Shocking celebrity debt problems

Sarah Coles
·5-min read
24th amfAR Gala - 70th Cannes Film Festival
24th amfAR Gala - 70th Cannes Film Festival

Life as a celebrity isn't all plain sailing. We're used to seeing the stars sunning themselves on lavish holidays, or driving around in cars that cost more than our house, but in some cases, life hasn't always been so good for the stars.

Some have had to bounce back from some horrible debt problems.

See also: Boris Becker, and the stars who have been declared bankrupt

See also: Women 'increasingly more likely than men to become insolvent'

We reveal seven stars who have had shocking debt issues, as highlighted by GoCompare.

Kim Basinger
The model-turned-actress seems to have had it all - from the age of 17 when she signed her first modelling contract, to the heights of LA Confidential in her 40s and an estimated net worth of $36 million in her 60s. However, in between she ran into financial problems. In the early 1990s, she agreed to star in Boxing Helena, but when she saw how the film was developing, she felt it was to graphic, and pulled out. She was sued by the film company, lost $3.8 million, and filed for bankruptcy. She was even forced to sell the town of Braselton - which she had bought for $20 million and had intended to turn into a tourist destination.

Kim Basinger
Kim Basinger

George Foreman
The Boxer-turned grill endorser has endured plenty of ups and downs during his career. At the age of 24, in 1973, the world seemed to be his oyster. However, after being called to be a preacher, giving up boxing, and starting a youth centre, Foreman ran into financial difficulties in his late 30s. While he was never forced into bankruptcy, he had to close his youth centre and return to boxing. His comeback story was one of the most compelling in boxing - especially after becoming the oldest ever heavyweight champion at the age of 45. It was the following year, however, he made what could be his most successful financial decision - putting his name to a fat-reducing grill. By 2012 he was said to be worth £300 million.

Will Smith
The rapper and actor started rap duo DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince at the age of 17, and had two massive albums by the age of 20. However, he wasn't a financial genius back then, and a tax bill of $2.8 million almost finished him off at the age of 21. He was said to have had to hand over most of his possessions to pay off his debt. Since then his career trajectory has been stratospheric, and his net worth is estimated at a jaw-dropping $240 million.

Meat Loaf
Meat Loaf

In the wake of the enormous success of Bat out of Hell, the rocker lost his voice, lost his house, and ran into legal difficulties in his 30s. With 45 lawsuits against him, he was forced to declare himself bankrupt. He took 10 years to bounce back, with the massive success of Bat out of Hell II: Back into Hell. He has had his ups and downs since, with more lawsuits and voice problems, but in his 60s had one of the biggest tours of his career. He's now said to be worth $25 million.

Larry King
When the final Larry King show aired in 2010 - with the host aged 77, he was considered the cream of the celebrity crop and had an estimated net worth of $150 million. From the age of 45, the show brought him fame and fortune, but prior to that, things hadn't gone so well for King. In his late 30s he was involved in a dispute over money with his former business partner. He was ordered to repay a debt he owed his partner, but after years of overspending, he couldn't afford to. In 1978, at the age of 45, he filed for bankruptcy.

Isaac Hayes in concert - London
Isaac Hayes in concert - London

Isaac Hayes
At the age of 29, the soundtrack to the hit film Shaft put him in the limelight, when he won an Oscar, two Grammy's and a Golden Globe. He would be forgiven for thinking he had it made, but by the age of 34 he was $6 million in debt, and filed for bankruptcy. He ended up having to give up the rights to his former hits. His subsequent albums were less successful, but he was back on his feet in his 40s in a new career as an actor. At the age of 55 he hit the heights of fame again as the voice of Chef on South Park. He launched a recipe book, and opened two restaurants, and by the time of his death at the age of 65, was estimated to be worth $12 million.

Cyndi Lauper
She hit the big time after being discovered singing in a New York bar at the age of 28. Unfortunately, the good times didn't last long, because over the next two years she was entangled in a legal dispute with her former manager, and was forced into bankruptcy. Her comeback was equally speedy, winning a Grammy for her first solo album by the age of 31, and enjoying almost 30 years in the business before hitting the heights again with the success of her stage musical Kinky Boots. She currently has a net worth estimated at $30 million.

It goes to show that even when your financial plans aren't entirely on track, there's still hope. Some of these stars hit financial difficulties in their 30, and are sitting on multi-million pound fortunes right now - so there's still a chance for us all.