Celebrities Who Are Much Poorer Than You Thought

In the life of a celebrity, all that glitters is oftentimes not gold. Although Hollywood actors, reality TV stars, and pro athletes can often pull exorbitant salaries for their talents, making money doesn't mean they keep money. For every actor who makes an insane amount of money off of residuals, there are plenty who will never see a dime from reruns. While the Kardashian-Jenners family net worth is higher than you realize, there are equally glossy reality TV stars, like Kim Zociak-Biermann, whose wealth is paltry in comparison.

Some celebrities who amass great fortunes — like the once high-earners Johnny Depp and Charlie Sheen — burn through their income by spending it on extravagances that most can only dream about. Others, like former NBA star Dennis Rodman, find themselves victims of financial wrongdoings, their millions fleeced by nefarious characters. And let's not forget about those high-earners who get in trouble with the IRS for various tax-related shenanigans. Regardless of how they lost their fortunes, these celebrities' fall from financial grace might shock you, but they also might inspire you with how they're attempting to ascend their money mountains once more. So read on to discover celebrities who are much poorer than you thought and learn a thing or two about how to spend (or not spend) your own hard-earned pay.

Chris Tucker rushed into some serious money trouble

Comedian and actor Chris Tucker was one of the highest paid entertainers in the game in the '00s, but you might not have known considering his net worth is reportedly $5 million. Already a star on the rise in the '90s, Tucker rocketed to the Hollywood A-list in 1998's "Rush Hour." Grossing over $200 million at the global box office, Tucker scored huge paydays for the film's two sequels, earning $20 million for "Rush Hour 2" and $25 million for "Rush Hour 3," and he even got top billing over Jackie Chan.

Despite massive fame and fortune, Tucker mostly walked away from Hollywood after his "Rush Hour" days, but his financial discrepancies garnered him plenty of attention from authorities. Chris Tucker really lost so much money mostly due to some serious tax problems he had with the IRS. In 2023, Tucker reached a deal with the government agency to pay $3.6 million to settle years of federal income tax liabilities. With his money troubles seemingly behind him, Tucker returned to Hollywood in recent years, jumping back in front of the camera in the 2023 movie "Air" and he's interested in making "Rush Hour 4."

Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt's financial hills and valleys

Reality television stalwarts Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt's net worth is less than you think. The couple found serious fame on MTV's "The Hills," but "Speidi" — as the pair is affectionately nicknamed — have faced plenty of valleys when it comes to their personal finances. At the height of their fame, Montag and Pratt made $2 million per year, including their salaries from "The Hills," photos, and personal appearances. But feeling the pressure to keep up with Hollywood A-listers, Montag and Pratt quickly burned through their fortune, spending $1 million on Heidi's clothes alone.

The couple blew through their $10 million fortune in the early 2010s because they thought the apocalypse was imminent. Spoiler alert: The world didn't end, but the bills kept mounting. So, back to work they went. By the mid 2010s, Montag and Pratt were making most of their money by appearing on reality TV shows once more, this time crossing the pond to appear on shows in the U.K. like "I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!," and they starred in stateside shows such as "Celebrity Wife Swap" and "Marriage Boot Camp." Currently, Celebrity Net Worth cites Montag and Pratt's combined net worth at only $300,000.

Lindsay Lohan's money luck is not rom-com material

Lindsay Lohan has been in showbiz for decades, so it's surprising that Celebrity Net Worth currently pegs her fortune at a mere $2 million. In the '90s and '00s, she became a bonafide star, appearing in Disney reboots like "The Parent Trap," "Freaky Friday," and the teen movie classic, "Mean Girls." From her movie work alone, Lohan has made $27 million. But her lavish spending — like racking up a five-figure hotel bill at the famous Chateau Marmont hotel, tens of thousands of dollars to store her collection of designer duds, plus years of back taxes and unpaid legal fees — would set anyone's financial future back, let alone a global celebrity like Lindsay.

Although Hollywood jobs became elusive for Lohan, it didn't mean she stopped working. She buoyed her finances with a million dollar payday by posing for Playboy in 2011. She got into the beach club and nightlife business in Greece. In recent years, Lohan has cashed in by making fun of her past. She's done ads for Lawyer.com, Planet Fitness, and Walmart. Plus, Hollywood is calling again. She signed a two-movie deal with Netflix in 2022, making the films "Falling for Christmas" and "Irish Wish" for the streaming service. 

Dennis Rodman faced financial ruin at the hands of a scammer

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman was legendary for his rebounding on the basketball court. He earned five NBA Championship titles and he raked in $27 million just for playing the game. His bombastic off-court style and intriguing love life made Rodman a household name in the 90s. He even made his mark in Hollywood, starring in action flicks like "Double Team" and "Simon Sez." But even after such an illustrious career in sports and entertainment, Celebrity Net Worth purports Rodman's net worth to only be $500,000.

