As the saying goes, “Mo’ money, mo’ problems,” and being a celebrity almost guarantees you will have money issues, especially if you’re not properly investing in your future.  What some celebrities don’t understand is that success, for most, doesn’t last forever.  When they are earning the most in their careers, they fail to realize that this income might one day come to an end.

Here are fifteen celebrities who went broke over time.  Some have rebounded and some, well, they still remain flat-out broke:

Allen Iverson– Some say he’s not broke while others say he is broke as a joke—but what we do know is  Allen Iverson became an NBA superstar and raked in more than $154 million during his career.  Due to his overspending on jewelry and other items of little-to-no-worth, he lost everything by 2012.  Reports are stating that Iverson dreams of making it back into the NBA, but that’s not likely to happen.  Owners are skeptical that Iverson will be a liability based on his past antics like going to practice with hangovers, disobeying the league’s dress codes, and other rules.

Antoine Walker– Famed NBA player Antoine Walker, who is also famous for dating Evelyn Lazado from VH1?s “Basketball Wives” television franchise, had a long career in the NBA that lasted 15 years.  He earned over $110 million during his stint with the NBA, but unfortunately lost it all due to bad investments and an alleged gambling problem. His gambling problem was so out of control that he was arrested in 2009 for writing over $800,000 in bad checks to three Las Vegas casinos.  In 2010 he was forced to file for bankruptcy claiming $4 million in assets but he owed nearly $13 million to debtors.

Dionne Warwick– Legendary singer and cousin to Whitney Houston, Dionne Warwick was forced to file for bankruptcy in 2013.  According to reports, the soul singer had over $10 million in tax liens on her assets that dated back two decades.  Things are so bad for Warwick, that she is allegedly living in a senior home in Paterson, New Jersey according to reports.

Gary Dourdan– This gorgeous green-eyed actor made his start in music videos, and over time, established himself as a legitimate actor.  His most famous role to date was playing analyst Warrick Brown in the original CSI television series.  But in 2012, the actor lost it all.  At the time, he listed his assets at $1.8 million but owed creditors $1.73 million.  He also claimed that his monthly income was only $321 which forced him to file for bankruptcy.  He is no stranger to trouble.  In addition to a few drug convictions, he was sentenced to five years probation in 2012 for allegedly breaking his ex-girlfriend’s nose in a domestic dispute.  And just this year, a bench warrant was put out for his arrest after a judge revoked his probation.

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MC Hammer– Who hasn’t heard of MC Hammer’s fall from grace?  This rap icon made over $33 million at the height of his career in 1991.   He admittedly stated that most of his fortune was spent on luxury cars, airplanes, and his enormous entourage.  He once built a mansion worth $30 million that was complete with a bowling alley, 17 car garage, and baseball diamond.  By 1996, the ‘Can’t Touch This’ rapper lost it all and declared bankruptcy.  He told the courts at that time that he owed more than $14 million in debt.  Now he is an ordained pastor who is also working on a search engine called Wire Doo.

Marion Jones– The world watched and rejoiced as former world champion track and field star Marion Jones became the first female to win five medals at the 2000 Olympics.  The world also watched as Marion Jones lost her medals after she admitted to using performance enhancing drugs.  As a result, she lost her mansion, along with two other properties, including her mother’s home.  She went from making $70,000 to $80,000 per race plus $1 million in race bonuses, to only having $2,000 in her bank account at the time of the “doping” scandal.  She also spent six months in jail for her crimes.

Michael Vick– In 2005, Michael Vick was the world’s fourth-highest earning athlete.  His paycheck was at an estimated $37.5 million.  In 2011, he signed a six year $100 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. But after the dog fighting scandal, he was sent to prison and as a result had to file for bankruptcy.   Although Vick turned his misfortune around, and is now signed to the New York Jets, he’s not making nearly the amount of money he used to make. His contract with the Jets is at a measly (insert sarcasm) $5 million.

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Mike Tyson– Former heavyweight world boxing champion ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson reportedly made over $300 million at the height of his career.  But by 2003, the boxer’s entire fortune was depleted—which he blames on bad investments and scheming financial advisors.  Although Tyson had some questionable scandals that followed him throughout his life, he has kept himself relevant in recent years, making appearances in several Hollywood movies, heading up his own one-man show and most recently forming his very own boxing promotions company called Iron Mike Productions.  His 2013 book Undisputed Truth made it to the New York Times Best Seller list.

Natalie Cole– Famed singer and daughter of legendary singer Nat King Cole, Natalie Cole, has won countless awards and accolades throughout her career.  She has sold over 30 million records worldwide and had a net worth of over $5 million.  But she lost it all in the year 2000 after she was forced to file for bankruptcy.  She notes that her prior drug addiction in the 70’s and 80’s was one of the reasons why she lost most of her fortune.

Sheryl Swoopes– Olympic gold medalist and WNBA MVP Sheryl Swoopes was at the top of her game in 1997, earning around $50 million at the height of her career.  But an unscrupulous investment deal and bad business management left the champion in financial shambles.  In order to pay her creditors, Swoopes sold off her Olympic medals and Naismith trophy.  She’s making a comeback though and recently opened up her own basketball camp called Swoopes House of Hoops.

T Boz– As the lead singer of the popular all girls 90’s singing group TLC, Tionne Watkins also known by her stage name T-Boz, is publicly  known for having financial problems.  She first filed for bankruptcy in 1995 along with her band mates, and again in 2011.  But it’s not all her fault.  Due to trouble finding work and medical bills from her brain tumor and sickle cell anemia, the Grammy award winning artist racked up millions of dollars in debt.  She’s doing well now having starred in TLC’s reality series Totally T-Boz, and producing the VH1 biopic CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story.

Terrell T.O. Owens– NFL Legend Terrell Owens appeared to have it all.  This loud mouth boisterous wide receiver made over $70 million during the height of his career.   With four different babies mothers and paying child support at a whopping $50,000 a month, TO is completely broke.  He is currently trying to make a comeback although he is considered old by NFL standards.  According to, he is now “devoting his attention to a handful of sectors, including technology, apparel and fitness, and home décor.”

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Toni Braxton– Multi-platinum recording artist Toni Braxton filed for bankruptcy twice!  After selling more than 40 million albums worldwide and making a reported $275 million, she still racked up $50 million in debt over time.  Her bout with lupus was one of the main reasons why she had to file for bankruptcy the second time around.

Scott Storch– Famous record producer Scott Storch has produced albums for countless celebrities.  Just to name a few—Beyonce, 50 Cent, T.I., Chris Brown, Nas, Snoop Dog, Pink, etc., were all on his roster of artists.  In 2006 he was the go-to man for a hit album.  But during this same time, he reportedly had a severe drug problem and snorted away his fortune.  Allegedly his drug problem was so bad that he blew $30 million in six months. As a result, he filed for bankruptcy.  He tried to make a comeback but allegedly hasn’t gotten off the white horse just yet.

Scottie Pippen– Who doesn’t remember legendary Chicago Bulls player Scottie Pippen?  In 2010 he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.  He is also the only person to win both an NBA championship and Olympic gold medal within the same year.  At the height of his career, Pippen made a reported $120 million and lost it all through bad investments.

Yolanda Spivey writes on a variety of topics and is the founder of Black Insurance News. She can be reached at or you can visit her Facebook page. This article is culled from BOSS.

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