Celebs With Fame But No Fortune

Stardom is expensive: Celebrities often have big teams to support, from stylists to glam squads to managers to agents to publicists. Then there's the price of keeping up appearances, general living costs, "lifestyle creep," and families to support. And that's not even to mention the cost of business itself: Just because people know your name doesn't mean they'll line your pockets, and celebrities may not always see a return on their investments for some projects. 

The following stars all hit it big at some point, but have very little cash to show for it now, whether it's from shady contracts, foolish spending habits, bad investments, or just plain bad luck. Some of them have been able to bounce back financially somewhat, whether it be through bankruptcy filings and payment plans or career resurgences, while others are still in the red in a big way — and it's unclear how some of them will get the crimson out of their ledgers. Let's find out which celebs have plenty of fame, but no fortune to show for it.

Inside Tyga's complicated financial troubles

Tyga's record sales have been abysmal for years, but it apparently hasn't stopped his spending — and his debts are racking up. The rapper once had a Ferrari repossessed while at a Bentley dealership with then-girlfriend Kylie Jenner. He also had a Maybach repossessed, owed more than $270,000 to a jeweler (which he began paying off months later), was ordered to pay more than $186,000 in back rent to a former landlord, owed $284,000 to a fan who sued him after being injured at a concert, paid more than $240,000 of a $480,000 judgment to a former landlord, was sued by another landlord for $75,000, and may or may not have owed ex and baby mama Blac Chyna back child support. (Phew — and all of this was between 2016 and 2017!) 

By 2018, the "Cash Money" rapper was accused of owing over $890,000 in back taxes from 2011 to 2016, per The Blast. That same year, Tyga filed a $10 million lawsuit against Cash Money and Young Money founders, Birdman and Lil Wayne, for allegedly not paying him royalties, but ultimately dropped the case in 2019. Still, throughout all of this, Tyga has continued to churn out music, act, and tour — meaning he's maintained an estimated net worth of $5 million, despite his ongoing financial troubles.

Lindsay Lohan's net worth is a bit of a mystery

Lindsay Lohan's financial troubles are almost as bad as her personal ones. In 2010, TMZ reported that the singer-actress — who was worth an alleged $30 million at the height of her Mean Girls fame just six years earlier, per SheKnows — was so broke she almost couldn't make rent. In 2013, she was slapped with a tax lien for about $94,000 for 2009, more than $140,000 for 2010, and almost $57,000 for 2011. Pal Charlie Sheen supposedly gave Lohan $100,000 to help satisfy Uncle Sam, but her problems weren't over. 

In 2016, a source claimed to Star that Lohan had to pawn $14,000 worth of clothing to make rent for her London pad: "She blows through money and then relies on her wealthy business 'acquaintances' to bail her out, but she's out of favors. She owes over $100,000 to credit card companies and $10,000 to her sister, plus tons of legal bills. Lindsay blames everyone, especially her mom, for leeching off of her." By that October, the Daily Mail reported that Lohan owed nearly $100,000 in back rent. 

The fact that Lohan barely gets work anymore may play a role in why she can't seem to make ends meet. While her representative claimed in a 2018 Money interview that her net worth was between $5-8 million, Celebrity Net Worth estimated that it's closer to $800,000. With Lohan's judging stint on The Masked Singer Australia ending in 2020, here's hoping her Cameo and Lawyer.com gigs help bring in some money.

Charlie Sheen believes he was 'blacklisted' from showbiz

Charlie Sheen may have given Lindsay Lohan a loan in 2012, but he may regret his generosity now. In 2016, American Express sued the Anger Management star for nearly $288,000, per TMZ. The actor also claimed to owe nearly $1 million in legal fees from various lawsuits and "shakedowns." That March, he requested a reduction in his child support payments to ex-wives Denise Richards and Brooke Mueller, because his income dropped from about $613,000 a month to $87,000 — the women had been each getting about $55,000 a month in support. According to TMZ, Sheen negotiated down to $25,000 a month in child support to each of his exes.

Around this time, Sheen claimed medical expenses to treat HIV were also draining his cash: $25,000 a month in treatment reportedly wasn't covered by his insurance. His total monthly expenses averaged about $105,000.

Previously worth a reported $150 million, Sheen was ultimately deemed "uninsurable" by an anonymous network exec toward the end of his Two and a Half Men run in 2011 due to his ongoing — and highly publicized — personal and legal troubles. "Since June 2016, my income has changed significantly," Sheen, who reportedly has $10 million to his name, as of this writing, claimed in court documents obtained by Vanity Fair in 2018. "I have been unable to find steady work and have been blacklisted from many aspects of the entertainment industry. All of this has resulted in a significant reduction in my earnings."

How Nicolas Cage lost his $150 million fortune

In 2009, Nicolas Cage sued his former financial adviser, Samuel J. Levin, alleging that he'd "lined his [own] pockets with several million dollars in business management fees while sending Cage down a path toward financial ruin." At the time, Cage reportedly owed $13.3 million plus in back taxes from 2002 and 2008. In his counter-complaint, Levin painted a picture of uncontrolled spending, claiming (via People) that when Cage hired him in 2001, he "had already squandered tens of millions of dollars he had earned as a movie star."