So how did Dennis Rodman lose all his money? While Rodman cashed checks, the folks he trusted to mind his fortune were actually fleecing him. Despite a lucrative post-basketball career, earning money through public appearances and reality TV gigs, Rodman was broke. Turns out his manager, Peggy Ann Fulford, stole money from him using various Rodman-named shell corporations as her cover. While Fulford pleaded guilty and went to prison for her crimes, and was ordered to pay over $1 million in restitution to Rodman, it's unclear if he was ever actually paid. Currently, Rodman seems to be cashing in on his provocative persona on social media, lending his likeness to a number of products, including clothing, vapes, and wine.

Johnny Depp's extravagant spending habits drained his pocketbook

While Celebrity Net Worth reports Johnny Depp's net worth to be a massive $150 million, it pales in comparison to his former fortune. Sure, Depp wowed fans as an eccentric Hollywood leading man in the '90s, starring in movies like "Edward Scissorhands" and "Ed Wood," but he truly found his Hollywood bounty in the '00s. According to testimony from his former business manager, Joel Mandel, Depp made an astounding $600 million from 1999 to 2016 (via Business Insider). 

However, Depp's earnings couldn't match his spending habits. Monthly bills for staff, private security, and a private jet added up to six figures. Not to mention his $30,000 wine habit and, at one point, his owning an entire French village. He's also had plenty of legal woes over the years, including his divorce from Amber Heard and the defamation lawsuits that followed. Times have been tough for Depp, but Johnny Depp's career shows more signs of getting back on track. In 2023, Depp and the luxury brand Dior doubled-down on their relationship when the actor signed a reported three-year deal worth upwards of $20 million to remain the face of Dior Sauvage fragrance.

Mike Tyson's massive fortune and massive debt

At the peak of his career, Mike Tyson was the undisputed heavyweight champion of boxing and his wealth was undeniable. Ranked as one of the highest paid athletes of all time, Tyson made $400 million over the course of 20 years. But Tyson's penchant for extravagant spending quickly delivered a knockout punch to the fighter's wealth. Eventually, Tyson found himself with $23 million worth of debt and filed for bankruptcy in 2003. Tyson told CNN Business that the company he kept attributed to his financial troubles. He said, "I can't even call them leeches. That's too decent of a word to call them."

After bankruptcy, Tyson eventually built up his net worth to $10 million. Mike Tyson makes money now through a number of ventures. He's appeared in movies like "The Hangover Part II," for which he was paid a modest $200,000, but earned priceless pop culture dividends. Tyson has also gotten into the cannabis business, launching his Tyson 2.0 brand in New York. And he hasn't abandoned the sport that made him famous. In 2024, Tyson signed on to box Jake Paul in a live fight for Netflix. No word on how much he's getting paid for the bout.

Kim Zolciak-Biermann has been tardy for her bill party

Kim Zolciak-Bierrman broke out as star of "Real Housewives of Atlanta," a television franchise rooted in extravagant displays of luxury. And for a while, Zolciak-Biermann was earning enough money to be in the United States' top 1%. According to court documents obtained by Us Weekly, Zolciak-Biermann earned $3 million from her time on "RHOA." Plus, her husband, NFL star Kroy Biermann, pulled in $14 million over the course of his professional sporting career. Even though she and her husband made millions, Zolciak's net worth is currently listed at a mere $300,000.

Zolciak-Biermann and her husband spent much of their fortune by splurging on expensive things like a Rolls Royce car and closets full of designer clothes. Zolciak-Biermann was also allegedly spending over a million dollars on her online gambling habit. Biermann filed for divorce from Zolciak-Biermann in 2023, but at the time of publication, they remained legally married. Amid their split, the reality couple's financial woes became apparent. Court documents obtained by Fox News Digital stated the couple owed over $1 million in unpaid taxes on their multi-million dollar Georgia mansion and they were being sued for unpaid credit card bills. 

Charlie Sheen's major league spending habits

A celebrated actor before starring in the sitcom juggernaut "Two and a Half Men," Charlie Sheen amassed an incredible fortune through TV stardom. In 2011, "Men" was a ratings hit and Sheen was making an estimated $1.2 million dollars per "Men" episode, reportedly earning around $40 million during the 2010–2011 TV season alone. However, Sheen was fired from the show after he gave a series of now-infamous interviews. Sheen's loss of income coincided with reports of his lavish spending. A GQ profile reported that he spent tens of thousands of dollars on drugs and trysts with porn stars, not to mention an alleged $1 million splurge on cars in a single week.

Not only was Sheen splashing out on personal extravagances, but he was paying his exes child support. He also revealed in 2015 that he was a victim of extortion, having paid $10 million in order to conceal his H.I.V. positive-status from the public. Sheen eventually found work on the FX comedy series "Anger Management." Although Sheen had partial ownership of the show, he lamented to TMZ that he hadn't earned any money from a lucrative syndication deal for the show, which had the potential to put $200 million in his bank account. Sheen's current total net worth of $3 million is what he used to make for just several weeks on the job.

Evander Holyfield put up a financial fight

Boxing legend Evander Holyfield amassed a $200 million fortune throughout his boxing career, which is what makes his current net worth of $1 million seem surprisingly paltry. He became the sport's first four-time heavyweight champion, but his ringside prowess did not translate into financial success. Holyfield spent an exorbitant amount of money constructing his massive Georgia estate, telling Alex Rodriguez on "Back In The Game" that he spent $20 million in cash for his abode.

