Famous People Who Have Gone Bankrupt

The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

Bankruptcy – i.e. the point at which you no longer have enough income to cover your outgoings – isn’t selective when it comes to celebrity. While you might look at megastar singers, famous actresses, comedians and sports stars and think that they’re set for life that’s often not the case. From over spending on professional commitments, to getting caught out by tax, there are many famous people who have gone bankrupt, despite earning millions, which just goes to show that it’s not just people taking out bad credit loans or no credit check loans that can get into trouble with debt.

Lady Gaga

During her 2009 Monsters Ball tour when Lady Gaga was energetically entertaining all her Little Monsters her finances really weren’t doing so well. The singer has since admitted that she was bankrupt, “I had $3 million dollars in the bank to my name and I threw it all in to make my stage…so I was bankrupt during the show.” Today, Lady Gaga is worth $190 million so it looks like the gamble was worth it.

Mike Tyson

The iconic boxing star got into a lot of trouble and found himself bankrupt in 2003, despite reputed career earnings of more than $300 million. Although it’s difficult to understand how someone with that much cash could end up in so much financial trouble, the payments he was committing to might have something to do with it. They included $193,000 spent on cell phones, $345,000 spent on a birthday party and $7.57 million owed to his ex wife. He also owed $11.28 million to the taxman – some pretty hefty expenses, and that’s before you even factor in the cost of caring for his tigers (yes, tigers).

Sarah Ferguson

In 2010, the ex wife of Prince Andrew was in serious trouble and facing bankruptcy thanks to a series of bad business deals and being sued by a firm of solicitors. Despite a reputed $4 million divorce settlement, Fergie ended up in such dire financial stakes that she had to be bailed out by Prince Andrew’s private office at Buckingham Palace – i.e. the Queen (i.e. the taxpayer).


Singer meatloaf managed to do what few have achieved and go bankrupt twice in a single decade. The 80s were not a great time for Meatloaf’s finances – or for his career. However, when the 90s came around everything changed and tracks such as  “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” once again put Meatloaf’s finances back in the black, making it to number 1 in 28 countries.

Perez Hilton

Blogger Perez Hilton has had a hand in changing forever the way that celebrities are treated by the media and by bloggers. But in 2005 he could have been the subject of one of his own snarky blogs when he too had to file for bankruptcy. At that point he had issues with credit card debt, as well as debts from college that started to get out of control. In the end it was around $40,000 that forced the blogger to file for bankruptcy. Today, he’s seriously bounced back and is reputed to be worth $30 million.

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