The Daily Beast reports that Cage's purchases included 15 homes around the world, 12 pricey pieces of jewelry, 47 pieces of artwork, 22 cars, four yachts, a private island, two albino king cobras, a $276,000 dinosaur skull, $1.5 million in comic books, a collection of shrunken heads, and a private jet. According to CNBC, Cage began "taking roles left and right to help pay off his debts." While his reported net worth of $25 million is nothing to scoff at, this does explain how Cage lost his $150 million fortune.

"The funny thing is, my real estate buying spree was what the real problem was," Cage told The New York Times in 2019. "It wasn't these other things like shrunken heads that the media liked to talk about." Discussing his "financial mistakes," he admitted that "money is a factor" when it comes to choosing work: "One thing I wasn't going to do was file for bankruptcy. I had this pride thing where I wanted to work my way through anything."

Pamela Anderson needed a financial flotation device

In 2009, People reported that Pamela Anderson was more than $1 million in debt, with much of her debt coming from five different construction companies she'd used to renovate her Malibu home (specifically to remodel her guest house and add a swanky pool), as well as tax liens to the tune of more than $250,000. The following year, Anderson told the Mirror that she was living in a trailer park, but by choice, adding, "The talk of debt and bankruptcy is all garbage. I have a beautiful home in Canada, nine little cabins on the dock that I'm building on Vancouver Island and a store in the front ... Everyone went through a lot in the last couple of years. The economic situation caused a lot of stress. People didn't pay me, but it's all sorted out now."

Except it wasn't all sorted out: In 2012, TMZ reported that the Baywatch beauty owed more than $370,000 in back taxes. She was contrite and honest about her lack of funds, simply telling The Hollywood Reporter, "I'm in over my head a lot. I take a lot of risks. I live beyond my means." On the bright side, Anderson got some help for her money troubles. Her maybe-husband of 12 days in early 2020, Jon Peters, told Page Six he paid off her debts before they called it quits.

Sly Stone lost out on millions in royalties

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Sly Stone (of Sly and the Family Stone) was so broke that he was living in a van in Los Angeles in 2011, the New York Post reported. His financial missteps reportedly included purchasing a fleet of cars (some of which he gave to friends) and alleged fraud at the hands of a manager who reportedly stole royalty payments. Stone also suffered from severe substance abuse and addiction.

Back to the van: An elderly couple on the residential street where he parked reportedly let him shower in their home and their son acted as Stone's assistant and driver. "I just do not want to return to a fixed home. I cannot stand being in one place. I must keep moving," Stone said at the time, but also told the tab to "please tell everybody, please, to give me a job, play my music. I'm tired of all this s**t, man."

Stone won a lawsuit against his former managers in 2015 and was awarded $5 million in royalties he'd allegedly been cheated out of for more than a decade ... sort of. By that December, a judge had unfortunately ruled he couldn't collect the cash because, as the Los Angeles Times put it, "he previously had assigned those royalties to a production company." Stone's son, Sylvester Stewart Jr., said of the musician, "He's really sick ... of not having his money that he's deserved." As of this writing, Stone's net worth is an estimated $150,000.

Supermodel Janice Dickinson went super broke

Janice Dickinson — the world's (self-proclaimed) first supermodel — filed for bankruptcy in 2013. "I had some trouble," she told Radar Online. "... I am upset and taking every step to pay everyone back and I feel terrible about it." Per the New York Post, the former America's Next Top Model judge owed more than a decade of back taxes totaling about $500,000, and also reportedly stiffed at least one dermatologist and a plastic surgeon for her multitudes of procedures through the years. By 2014, TMZ reported that Dickinson also owed close to $300,000 in bank overdraft fees, but was able to settle that debt for roughly $100,000 (which was reportedly paid by her husband, psychiatrist Robert Gerner).

Dickinson's troubles were not entirely behind her, however. In 2016, the Daily Mail reported that, after she came forward accusing disgraced comedian Bill Cosby of sexual assault, one of her bankruptcy trustees tried to take her to court for allegedly lying about potential legal claims three years earlier, but withdrew the petition shortly after. That same year, Cosby's lawyers accused Dickinson of lying about her allegations, and she, in turn, sued Cosby for defamation — ultimately winning her an "epic" albeit undisclosed settlement in July 2019. "Truthfully, a settlement is a victory and a measure of justice," she said at the time (via CNN).

With Dickinson's financial troubles hopefully behind her, her net worth, at the time of this writing, is an estimated $500,000.

Dionne Warwick said a little prayer for her finances

Dionne Warwick filed for bankruptcy in March 2013. TMZ reported that she claimed just $25,000 in assets but owed more than $10 million in taxes, IRS penalties, and interest. The "That's What Friends Are For" singer, who placed the blame on her manager for mishandling her finances, also alleged in documents that she made about $20,950 a month ... but spent $20,940 a month (including $5,000 on housekeeping and $4,000 on her personal assistant), leaving her with net gains of just $10 (no, you're not missing any zeroes there).