With more than 100 rooms and one of the biggest private pools in the United States, the house led Holyfield to spend so much of his money that he struggled to afford the $1 million per year in upkeep [0:00 - 0:45]. In 2010, the house went into foreclosure. 

Holyfield also sunk his money into a number of business ventures, including a record label, a boxing promotions company, a cable television network, and even a hot sauce brand. Holyfield's personal life also proved to be costly, with the athlete losing part of his fortune in pricy divorces. While Holyfield's wallet has gone through the rounds it doesn't mean his financial life is a TKO. Holyfield still makes money through personal appearances and by the looks of his website, he's ready to launch workout routines and make himself available for special events.

Mary Lou Retton's health insurance plight

Gymnast Mary Lou Retton became an athletic sensation when she won five medals at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. In the years immediately after her Olympic victories, Retton became an in-demand spokesperson, scoring a number of endorsement deals. Although it's been decades since Retton was at the peak of her fame, her Celebrity Net Worth currently pegs her fortune at $2 million. However, just because you have millions to your name doesn't mean that it's easy to pay medical bills.

For Retton, several issues led to her financial struggles. In 2023, Retton was hospitalized with a rare form of pneumonia. She was near death and Retton's daughters, not wanting her to worry about medical bills incurred during her treatment, started a *spotfund online fundraiser to help pay for the cost of treatment. Shockingly, Retton did not have health insurance. She revealed in an interview on "Today" that after the COVID-19 pandemic, her divorce, and pre-existing medical conditions, she couldn't afford it [6:00 - 7:38]. Donations for Retton's medical crowdfunding and assistance from the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee financially buoyed the former Olympian through her medical crisis. She also obtained medical insurance, hopefully deterring any future financial woes (at least concerning her health). Retton is now on the mend, and her story proves that sometimes health truly can be wealth.

OnlyFans saved Drea De Matteo's finances

Actor Drea De Matteo rose to fame as flashy mob girlfriend Adriana La Cerva on "The Sopranos" and found success appearing in a number of film and television projects. Celebrity Net Worth places De Matteo's net worth at $4 million, a respectable amount of money for sure, but she's candid about the challenges of making money in Hollywood. She shared with Fox News, "People find that hard to believe that I was never really paid very much money for any of the jobs I've done," de Matteo said. "People think I'm f—ing made of gold, and I'm not."

However, in the 2020s, De Matteo claimed she had difficulty finding any work at all in showbiz due to her lack of compliance with on-set COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Mother of two children and the caretaker for a relative with dementia, De Matteo was in financial dire straits, so much so that she told The Daily Mail at one point she only had $10 in the bank and her home was moments from foreclosure.

Reluctantly, De Matteo turned to the adult subscription service OnlyFans as a novel way to pay her bills. Within minutes of posting risqué photos of herself on the site, De Matteo said she made enough money to save her home. With her OnlyFans earnings, De Matteo is now pursuing other ventures outside of Tinseltown, including a wine collaboration and t-shirt printing.

Nicolas Cage over-invested in real estate

Even though Nicolas Cage comes from a very Hollywood-centric famous family, it might have been hard to predict that Cage — born Nicolas Coppola — would eventually make a fortune as a Tinseltown leading man. His transition from eccentric '80s comedian into an action-adventure leading man proved lucrative for Cage. At the height of his earning power, he commanded a $20 million salary for movies like 2004's "National Treasure."

Over the course of his decades-long acting career, Cage has pulled in over $150 million for his efforts. Perhaps that's why his current net worth of $25 million, while a massive sum of money, seems rather scant. That Cage is worth millions now is impressive, considering the serious money problems he faced in the past. He admitted to "60 Minutes" [9:10 - 10:50] that he was over-invested in real estate. He owned houses in locales such as New Orleans, Newport Beach, Calif., and Germany (which was a 500- year old castle, no less). Cage owed about $6 million to his creditors. Although he sued his former business manager for negligence and fraud in 2009, he got himself out of the hole the old-fashioned way: He got to work. Cage moved to Las Vegas and acted his way out of debt.

Wesley Snipes treated his taxes as if they were expendable

Wesley Snipes' longtime financial struggles have defined his celebrity for many years. A versatile talent who rose to fame in the '90s starring in everything from comedies like "White Men Can't Jump" and "Too Wong Foo: Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar," dramas such as "New Jack City," and action flicks like "Blade," Snipes dominated the screen with his charismatic acting and major physical prowess. Even when his career took a straight-to-video turn in the early '00s, Snipes was making bank. But unfortunately for Snipes, he soon found himself in deep trouble with the IRS.

According to Forbes, the actor didn't file taxes or pay any taxes on the $40 million he made from 1999 to 2004. In 2008, he was found guilty of failing to file tax returns and was sentenced to three years in prison as a result. Wesley Snipes finished his prison time in 2013, but he still owed $23.5 million in back taxes. He offered to pay $850,000 as an offer-in-compromise to the government service, but alas, the IRS rejected his offer. Snipes' current Celebrity Net Worth of -$9 million purportedly takes his tax debt into account.