Rapper 50 Cent – born Curtis Jackson III – filed for bankruptcy yesterday, citing liabilities between $10m and $50m. The Get Rich or Die Tryin’ star has made a career boasting about his wealth – but seems to have spent his money faster than he made it.
Jackson, formerly represented by New York-based agency Money Management Group, is likely to feel pretty sheepish over lyrical boasts made about his wealth. The rapper can hardly claim, as he did in 2003, that “I am what I am, you could like it or love it/It feels good to blow 50 grand and think nothing of it”. But he’s hardly the only celebrity ever to run into money problems. Here are four more celebrities who have blown it all.
Iron Mike was more than $27m in the red when he filed for bankruptcy in 2003. According to the New York Times, Tyson made around $400m in the 20 years preceding his filing – but the heavyweight frittered his fortune away conspicuously.
Tyson spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on his three pet Bengal tigers ($4,500 a month in animal care, $1,000 a month in pet insurance, approximately $1,500 a day on food, and $125,000 a year on a pet-sitting animal trainer), but some of his other costs were just as outlandish.
Upon marrying actress Robin Givens in 1988, Tyson gave her a $2m golden bathtub, although this pales in comparison to the $4.5m he spent on dozens of luxury cars.
Perhaps most wasteful, though, was the fine Tyson paid for biting Evander Holyfield’s ear during their 1997 world title fight. He coughed up more than $3m, surely making it the world’s most expensive food per gramme.
Burt Reynolds – star of Smokey and the Bandit, The Cannonball Run and Boogie Nights – has been in serious financial trouble not once, but twice.
In 1976, the moustachioed heartthrob was $10m in arrears. Lavish spending (largely on vehicles and property), failed investments in a Florida restaurant chain and a pricey (and public) divorce drove Reynolds to file for bankruptcy.
He rebuilt his fortune and revitalised his career with dozens more appearances in films, but reportedly floundered again late in 2014 when sued for mortgage repayments by his bank.
Reynolds sold $2.5m’s worth of personal memorabilia, but strenuously denied he was broke, claiming instead that he was “Quite frankly, sick of so many picture of myself in my own home”.
Kim Basinger’s story of bankruptcy is a little more poignant than those of her high-rolling counterparts. Basinger reneged on an agreement to star in 1993 dud Boxing Helena, and was sued by Main Line Pictures for breach of contract.
Though Basinger successfully appealed against the cost of the settlement, she was unable to front the cash asked of her.
Basinger filed for bankruptcy soon after, and was forced to sell her stake in a land-redevelopment enterprise in Braselton, in her native state of Georgia.
Micky Rooney made over 300 films during a nine-decade career, and was making $65,000 a week on Broadway as late as 1980. But by 1996, Rooney had declared himself bankrupt, with almost $2m in debts to the IRS.
Rooney – perhaps most famous for his film work in the 1930s and 1940s – had hit rock bottom before, declaring bankruptcy in 1962. Rooney had blown his entire $12m fortune, large chunks of spent on multiple divorce settlements and a destructive addiction to betting on “the ponies”.
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