Her rep said in a statement, "In light of the magnitude of her tax liabilities, Warwick has repeatedly attempted to offer repayment plans and proposals to the IRS and the California Franchise Tax Board for taxes owed. These plans were not accepted, resulting in escalating interest and penalties." The National Enquirer reported in 2015 that Warwick's debts were all forgiven — except her $3.6 million in back taxes. This led to a pair of lawsuits between Warwick and the IRS, the latter of which argued that the forgiven $7 million of the star's original $10 million debt was valid and ought to be paid. 

By September 2019, however, the cases were mutually dismissed, per The Blast, and Warwick's net worth is back to an estimated $500,000.

MC Hammer 'wouldn't change one thing' about going bankrupt

MC Hammer's bankruptcy is arguably as memorable as "U Can't Touch This." In Hammer's heyday, experts estimated his annual income at $33 million, but that couldn't keep up with his spending — which amount to a reported $50 million in only five years.

The San Francisco Gate reports that when Hammer filed for bankruptcy protection in 1996, he had close to $10 million in debt, owed almost $2 million in back income and property taxes, and that was just beginning. His Fremont, Calif. mansion staffed nearly 200 people, giving the rapper an annual payroll of close to $6 million. The mansion itself was decked out in gold-plating, with a swimming pool in the shape of his signature pants, multiple tennis courts, a 17-car garage, a 33-seat movie theater, a recording studio, and a baseball diamond. Also contributing to his money problems was his ever-present 40-person entourage and a copyright infringement judgment against him from Rick James.

Hammer finally announced in 2011 that he was out of the red with Uncle Sam. "I lost my heart. I didn't just take the money and say, 'I want to be a blessing to myself.' I took my money and employed 200 people in my community," he told Oprah.com at the time, admitting that he "wouldn't change one thing" due to the butterfly effect. "... If I change one thing, everything else changes." As of this writing in 2020, Hammer's net worth is up to a reported $2 million.

Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott's financials could be a soap opera

Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott don't get much television work anymore, but that hasn't curbed their spending, which a source told OK! Magazine is a "sickness" for the couple. In May 2017, McDermott and Spelling lost a default judgment in a lawsuit from City National Bank and were ordered to pay $220,000 after they failed to pay off a 2010 loan for $400,000.

In March 2017, McDermott narrowly avoided jail time for not paying $100,000 in child support to ex-wife Mary Jo Eustace. In April 2017, the IRS drained the couple's bank accounts for back taxes, which totaled more than $704,000 for 2014 alone. In November 2016, American Express sued the couple for unpaid bills totaling more than $87,000 — and months earlier sued them for almost $38,000 for previous unpaid bills, too. In 2020, Spelling's cash flow wasn't much better: According to documents obtained by Us Weekly, American Express seized money from her bank account to cover her debt.

The daughter of TV megaproducer Aaron Spelling said of her spending in her 2013 memoir Spelling It Like It Is (via E! News), "It's no mystery why I have money problems. I grew up rich beyond anyone's wildest dreams. I never knew anything else. Even when I try to embrace a simpler lifestyle, I can't seem to let go of my expensive tastes. Even when my tastes aren't fancy, they're still costly. I moved houses to simplify my life, but lost almost a million dollars along the way." No kidding.

50 Cent filed for bankruptcy when he couldn't rub two quarters together

Despite being called a "Renaissance man with exceptional business instincts" by The New York Times, 50 Cent filed for bankruptcy in 2015, claiming to have between $10 million to $50 million in assets and the exact same amount in debt. The legitimacy of the bankruptcy claim was questioned, because the rapper (real name: Curtis James Jackson, III) alleged to have no money the same day he was set to appear in court over damages in a lawsuit: Fiddy was accused of posting a sex tape of a woman and her former boyfriend on his website, she sued for emotional distress — winning $5 million in a judgment — and sought an extra $10 million in punitive damages. 50 Cent also filed for bankruptcy in his boxing promotion business moments before the civil trial began ... and also irritated the judge in his case when he posed with what he said was fake cash on social media. 

50 Cent's former lawyers paid $14.5 million of his debt after they settled a lawsuit in which 50 accused them of malpractice, so maybe he does have exceptional instincts, but not so exceptional ethics. Regardless, he developed a monthly payment plan to dig himself out of the red to cover the $23 million he allegedly owed to creditors.

While 50 Cent went from a half a billion dollar fortune to bankruptcy, he's worked his way back to a $30 million net worth, telling The Guardian in 2018, "Bankruptcy wasn't a big deal for me ... Reorganization isn't broke, y'know?"

