Celebrities Who Lost A Ton Of Money In 2020

We can all probably agree that 2020 has been a historically bad year. If the world seemed like it was on fire, that's because it was — literally. According to CNN, more than a million acres of California were set ablaze, landing the state "its first gigafire in modern history." That's not a designation any of us wanted to know existed, much less experience firsthand.

Beyond that, the novel coronavirus — which infected more than 14 million Americans — forced people into various levels of quarantine, starting as early as March 2020. Though some celebs spent their lockdown by going on vacation and pretending it wasn't happening, major businesses across the U.S. have crumbled under the pandemic's financial impact. This includes Neiman Marcus, JCPenney, and Lord & Taylor, which shuttered after almost 200 years of operation. Even the fate of beloved national restaurant chains, including Applebee's and IHOP, remains up in the air. Ryan Reynolds' Match.com ad summed it up best: this terrible year is a match made in hell for nobody except Satan himself, especially if they take away our half-off appetizers.

It's not just normal people who have been hit hard by 2020's economic climate. Though they may be playing the world's tiniest violin, these A-listers have lost massive amounts of money this year as the entertainment and other industries also came to screeching halts. 

Joe Exotic won't be making much from prison

Remember when the entire internet was talking about Tiger King? That wasn't a hundred years ago. That was March 2020, and though we've lived what feels like a hundred of the same Marches since then, Joe Exotic really only rose to fame just as the pandemic took hold. Since then, the zookeeper's career has peaked and plummeted. Though it's unclear how much the convict made from his documentary, we do know that his net worth sunk to -$1 million and has few hopes of recovery anytime in the next 22 years.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Exotic was ordered to pay $1 million to his mortal enemy Carole Baskin following a 2013 decision in a "trademark-infringement lawsuit." He then hired an ersatz hitman for $3000 to murder Baskin, to which we can only say, you get what you pay for. Baskin is still kicking (Looper estimates she's currently worth around $20 million), and Exotic is serving 22 years in prison. According to reports from NBC News and The Sun, he was sentenced in January 2020 after being found guilty of 19 different counts, including violating numerous wildlife laws and Baskin's "murder-for-hire plot." Though he's reportedly begging Donald Trump for a pardon, the fallen star is unable to capitalize on his newfound fame from behind bars, and likely missing out on a huge chunk of change as a result.

Robert De Niro is kissing retirement goodbye

It's no secret that the coronavirus pandemic hit the restaurant industry particularly hard. According to Eater, New York City has seen at least 1,000 closures since the initial shutdowns in March 2020. Actor-turned-restauranteur Robert De Niro is among those whose finances have been absolutely shattered — and it may only get worse with his divorce.

According to Page Six, the Goodfellas actor's estranged wife Grace Hightower was reportedly asking for 50% his $500 million estate, even though she signed a prenup that reportedly limited her to "$6.5 million in cash and property," as well as $1 million in "annual alimony." Beyond this, Page Six additionally reports Hightower asked for an emergency order, claiming that the actor "unfairly cut her monthly AmEx allowance from $100,000 to $50,000" – but De Niro is apparently broke. His filming schedule was indefinitely delayed, and his restaurant and hospitality businesses are suffering. 

In March and April, Nobu reportedly lost almost $5 million, and the Greenwich Hotel struggled as travelers avoided NYC, the then-epicenter of the virus. On top of this, the actor allegedly had to borrow money to pay out $500,000 to investors. "If everything starts to turn around this year, ... [De Niro] is going to be lucky if he makes $7.5 million this year," his attorney, Caroline Krauss, revealed, adding that the actor "couldn't retire even if he wanted to because he can't afford to keep up with his lifestyle expense." 

Scary Spice has some scary financial issues

The Spice Girls — well, all of them except Victoria Beckham — have been itching for a full-fledged reunion. In June 2019, they made a triumphant return to London's Wembley Stadium, which brought each of them $18 million, according to The Sun. Unfortunately, it was short-lived as the girls allegedly cancelled their Australian tour because Geri Horner wouldn't commit (as fans know, Horner was the first to ditch the group in 1998). Other reports suggested the world tour faltered because Mel B revealed in her memoir that she hooked up with Horner back in the group's heyday — a claim Horner publicly deniedDrama!

Either way, the tour — which is rumored to be scheduled for 2021 — can't come soon enough for Scary Spice, who appears to be in a very scary financial situation. According to The Sun, the singer was ordered to pay $500,000 to her ex-husband Steven Belafonte, but her income was hit so hard by the coronavirus pandemic that she claimed it bankrupted her. Beyond that, Scary Spice left Los Angeles in 2019 to move back home to the UK, and she's been in a legal battle trying to bring her 10-year-old daughter over ever since. She reportedly had to give up because she didn't have the funds. The Sun claims Mel B's already paying $15,000 per month in spousal support and owes $2.5 million to the IRS. Yikes, indeed.

