People go broke for many different reasons. Some lose money due to marriage (or divorce) problems, unrestrained preference for expensive items, bad investments, drug addition, medical bills, or just plain and simple poor financial management.

For celebrities – whether Hollywood actors or singers – one of the main reasons that so many of them went broke after earning millions of dollar from their successful careers was unpaid tax bill, which accumulated over many years.

When the IRS eventually and inevitably caught up with them, they came to realize that their ignorance came with a serious consequence: ridiculous amount of debt.

For the general public, the lives of the famous and rich often look glamorous. It appears as if celebrities never have to worry about their finances because they have so much expendable income.

What most people do not realize is that even the biggest celebrities are not invulnerable to money issues.

We have seen quite plenty of big stars sharing inspiring stories of how they came from nothing and climbed the ladder to financial success, yet the opposite also happens.

Here are just few examples.

10 50 Cent

Curtis James Jackson III, or more commonly known as 50 Cent, was at a point in his career and broad business ventures one of the most lucrative celebrities in modern days.

He owned a gigantic wealth of over $155 million in assets that he had accumulated over the years from his endeavors in music, film, and TV industries.

But just like in many cases with a lot of other stars, the “big spender” lifestyle and poor financial management added with reluctance to care for obligations turned his life upside down.

He filed for bankruptcy is 2015, citing between $10 and $50 million in debt.

9 Toni Braxton

Even as of today, Tony Braxton remains one of the highest selling female R&B artists in history. She has sold 67 million records including 41 million albums worldwide.

You would assume that the amount of money she owns just from those sales and not including other business ventures could keep her pretty much in a financially-worriless life, but that is not the case.

Because of her negligence, she accumulated more than $50 million in debt by not paying the bills for services and taxes. Among the organizations from which she owes money include AT&T, Tiffany & Co., and of course the IRS.

8 Wesley Snipes

A well-known action movie actor of the 90s who also starred the Blade trilogy, Wesley Snipes, failed to fulfill his tax obligations for the years 1999 through 2004.

He was sentenced to three years in prison in 2008 for willful failure to file federal income tax returns.

Unfortunately for him and all of his hardcore fans, it was not the only problem he had. In addition to failing to pay income taxes, Snipes accumulated more debt than wealth.

He had no care for how he spent money, and as a result his debt actually was bigger than his assets.

7 Stephen Baldwin

Everyone is familiar with the Baldwin name.

The youngest of the Baldwin brothers, Stephen, appeared in a relatively long list of films and TV shows from 1987 to 2019.

He filed for bankruptcy once, in July 2009, claiming that he had more than $2.3 million in debt.

Court papers showed that he actually owed $1.2 million on two mortgages on a property that was valued at $1.1 million in addition to credit card debt and over a million of unpaid taxes.

He was still involved in a lot of projects after the bankruptcy filing, so we can only assume that he has managed to fulfill at least some of the his obligations now.



6 Lady Gaga

Nobody would expect Lady Gaga to go broke. Let us make one thing clear: she is not, but there was a point in her life where she had no money at all because she used all the financial resources she had for funding her own way to success.

During the 2009 Monster’s Ball tour, she failed to secure financial support from any record house, so she invested about $3 million of her own money for the project.

After several performances, she received a check for $40 million from Live Nation. Her determination paid off, but still he had to go broke first to earn everything she has now.

5 Pamela Anderson

Among all popular celebrities and TV personalities in human history, very few are listed above Pamela Anderson when it comes to tax disobedient department.

During her lucrative career in entertainment industry, she was living like a queen in the way that spent money on expensive cars and luxurious properties. At the same time, she avoided her tax obligations.

The amount of bills kept on piling up to the point where she owed more than $2 million.

Even with a mounting debt, Anderson continued to purchase expensive cars and in 2012 she was on the list of Top 500 Biggest Delinquent Taxpayers by the California Tax Franchise Board.

4 Lena Headey

The queen of Westeros and ruthless ruler of the Iron Throne, Lena Headey, was not always as rich as anybody seems to think, which is surprising.

She played a major role in one of the biggest TV shows, so it is a bit difficult to learn that she was once broke.

Apparently her divorce from Peter Loughran in 2013 was not as smooth as she wanted, in which the process cost her a tremendous amount of money.

While battling for the custody over her child, she had to file for bankruptcy. But then again Game of Thrones was still aired until 2019; the paychecks from the show should pay for everything and then some.

3 Brendan Fraser

The man behind the beloved George of the Jungle, Brendan Fraser, appeared to have everything a man could ever wanted from a charismatic smile to the dreamy Tarzan-like abs.

Fraser may no longer have the muscular abs like he used to, but still he has the unforgettable charming smile.

As it turned out he also had one thing that most men want to avoid: paying for eye-watering amount of alimony and child support. In his case, the obligation was $900K annually.

He pleaded for poverty in court, citing medical issues that limited his ability to earn money.

2 Lindsay Lohan

If you party like a maniac and without any sense of self-preservation, something terrible is going to happen to you one way or another.

Case in point: Lindsay Lohan. It looked like she thought that a success in acting career would last forever. The only problem was that it rarely ever did.

Her dangerous lifestyle involved drugs and alcohol abuse, which inevitably led to some serious health issues and rehab sessions.

In 2012, she was $200K in debt and over the years the interest keeps on accumulating to a total amount of more than one and a half million.

1 Chris Tucker

Playing as detective James Carter alongside Jackie Chan in Rush Hour films, Chris Tucker has proven to the world that he has a good sense of humor well-liked in Hollywood industry.

He actually earned give or take $65 million from the films, but it did not prevent him from making poor financial management.

At the same time his debts had piled up long before and that he also evaded paying taxes for a decade.

He owed $14.5 million as a result. His assets were not enough to pay the debt.

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