TLC's T-Boz Watkins has tried to scrub away financial problems for years

TLC singer Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins declared bankruptcy with the rest of her singing group in 1995, but her situation hasn't improved in the years since. In 2008, she almost lost her home to foreclosure, and in 2011, Billboard reported that Watkins filed for bankruptcy after failing to make mortgage payments on her $1.2 million Duluth, Ga. Her expenses reportedly included huge house payments and hefty medical bills — she has sickle-cell anemia and had a brain tumor in 2009. Adding to her financial woes: T-Boz's ex reportedly owed her $250,000 in child support payments at the time of her filing. 

According to TMZ, Watkins' bankruptcy protection was dismissed the following year, after she failed to complete some paperwork, freeing creditors and bill collectors to go after her assets, including her minivan. "A lot of people have made money off of us, and we haven't," T-Boz told The Guardian of TLC's financial situation in 2015. The group reportedly made just $35,000 per year at the height of their fame, per VH1, and even turned to Kickstarter to fund an album in 2017.

With her net worth an estimated $500,000, as of this writing, Watkins told The Guardian in 2017, "I will never forget the day we were millionaires for five minutes. Because the check was written to us and we had to sign it over, back to [Pebbles, their former manager]."

Burt Reynolds ruled the box office but went broke

The late Burt Reynolds made $10 million a year at his peak, but he spent it as fast as he earned it. He purchased 150 horses, $100,000 in toupees, seven homes, a private jet, a helicopter, and a fleet of custom-sports cars, as well as stakes in two failed restaurant chains, reported Vanity Fair. Some of his investments were so bad that he contemplated suing his financial advisers but couldn't due to a waiver he'd signed.

Reynolds' career took a turn for the worse when he suffered a broken jaw that left him addicted to painkillers. He lost work and endorsements, then he lost his wife. Reynolds' divorce from Loni Anderson deepened his descent into the red. The pair was married from 1988 to 1993, and he agreed to pay her about $234,000 after they split, but it apparently took him 22 years to complete that payment, which tacked on more than $150,000 worth of interest. He reportedly owed CBS $3.7 million for an unpaid loan, plus debts to agents and even a toupee-maker. He eventually declared bankruptcy and began selling his homes and personal items, including his 1991 Emmy.

Still, Reynolds denied he was in financial trouble, telling Entertainment Tonight in 2014, "I want everyone to know that contrary to what all the news outlets are saying, I am not broke." At the time of his passing four years later, People estimated his net worth was around $5 million.

NeNe Leakes faced some very real money problems

NeNe Leakes knows how to hustle, using her opportunity on The Real Housewives of Atlanta to launch an acting career. She appeared on Glee, The New Normal, on a season of Dancing with the Stars, and even on Broadway in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. All that, yet she seems to have a serious case of "Mo Money, Mo Problems."

In 2008, Leakes and husband Gregg were reportedly evicted from their home for not paying rent, according to the New York Daily News. The couple owed more than $6,000 to their landlord at the time. That wasn't the last of her financial issues. In 2016, Radar Online reported that Leakes owed more than $95,000 in back taxes in her home state of Georgia and more than $86,000 to the state of California. By 2017, the "very rich" reality star paid off about $911,000 of her debt, per Radar Online

While Leakes told InStyle in 2018 that she's usually a big saver (and a fan of dollar stores), she does tend to overspend on her hair. Thankfully, her wigs don't seem to make a dent in this Bravo star's net worth, which is back to an estimated $14 million due to her continued ventures in reality TV, book deals, fashion, and more.

Toni Braxton can't seem to unbreak her money issues

In her memoir, Unbreak My Heart (via Radar Online), Toni Braxton claimed that when she filed for bankruptcy in 1998, her $5 million debt was from bad contracts and touring costs. But her spending may have been a factor, considering she admitted to having Gucci flatware, grand pianos, and quite a few designer gowns in her possession. Braxton had also struggled with health problems, including autoimmune disease lupus, but she did not reveal that to her record company, fearing it would doubt her ability to perform.

Braxton filed for bankruptcy again in 2010, citing between $10 million and $50 million in debt and only $1 million to $10 million in assets. At the time, Braxton signed up for Dancing with the Stars to help make ends meet, reported Radar Online. According to TMZ, Braxton settled her second bankruptcy case in 2013 for $150,000 ... then bought a $3 million mansion just months later. While Braxton's listed as having a $10 million net worth, as of this writing in 2020, her financial issues continued, with the federal government and State of California reportedly filing tax liens against the star in 2018 and 2019, respectfully amounting to over $780,800 and more than $456,400.

Sinbad wasn't laughing off his debt

Comedian and actor Sinbad filed for bankruptcy in 2013, citing almost $11 million in debts and only about $131,000 in assets, reported TMZ. Sinbad owed $374,979 to American Express, $32,199 to Bank of America, $2.3 million to the California Franchise Tax Board, and $8.3 million in back taxes from 2009 to 2012.

Sinbad later told HuffPost that much of his money went toward salaries and equipment for his company, as well as interest and fees. He also denied living lavishly. "I spent money, and I kept thinking, 'I get one more movie and I'll wipe these bills out,' but that movie never came," the star said. "That black pride. I said, 'Man, I'm going to hang in there, I'm going to pay these bills.' So you owe a million dollars. I can pay that. OK, fines, fees, now you owe two and a half million. 'But I didn't do nothin'!' Now you owe four million."