Post Malone's career has been postponed

As a performer supporting a new record, Post Malone was hit hard when the live entertainment industry screeched to a complete halt in 2020. According to NME, the rapper was nearing the end of his "Runaway" tour, where he was pulling in an estimated $1.3 million a night, when rumors surfaced that Live Nation was canceling all of its upcoming tours in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Nonetheless, Posty held on for one more gig in Denver, Colo., performing at an 18,000-capacity venue and subjecting himself to an army of criticism.

Post's tour was eventually — for lack of better words — postponed, with the five remaining dates left up in the air. If Forbes estimated his earnings correctly, that means he likely lost around $6.5 million, but that's not including his scheduled festival appearances. According to Alternative Press, the singer was expected to appear at Rolling Loud, Hangout Fest, and Something In The Water Festival, all of which were canceled or postponed. 

In an alternate universe where people follow through, Post's financial losses could have been padded if he released new music, i.e. if he pulled a total Taylor Swift). In January 2020, he told Rolling Stone that he hoped to "have a new record out for the fans" that year. Though he was reportedly working on music during quarantine, the fans are still waiting.

Chase Rice couldn't fill an arena – even if he was allowed

Chase Rice, who's best known in the Bachelor cinematic universe as Victoria F's ex-boyfriend, got frank about the financial problems that he faced in 2020. During an ABC Audio interview (via Y100), the country star revealed that he was fighting to keep his business afloat in the midst of the pandemic. The singer estimated that if he stayed off the road for a few more months, he'd have to choose between selling his farm or paying his crew. "It's one or the other," he said, adding, "Man, you don't realize till something like this happens how fortunate you are to have this money coming in from touring so you can pay your employees."

That was in March 2020, and not much has changed since then — except for public opinion of Rice. In June 2020, the star was met with a barrage of criticism for holding an outdoor concert in Tennessee. According to CNN, a video of the event showed maskless attendees packed together, and Rice didn't even try to defend himself. In an Instagram video, he claimed that "everybody had a blast" while urging attendees of future drive-in gigs to socially distance. 

Brushy Mountain Group, which was responsible for the event, told CNN there were less than 1,000 attendees in the 10,000 capacity venue. Basically, Rice got a whole lot of grief for what was likely a smaller-than-average paycheck.

Real housewife or really broke?

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Jayne finally got her big break on Broadway, only to have the rug pulled out from under her platform heels. The singer was in the midst of a stint in Chicago when the novel coronavirus forced theaters to indefinitely close. At the time of this writing, it's still unclear when Broadway will reopen, though an October 2020 report by The New York Times stated it would remain shuttered until at least May 2021.

According to Page Six, Jayne's Great White Way debut was cut short by a few weeks, potentially causing her to miss out on a sizable chunk of change — and she may have needed that money if the rumors are true. In November 2020, the reality star unexpectedly filed for divorce from Tom Girardi after more than two decades of marriage, but a new lawsuit claims the entire divorce was a scam to protect the couple's assets.

Court documents obtained by Us Weekly allege that Jayne and her attorney husband "are on the verge of financial collapse and locked in a downward spiral of mounting debts and dwindling funds." In order to stay afloat, they reportedly "embezzled settlement funds intended to help the families" that lost loved ones when Lion Air Flight 610 crashed in 2018. Girardi's law firm handled the suit against Boeing, but families allegedly never received the full payment. Is it true? We'll have to see how this plays out in court.

Sonja Morgan's fashion line fizzled

The novel coronavirus pandemic has not been kind to department stores, and Lord & Taylor wasn't the only iconic brand to close its doors. In 2020, Sonja Morgan found herself caught in the middle of an unfortunate bankruptcy, leaving the fate of her fashion label up in the air. Talk about bad luck.

Morgan first debuted Sonja by Sonja Morgan in 2015, but it didn't hit department store shelves until December 2019. The star told Page Six that she had been "looking for the right place" to stock her line for years. After some minor hiccups (like having the audacity to dress Leah McSweeney in sweatpants at a fashion show) she finally inked a deal with Century 21 — but that deal was doomed.

Less than a year after Morgan's launch, Century 21 was forced to file for bankruptcy. According to Fox 5 New York, the company claimed it was owed approximately $175 million in payouts from "business interruption" insurance, but it never received those funds, which led to catastrophic failure. It's not clear how much Morgan's deal was worth, but it's likely that she lost a significant amount of money because of the closure. The star told Page Six that she was going to be the brand's Chief Lifestyle Officer and was too disappointed to make a final trip to the store to shop their liquidation sales. "I can't even bring myself to do that," she said.

