Famous People Who Have Filed for Bankruptcy
Making financial commitments and incurring debts is a normal part of life for any ambitious person. These debts and financial obligations can become a burden for even the most successful people. When the burden becomes too heavy, smart people seek relief by filing for bankruptcy protection. Indeed, several famous people ranging from entertainers to politicians, have filed for bankruptcy to get out of tricky financial situations.
Toni Braxton was a highly prolific and successful R&B star of the 1990s, but several chart-topping hits and Grammy Awards did not save her from financial difficulties. Apparently, she did not make much from her first music releases and was always in debt. Compulsive spending and career-related financial problems forced her to seek bankruptcy protection in 1998. She continued to record hit songs, but poor returns from the music made her declare bankruptcy again. It was only in 2013 that she cleared her bankruptcy problems.
The Oscar-winning actress ran into a legal dispute when she breached a commitment to perform in the movie Boxing Helena. The courts ordered her to pay Main Line Pictures $8.1 million in damages. This financial setback forced her to file for bankruptcy. However, the filing was not enough as some of her assets were liquidated to generate funds. Nevertheless, her acting career continued to thrive with starring roles in films such as The Nice Guys and Fifty Shades Darker. She eventually settled the dispute with the production company out of court.
While Trump has never declared bankruptcy as an individual, several of his business interests have filed bankruptcy protection. Trump’s hotel and casino investments filed for bankruptcy protection several times between 1990 and 2009. He settled these cases, by relinquishing some percentage of the ownership or surrendering management responsibilities to the creditors. Trump views filing bankruptcies as a strategic business move to protect his investments.
Mark Twain left an indelible mark on the American literary landscape, but even he was not immune to financial problems. His financial woes resulted from a wrong investment decision related to his publishing business. Twain’s publishing business also endured cash flow problems. He declared personal bankruptcy in 1893 but soon recovered after writing and publishing several bestsellers.
Long before Larry King became the king of talk show, he had faced criminal charges that led to financial difficulties. His troubles started with a former business partner accused him of stealing $5,000. Even though the charges were eventually dropped, his career suffered as he was out of work for over four years. This chain of events forced him to declare bankruptcy in 1978 to protect himself from creditors who were claiming more than $300,000. He reignited his career with the Larry King Show on radio before switching to cable TV and hosting Larry King Live, which ran for over 20 years.
Forbes once ranked 50 Cent among the five top-earning hip-hop artists with a net worth of over $150 million. However, poor investment decisions and a big lawsuit that set him back $5 million forced him to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2015. He estimated his debts to be in the range of $10 to $50 million while his assets were around $20 million. 50 Cent managed to settle the debt problems in 2016 by committing to pay $23 million to his creditors over five years.
Henry Ford might be the most famous industrialist of the 20th century, but it was not always smooth riding for him. Ford’s troubles began when his Detroit Automobile Company failed to make enough car sales to sustain operations. He filed for bankruptcy in 1899. However, he was to bounce back with Ford Motor Company, which became one of the most successful automobile manufacturers globally.
The reality TV star was not just inventing financial problems for TV as seemed be in financial trouble in real life. She first declared bankruptcy in 2009, together with her husband. This was only the beginning of her legal problems. The creditors claimed that they had not declared all their assets leading to a charge of bankruptcy fraud. The couple was convicted of fraud and served time. Giudice cleared her bankruptcy fraud problems in 2016 but is still paying her back taxes.
The Prince of Soul was electric on stage, but even his musical brilliance could not save him from financial troubles. His financial problems emanated from unpaid alimony costs amounting to $600,000. These debts coupled with low performance income forced him to seek bankruptcy protection in 1976. However, his award-winning hit, Sexual Healing, topped the billboard and went a long way into solving his financial problems.
Meat Loaf’s financial troubles resulted from disputes with producer and business partner Jim Steinman. The pair had so many disagreements that at one time, Meat Loaf was the subject of 45 lawsuits claiming over $80 million in damages. He decided to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to stop the record label from making frivolous suits. They eventually resolved the problem in the early 1990s. Meat Loaf later relaunched his music career with a highly successful album.
Hayes’ had trouble with a bank that advanced loans to his production house Stax Records. The bank claimed over $6 million, forcing him to seek bankruptcy protection in 1976. However, he still lost personal property and rights to all future performances and royalties. Hayes later reinvented himself by being the voice of a character in South Park, which was highly successful on Comedy Central. The show has been on TV since 1997 and has been nominated for over 15 Emmy Awards.
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