Since then, Sinbad has turned his financial luck around — in part by scoring some notable on-screen roles, voicing the recurring character of Mr. Smiley on Steven Universe and as the dad on Fox's short-lived 2018-2019 series, Rel, and through an impressive string of stand-up gigs — with his net worth adding up to a reported $4 million.

Sonja Morgan's bankruptcy battle played out on RHONY

The Real Housewives of New York City star Sonja Morgan filed for bankruptcy in 2010, claiming a bad deal for a John Travolta movie called Flash Flash Bang Bang fell through and "destroyed her financially," reported E! News. That project reportedly left her $7 million in the hole. Her own spending habits, revealed by Radar Online, couldn't have helped, as she reportedly blew threw more than $34,000 a month.

By 2015, Morgan had reportedly clawed her way out of $9 million of debt, but only after selling off a townhouse and a home in France. She told E! News, "It feels great. I did a great job. I paid what I had to pay and it wasn't easy, but at the same time it was an experience." She added, "It's nice to be free of everyone looking at my money. I finally have my financial privacy back." With her longtime Bravo gig — which heavily featured her financial woes — paying a pretty penny, Morgan reportedly has $8 million to her name.

Gary Busey's cash went to the dogs (and the dogs may give it back to him)

In February 2012, Gary Busey filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy, claiming he had about $50,000 to his name and between $500,000 and $1 million in debts, ​TMZ reported.

Busey claimed in his documents that he owed money to the IRS, UCLA Medical Center, a storage company, L.A. County Waterworks, and Wells Fargo, as well as to a woman who sued him for allegedly attacking her at a Tulsa, Okla. airport in May 2011. Busey's rep told the site, "Gary's filing is the final chapter in a process that began a few years ago of jettisoning the litter of past unfortunate choices, associations, circumstances, and events."​

By December 2012, the Daily Mail reported that Busey settled his debts, got out of paying more than $57,000 in unpaid bills to some of his creditors, and was allowed to keep $26,000 worth of his assets — but he was still on the hook for more than $450,000 in back taxes, which aren't eligible for bankruptcy. Since then, though, Busey has had some work, including Sharknado 4, an off-Broadway play, and, most notably, Pet Judge – adding up to an estimated $500,000 net worth.

Kelis bounced back from a money-draining divorce

Singer Kelis was pregnant with then-estranged husband Nas' baby in 2009 when she filed court documents, obtained by TMZ, detailing her dire lack of funds and accusing the rapper of not paying her spousal support or for prenatal care. "I have run out of money," she claimed. "My survival is based on [Nas'] will at this time. If he does not want to pay for an expense, it does not get paid." 

Still, part of her empty bank account may have been due to her own expensive tastes. She claimed in the documents that she's entitled to keep the lifestyle she had when married to the New York MC, including a laundry list of jewelry. "There were many expensive pieces [of jewelry] such as a princess-cut diamond tennis bracelet that was recently appraised for $190,000," she wrote. "My engagement ring is an approximately nine-carat cushion-cut diamond solitaire. I have numerous watches ... such as Cartier, Rolex, Frank Muller and Chopard." (Girl, get to the pawn shop!)

Flash forward a decade, and the "Milkshake" singer has undeniably paved her own way financially, with her estimated $4 million net worth stemming from a multitude of money-making efforts, including touring, co-hosting Netflix's Cooked with Cannabis, and continuing to grow her Bounty & Full lifestyle brand. "I'm absolutely fine," she told The Guardian in 2020.

Stephen Baldwin downsized after going bankrupt

Stephen Baldwin filed for bankruptcy in 2009, claiming that he owed over $2.3 million in mortgage payments and taxes, as well as $70,000 to credit card companies. In 2013, CNN reported that Baldwin pleaded guilty to not filing personal income taxes for three years, owing more than $300,000 to the IRS, which he paid off the following year with a loan from an unidentified pal to avoid time behind bars. Around the time of his plea, Baldwin's attorney claimed to the outlet, "Mr. Baldwin is a man of faith, and it's difficult for him to get jobs in Hollywood that are compatible with his faith, and that's one of the difficulties he's had paying off the money."

The actor later lost his New York home to foreclosure in February 2017 after owing more than $1 million on the property and defaulting on his $7,000 monthly mortgage payments, reported Page Six. A judge also slapped Baldwin with a $1 million lien for unpaid taxes and fees on the property. The Blast reports that the father of Hailey Baldwin has since moved into a smaller apartment in Queens, N.Y.

Mekhi Phifer reportedly hasn't climbed out of bankruptcy

Mekhi Phifer filed for bankruptcy in 2014, claiming $67,000 in assets and debts totaling about $1.3 million, consisting of close to $1.2 million in back taxes, $4,500 in back child support, and $50,000 in lawyer's fees. In legal documents obtained by TMZ, the 8 Mile star claimed to make $7,500 a month, but faced $11,000 in monthly expenses.

