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Riches to rags: 5 biggest celebrity bankruptcies – the celebs who lost it all

Everyone loves a good bankruptcy story, usually because they affect people who once had money, a true riches to rags tale. Bankruptcy can happen to the best of us, and yes, that includes celebrities. From tales of gross overspending to genuine misfortune.

From rapper MC Hammer to boxer Mike Tyson, we take a look at a list of celebrities who after living the high life – lost it all.

Marvin Gaye

The Motown singers life was never quite as smooth as his voice. Marvin Gaye’s was an estimated net worth of $5 million. But following his huge musical success, in 1976, Gaye and his wife got divorced from his first wife, Anna Gordy Gaye, and we know very well that divorces aren’t cheap.

Gaye had to pay Anna $600,000 in alimony payments, and the smooth operator had to give her rights to his album “Here, My Dear.” Quite a suitable title, wouldn’t you say?

This, however, is just the start of his troubles. Gaye also had drug addiction problems, and met a sad, sad end in 1984 when his own father shot and killed him after a row.

Meat Loaf

Let’s be straight, this talented loaf of meat still has a pretty fortune, but smaller than it should’ve been after filing for bankruptcy back in the 80’s.

Meat Loaf is best known to a younger generation who weren’t partying as hard three decades ago as the infamous ‘Fat Bob’ from Fight Club. A big sobbing mess of a man who just wanted to cry after pumping his body full of oestrogen.

What really caused the singer to become broke, however, was the man that wrote most of his songs, Jim Steinman. After Steinman filed a lawsuit against him, his bank account was carved down a notch – just like a…loaf of meat. Sorry, we couldn’t resist.

Francis Ford Coppola

This man, while a brilliant director who helped create the masterpiece that is The Godfather, has filed for bankruptcy twice.

His $52 million dollars worth of assets were compromised in 1992, and he was liable for $98 million. Oh dear, that’s a lot of conga to part with.

Coppola reckoned that the large majority of his debt was because of the flop he made, “One From The Heart,” which cost $27 million while only bringing back a mere $4 million.

Mike Tyson

He was the Baddest Man on the Planet, remember? Chewed off a fellow boxer’s ear, convicted of rape, threatened to eat peoples’ kids. He is – believe it or not – a very sensitive man is our Tyson.

One thing he was bad at though, and we mean very bad, was money. The heavy-handed fighter earned in excess of $400 million over his 20-year boxing career. But then again, Don King was his promoter, who Tyson reckons ripped him off for millions.

He squandered his cash on pet tigers, had a staggering $9 million divorce settlement, and he even owed the British tax man $4 million.

MC Hammer

The 90’s cannot be explained without mentioning US rapper MC Hammer. This dude was reported to have earned $33 million during his career, but in 1996 and with $13 million worth of debt he filed for bankruptcy.

Oh, did me mention he had a paid entourage of 40 people? They clearly weren’t financial advisers or accountants.
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