POPULAR CELEBRITIES WHO HAVE GONE BROKE
Once multi-millionaires but now broke. Like the old saying goes: “easy come, easy go”.
MIKE TYSON, HEAVYWEIGHT BOXER
Former heavyweight boxing champ Tyson was once worth $400 million. In 2003, he filed for bankruptcy and was reported $50 million in debt. Last year, Tyson declared he was finally stable: “I’m totally out of bankruptcy.”For much of 2013, Tyson kept busy with film cameos and a 36-city tour of his one-man show, “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth,” written by his wife, Kiki Tyson, and directed by Spike Lee.
Wesley Snipes was perhaps the most bankable Black male actor next to Eddie Murphy in the 1990s. Snipes continued to star in feature films in the early part of the millennium, however, he filed for bankruptcy in 2006. That same year, Snipes was indicted for tax fraud for failing to pay over $12 million in taxes over the course of six years. Snipes was released from prison in April 2013 after serving three years.
EVANDER HOLYFIELD, HEAVYWEIGHT BOXER
Holyfield earned over $200 million dollars during a career that spanned more than two decades. The boxer had been teetering on the brink of financial ruin for some time when his 109-room mansion in Atlanta went into foreclosure in 2008. He would hold off the foreclosure for a few years but was forced to put the home on the auction block in 2012 to pay off $14 million he owed to financial firm JP Morgan Chase.The home sold for $7.5 million. Holyfield owed $200,000 in back taxes and over $500,000 in child support payments as of 2012.
Toni Braxton has sold more than 40 million albums in her career so far. But she’s filed for bankruptcy twice – in 1998, due to an abominably one-sided new artist contract with La Face Records; and in 2010, after abruptly canceling a one-woman Las Vegas show because of her unexpected battle with lupus, leaving her with up to $50 million in debt. Braxton has since launched a comeback with a hit reality TV series, The Braxton Family Values, a Lifetime movie, a Broadway stint, and a new collaboration album. Braxton recently made the news when she purchased a $3 million home in the exclusive gated community in Calabasas, California, just six months after settling her second bankruptcy.
In the spring of 1998, there wasn’t an album rap fans like myself were more intensely anticipating than DMX’s debut.
Everybody seemed to love DMX. He had the hardcore East Coast aggression, the radio-friendly hooks, and the “tear da club up” energy that resonated with all of the disparate camps at my school. We all had It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot that spring. But Now, there’s an entire generation of music fans who only know DMX as this middle-aged troubled figure who was once, apparently, a very big hip-hop star. Almost immediately after he became a star, DMX was making headlines for bad behavior. There were drug and weapons possession arrests, and charges of animal cruelty. He’d been ordered to make public service announcements and he’d gone to rehab, but DMX’s demons never seemed to subside.
One of the most notoriously bizarre moments happened in 2004, when DMX and an accomplice broke into the parking lot of New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport after X told an attendant he was a federal agent, then attempted to commandeer a man’s SUV, with X telling the shocked driver he was working for the FBI. According to court documents, DMX then physically removed the driver from his vehicle—while the man’s 12-year-old daughter was in the car. Upon his arrest, police found a handgun, nightstick, 20 rocks of crack cocaine, Oxycodone, and Diazepam, and the rapper was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal mischief, driving under the influence, menacing, impersonation, and endangering the welfare of a child. He struck a plea deal where he only ended up serving under six weeks behind bars for violating parole.
He became a celebrity pariah more renowned for his bad behavior than catchy hits: the drug addiction, the seemingly endless litany of arrests, and his crumbling marriage to now-ex-wife Tashera Simmons (she separated from X in 2010 after he was incarcerated three times that year). X has also fathered 15 children with several women, he declared bankruptcy due to outstanding child support payments, and in July 2015 was sentenced to six months in jail for owing over $400,000 in back child support.
50 Cent, who’s real name is Curtis James Jackson III, Who used to be worth over $400Million filed bankruptcy last June days after a New York jury awarded fellow rapper Rick Ross’ baby mama, Lastonia Leviston, $7 million in a legal battle over her leaked sex tape. Which he has yet to fork over.
The lawsuit stemmed from a 13-minute video that appeared online in 2009 featuring a wig-wearing Fifty as a narrator dubbed Pimpin’ Curly. The character made explicit remarks about Leviston and taunted rap rival Rick Ross, who at the time was trading barbs with Fifty via video, lyrics, and interviews.50 Cent got the 2008 tape from the man in it – Leviston’s boyfriend at the time. The 40-year-old rapper also lost a legal battle with his ex-business partners over a failed headphone deal and was slapped with a $17 million judgment in that case. According to his Chapter 11 petition, Fifty claimed he had assets between $10 to $50 million but that his liabilities were in the same range. A few months back, he filed documents in the bankruptcy stating he only had $16 million in assets.