Thankfully, Phifer has been working steadily since his financial troubles, so we hope he's able to sock away enough cash to get by. Per IMDb, he's appeared in DivergentA Day Late and a Dollar ShortInsurgentPandemicAllegiant, and several TV series, including Secret CityFrequencyTorchwood, and Chicago P.D. "The thing I love about [TV work] is the camaraderie that you build being on the show like that ... you know, with the cast, the crew, and everybody in between," the actor told MadameNoire in 2015. "It's harder to do that with films — you come in, you knock out your stuff, and then everybody just goes their separate ways, and you might not see somebody for years."

Clearly, Phifer is working hard and enjoying his work. As of this writing in 2020, however, Celebrity Net Worth still lists his financial situation at negative $1.3 million.

Lil' Kim's lack of continued hits led to bankruptcy

Lil' Kim still has a lot of name recognition as a hip-hop icon and pioneer for female rappers. She released a slew of edgy songs, including "Crush On You," "No Matter What They Say," "The Jump Off," and an unforgettable feature on "Lady Marmalade." However, she hasn't had a hit single or album since "Lighters Up" from The Naked Truth in 2005, and her finances are suffering for it.

In June 2018, The Blast reported that Lil' Kim filed for bankruptcy, listing her assets at roughly $2.6 million (including her $2.3 million New Jersey home and $25,000 worth of jewelry) and her debts at about $4.1 million, comprised of nearly $2 million in back taxes, $186,000 in legal fees, and $2 million to a loan company. Lil' Kim also claimed in her paperwork that she supports her daughter and doesn't receive child support from the girl's father, Mr. Papers

That said, with an estimated net worth of $500,000, Lil' Kim's current income is nothing to sneeze at: she listed her monthly earnings at $18,000 and her monthly expenses at about $12,000.

Michael Jackson left behind major debt

He's known as the King of Pop, but at the time of his death, Michael Jackson couldn't afford to live like royalty. Billboard reported that he was deep in debt — to the tune of $400 million — when he died of cardiac arrest stemming from an accidental drug overdose in 2009. There was a time when Jackson was a gold mine, however. In 1985, he acquired the rights to ATV Music, which included music by his friend-turned-frenemy Paul McCartney and The Beatles. The money generated from that catalog, plus endorsements and touring, seemed inexhaustible. 

That changed in 1993, when Jackson was accused of child molestation. He settled with his accuser's family, but more allegations continued to emerge, damaging Jackson's bank account and his brand. His rights to ATV Music were compromised in a $95 million Sony deal, and he sold half of those rights as collateral for loans. In 2002, a finance company sued Jackson for $12 million in unpaid fees.

Forensic accountants revealed that Jackson spent $20 million to $30 million more a year than he was earning. In 2008, his famous Neverland Ranch faced foreclosure, and he reportedly missed mortgage payments for another Los Angeles property. He faced numerous lawsuits and took out more loans, but was gearing up to go on his first massive tour in over a decade. While these performances may have improved his finances, Jackson was still reportedly in the red at the time of his death.

Amber Heard's net worth is less than you might think

Amber Heard has quite a bit of name recognition in Hollywood, though much of that is due to her bitter divorce from Johnny Depp and the gold-digger reputation she was saddled with after rebounding with SpaceX's Elon Musk and art scion Vito Schnabel. Despite her fame and her beaus' seemingly deep pockets, it didn't seem that Heard actually had much cash to her name.

During her divorce from Depp in 2016, Heard's earnings were revealed in documents pertaining to her spousal support requests. According to Us Weekly, Heard earned $259,876 in 2015 — the year she appeared in five movies, including awards-bait The Danish Girl and blockbuster Magic Mike XXL. She also had endorsement deals with Bulgari and Tiffany & Co. However, after a slew of expenses, including $35,000 for agency commissions, she took home only $51,000. At the time, Heard requested $50,000 in monthly spousal support from Depp, listing her monthly expenses as $10,000 for rent, $3,000 for healthcare, $2,000 for groceries (how much does the woman eat?), $2,000 for dining out, $2,000 for clothes, $10,000 for entertainment and vacations, and another $10,000 for "miscellaneous" expenses, including pet care and agency fees. 

While Heard's legal battle with her ex-husband appears to have no end in sight, if her $9 million estimated net worth is anything to go by, it seems as though she's since budgeted some money to hire a stern accountant.

Don Johnson went from millionaire to bankrupt

Don Johnson was once worth $8 million — and then he wasn't. E! News reported that Johnson filed for bankruptcy on one of his companies in 2004 in an effort to save his Colorado ranch from foreclosure. The Miami Vice star reportedly owed more than $900,000 to the bank handling his mortgage. Thankfully, Johnson paid off that debt and others by that December, per Fox News. Those outstanding bills included $7,345 to a hospital, $377 to a liquor store, $1,228 for rugs, and even $5,740 to a supermarket. 