Donald Trump lost $1 billion in less than a month

Donald Trump may have survived his bout with the novel coronavirus, but his net worth can't say the same. According to Forbes, the president's fortune dipped by $1 billion in under a month after his commercial real estate holdings and other assetsdropped in value amidst the pandemic. Meanwhile, the rest of the world's billionaires "saw their net worth increase by half a trillion dollars," according to Business Insider.

Trump may have a whole wealth of alleged financial issues, but COVID-19 put a major strain on some of his key business endeavors. Per Forbes, the reality star-turned-politician held $1.9 billion in commercial real estate prior to the pandemic. In March, the value shrunk to $1.2 billion, largely driven by the "125,000 square feet of retail space" he owned near Manhattan's Fifth Avenue. In his words, New York was a "ghost town."

In addition to the retail space, Trump also reportedly owns more than 500 rental properties across the United States (at a time when 31% of people reportedly can't pay their rent) as well as a number of hospitality holdings (at a time chock full of travel bans and advisories). The Trump Organization has reportedly been trying to unsuccessfully sell its Washington D.C. hotel, and according to Politico, Mar-a-Lago's profits have waned in recent years. Meanwhile, USA Today reports that the billionaire awaits "a number of lawsuits and investigations" as soon as he leaves office. That, undoubtedly, sounds very expensive.

Coronavirus crushed this Beatle's bank account like a bug

Obladi, oblada, life goes on when you've got an estimated $1.2 billion net worth. It's safe to say that Paul McCartney probably isn't sweating the massive financial losses he's seen in 2020, but that doesn't mean they're not mind bogglingly enormous. According to Forbes, the former Beatle made more than $100 million playing solo shows in 2019, which somehow only landed him as the 11th highest-grossing act that year. Nonetheless, he wasn't anywhere near the top 10 in 2020.

McCartney was still riding the wave of 2018's Egypt Station when the novel coronavirus effectively ended live entertainment. Per Forbes, the album was his first chart-topping record "in more than 36 years," but he was forced to cancel the summer European portion of his Freshen Up Tour. As of June, the magazine claimed that the singer-songwriter had only made $37 million so far for the year. If the rest of the year followed the same trajectory, McCartney is looking at a $26 million loss compared to the year prior.

Wendy Williams' divorce could really cost her

Wendy Williams is facing the unfortunate consequence of getting into business with a philandering husband, and at the very least, it's looking like she's out nearly a million. The talk show host's divorce from Kevin Hunter has proven to be expensive, if only because it forced her to sell her home at a very poor time for real estate.

According to ET, Williams kicked off the year that just won't end by finalizing her divorce. She initially shelled out $250,000 to help her estranged husband find a new house after they put their New Jersey home on the market. That was meant to be reimbursed when the property sold. Beyond that, Williams got awarded their joint bank account and Hunter's shares in her company, but she had to pay him an undisclosed sum from those accounts and severance from Wendy, Inc. — as if cheating on your boss isn't grounds for being fired without pay. Wendy was also on the hook for her own legal fees, and the knife was really jabbed in deep when their home finally sold at a $700,000 loss. 

According to Page Six, Williams' New Jersey home sold for $1.4 million in August 2020. The couple purchased it for $2.1 million in 2008.

Mohamed Hadid's mega-mansion is still a mega-headache

Mohamed Hadid made our 2019 list of celebrities who went broke, and it looks like his financial woes are the gift that keeps on giving. What did you expect? Like 2020 would throw someone a bone?

Hadid's problems stem from a poor real estate investment. According to TMZ, the star was sued by his neighbors and ordered to tear down his half-built, $100 million mega-mansion in Bel-Air because it posed a public health and safety risk. Apparently, it was erected "on an unstable hillside," and the construction wasn't "up to safety standards." Perhaps the latter problem could have been solved if they had time to finish building it, but then again, it could have careened down the hillside and taken out the neighbors long before then.

Tearing down a mega-mansion isn't cheap. TMZ claims it would cost $5 million. On top of that, Hadid was ordered to pay $500,000 to a receiver to supervise the demolition, which his attorney said he couldn't afford, per the Daily Mail. That brings us to 2020, where Hadid was reportedly still fighting against the fee, claiming he may never have enough money to demolish the structure. This time around (per the Daily Mail again), he claimed he lost $60 million on the mansion, owed "$15 million in court judgments," "made no money from the caviar and champagne products that carry his name," and was forced to "drastically downsize" to a more modest home.