. However, in 2009 his financial woes began when IRS (them again?) came knocking at his door. They wanted over $6 million which he hadn’t paid for 2007. Cage blamed his former business managers for the mess and sued them. The problems caused him to lose 3 homes through foreclosure, in Bel Air, Nevada and New Orleans. He is probably the richest person on this list and he isn’t going to be living on the street anytime soon. However, his story shows us that bad investments and poor financial advice can impact even someone who is massively rich.
MC Hammer- Now Got His Priorities Right
The rapper with the capacious trousers filed for Chapter 11 in 1996, despite being worth $33 million just 6 years earlier and selling millions of records across the world during his career. So what went wrong? Spending $20 million on a custom built mansion certainly didn’t help. The mansion was sold for a song after being foreclosed and he later admitted that having a lot of money didn’t help if you had your priorities wrong. Rumors have persisted that he has problems with the IRS but the rapper has stated that he is now financially more stable because he sorted out the priorities in his life.
What other riches to rags stories are you aware of?