Nash's bottom line is looking more robust these days. The Daily Mail reported he received $19 million from a settlement over the development of Nash Bridges, in which he also starred from 1996 to 2001, and he enjoyed a career renaissance with Machete, Django UnchainedCold In July, and Book Club. With a reported net worth of $50 million, as of this writing, Johnson insists that his fast days — which included a lot of sex, drugs, and apparently, groceries — are far behind him.

Mariah Carey is all about those holiday single royalties

Mariah Carey may be in need of some serious moolah. In May 2018, Page Six reported that she sold her massive diamond engagement ring (reported to be worth up to $10 million) from ex James Packer for a cool $2.1 million, leading some to believe the Elusive Chanteuse had some cash flow problems. In August 2017, a source told OK! that Carey was "feeling the pinch" from the lavish lifestyle she enjoys with an entourage that reportedly rolls 20-deep.

Carey also has several pending lawsuits. The Blast reported in January 2018 that promoters of a South American tour sued Mimi for $3 million after canceling dates and tweeting about it. TMZ reported that former manager Stella Bulochnikov sued for sexual harassment and wrongful termination after Carey fired her; this case was settled in 2019, the same year Carey was sued by a former nanny for back pay.

The singer's rep shot down any talk of the singer having financial problems, and while sources told Page Six that Carey's worth $550 million thanks to her record sales, Las Vegas residencies, and music catalog, Celebrity Net Worth lists her financial situation closer to $320 million. CNN reported that Carey earns about $600,000 a year from "All I Want for Christmas is You" royalties alone — so whatever money issues she may or may not have had probably resolved themselves over the holidays.

Kim Zolciak-Biermann's hefty Don't Be Tardy raise came just in time

Don't Be Tardy star Kim Zolciak-Biermann told People in 2017 that she'd return to The Real Housewives of Atlanta because she needed the money. "Everything has a price. I'm just giving it to you straight. Given the right amount of money for anything? Yeah, count me in. I like to work," she said. "I have six children to support, so for sure!"

Part of Zolciak-Biermann's struggles came from her husband's unemployment. Kroy Biermann had been cut from the Buffalo Bills in 2016. With Biermann's NFL career in limbo, Us Weekly reported that Zolciak-Biermann was launching a skincare line to try to boost their bottom line. She also had some legal bills to pay. Allegedly owing $3,000 to a party planner who orchestrated her daughter's 11th birthday bash, she was also ordered to pay $5,000 to a company that decorated her home for Christmas. At the time, Zolciak-Biermann made $80,000 per episode of Don't Be Tardy. But she reportedly blew $250,000 gambling in the Bahamas in 2014 and another $25,000 gambling in a Montana casino in 2016. Add that to her high-maintenance lifestyle, and it's no wonder she had to sell a boat on social media and was mocked by former co-star Kenya Moore for being hard-up for cash. 

Still, Zolciak-Biermann reportedly received a hefty raise on the show in June 2019 to the tune of $1.5 million, per Radar Online, which we imagine came in handy, considering she'd been ordered to pay American Express nearly $216,000 the month before. It all balances out to an estimated $3 million net worth.

Mike Tyson plans on 'keeping' his money these days

Mike Tyson earned some $300 million in his legendary boxing career, but he has almost nothing to show for it anymore. CNN Money reported that Tyson admitted to squandering his hard-earned fortune on mansions, jewelry, cars, drugs, and prostitutes — as well as legal fees from his criminal charges, which included a rape conviction that landed him in prison for three years.

Tyson made a comeback in the '90s, but it wasn't enough to keep him out of the red. In 2003, he filed for bankruptcy — the controversial athlete was reportedly $23 million in debt. It took him more than 10 years, a lot of therapy, and several trips to rehab before he lifted himself out of bankruptcy. While he's in the black now, thanks to a show at the MGM in Las Vegas, a book, and cameos in films like The Hangover, Tyson will likely never recover the wealth he was enjoyed.

But that's not to say he isn't living comfortably. Admitting that he previously "went crazy with [spending his money]" the first time around, the former athlete revealed at the 2017 SALT Conference, "I plan on keeping it this time." And with an estimated $3 million to his name, it looks like he is.

Sheree Whitfield may have owed a lot of money, but she knows her worth

In January 2017, Radar Online reported that The Real Housewives of Atlanta star Sheree Whitfield was hit with a federal tax lien of $300,000 for years of unpaid taxes, but Uncle Sam wasn't the only one looking for cash. Contractors renovating "Chateau Sheree" also sued her for nonpayment, reportedly including $26,000 owed to Master Craft Stucco and more than $10,000 to Heritage Landscape.

By that April, however, Whitfield sued her insurance company for nearly $280,000 after her "chateau" flooded, per Radar Online, claiming the property suffered damage from the water and resulting mold. Her insurance company alleged to have already paid Whitfield upward of $359,000 for the damage and requested that her suit be dismissed. 

Exacerbating Whitfield's money issues: Us Weekly reported in April 2018 that she'd been fired from RHOA. While she later denied reports of being fired, Whitfield explained to a fan on Instagram that July, "Currently living my best life. Was not interested in entertaining the low ball offer that was sent. Know your worth." This former Bravo star's net worth? An estimated $800,000, per Celebrity Net Worth.

Johnny Depp is in deep debt

Despite at one point being one of the highest-paid actors on the planet, Johnny Depp may be broke, with Rolling Stone reporting in 2018 that his one-time $650 million fortune was almost all gone. In January 2017, he sued his former business managers for $25 million for alleged "gross misconduct" that he claimed made him lose "tens of millions of dollars." 

The Management Group denied the allegations, however, and the New York Post reported that TMG alleged in court papers that Depp blew through $2 million monthly and spent $18 million on a yacht, $75 million in global real estate, and hundreds of thousands of dollars on full-time staffers worldwide, and refused to sell his private jet when times got tough. TMG also claimed that they "[bailed] him out of numerous legal crises, including ... hush money settlements." They eventually settled the case, but no numbers were disclosed.

Still, Depp may remain hard up for cash because he also sued his own attorneys for fraud for $25 million, settling for an undisclosed eight-figure sum, according to Deadline. He remains embroiled in a $50 million lawsuit against his ex-wife, Amber Heard, and a libel suit against News Group Newspapers (publishers of The Sun). Depp has been let go from Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, and reports suggest that J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts franchise is in trouble, too — so his earnings are way down.

Alyssa Milano's financial issues led to a lawsuit against her ex-business manager

In June 2017, Who's the Boss star Alyssa Milano filed a $10 million lawsuit against her former business manager, Kenneth Hellie, for "severe misconduct." Milano alleged that her manager forged her signature on checks, failed to pay overdue taxes and bills, and made bad investments in businesses (e.g. $350,000 for a parking lot) in which he himself was an investor without disclosing that information to her. 

In court documents obtained by Variety, Milano claimed her financial issues began with a "home improvement debacle" that resulted in the actress spending $5 million to renovate a home worth only $3 million. She said she unknowingly violated Ventura County building codes, resulting in $376,950 in fines and a lien. Milano also alleged she had eight late mortgage payments within 13 months. Combined with the lien, her credit was supposedly damaged so badly that she couldn't refinance her home to pay off her debt. 

Milano also claimed that because Hellie assured her that her finances were fine, she turned down a third season of Mistresses, losing out on $1.3 million. When she fired Hellie in June 2016, Milano alleged he forged a check for $26,000 that she didn't discover until her account went in the red. Hellie denied those claims, saying it was a "Johnny Depp-like situation."

By June 2019, the lawsuit ended prior to going to trial in an undisclosed settlement that Milano was said to be "very pleased" with, per People. At the time of this writing, she's maintained a $10 million net worth.

'Mama June' Shannon went from Coupon Queen to cautionary tale

June "Mama June" Shannon rose to fame as Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Shannon's "Coupon Queen" mom on Toddler's & Tiaras, but with her extreme couponing habit, the family lived quite frugally, even after reality stardom. "I am very, very frugal with my money. Still coupon a lot, still save a lot of money," Mama June told Oprah's Where Are They Now in 2016 (via HuffPost). "... A lot of people who become famous and they make millions of dollars, they just spend it as soon as they make it — or spend it before they even make it. I'm not going to be like that. Don't ever forget where you come from."

Unfortunately, she didn't live up to her promise: Mama June had a resurgence in popularity through her new series, Mama June: From Not to Hot, but she squandered her earnings and public good will on a drug habit. In June 2020, she confessed to spending $2,500 a day on crystal meth with boyfriend Geno Doak. This was after she reportedly sold her home for $100,000 (far less than its estimated $150,000 value), allegedly pawned off a diamond ring, and got booted from a hotel over an unpaid $2,000 bill alongside Doak. Shannon's family says she "owes money" to "the wrong people." 

Shannon also apparently isn't making much money from Mama June: From Not to Hot — Family Crisis. Despite the series centering around her troubles, she doesn't regularly appear in it.

Dustin Diamond hit hard times

Dustin Diamond rose to fame as Samuel "Screech" Powers on Saved By the Bell, then dabbled in reality TV, and wrote a tell-all about the Saturday morning staple ... but apparently his income came to a screeching halt. 

In June 2020, TMZ reported that Wells Fargo attempted to foreclose on Diamond's home in Port Washington, Wis., claiming that he owed $269,329.36 on the property. Diamond, whose entire net worth is estimated to be $300,000, told the outlet that he didn't realize he was behind on payments because he'd been living in Florida and hadn't visited the Wisconsin home since January 2019. He also claimed that the Port Washington house had flooded due to a water main break, destroying almost all of his possessions kept in the basement, including family photos and videos, and leading to a black mold problem.

"Foreclosure means nothing when a house is destroyed," Diamond lamented to TMZ, adding, "With my items I've lost, it now feels like Wells Fargo is trying to kick me when I'm down."