10 Best Celebrity Bankruptcy Success Stories

BadCredit.org Staff
By: BadCredit.org Staff
Updated: October 5, 2015
From big names to up-and-comers, BadCredit.org experts share their picks for the top resources in the personal finance industry.

Money is not the solution to all of life’s problems, and there’s no better way to see that than through the lives of the rich and famous.

These 10 tales of celebrity bankruptcy shows us what happens when money goes to your head (and how to bounce back).

Donald Trump American business magnate
Donald Trump

Bragging rights: worth $3.9 billion, according to CelebrityNetWorth

Donald has filed for four different bankruptcies, most recently in 2009. While these were corporate bankruptcies, he was forced to sell his yacht and airline, among other things, to pay off the debt. He learned to stop guaranteeing debt with his money and, as you can see, he’s doing extremely well now.

Social Clout: 1.46m Facebook likes, 2.63m Twitter followers

Twitter Handle: @realDonaldTrump

George Foreman two-time heavyweight champion of the world, grill master
George Foreman

Bragging rights: worth $250 million, according to CelebrityNetWorth

In the 1980s, a series of bad investments had George on the verge of bankruptcy. His fear of being out on the street sent him back into the boxing ring, where he reclaimed his heavyweight title. This success enabled him to pay off his debts and launch his line of grills.

Social Clout: 154k Facebook likes, 62.5k Twitter followers

Twitter Handle: @GeorgeForeman

Bob Guccione founder of 'Penthouse'
Bob Guccione

Bragging rights: worth $400 million, according to CelebrityNetWorth

The rise of the Internet and its supply of free pornography, along with several lawsuits and bad investments, forced Penthouse General Media to declare bankruptcy. By selling his art collection and his mansion, Guccione was able to turn his financial situation around before passing away in 2010.

Social Clout: 105k Facebook likes, 124k Twitter followers

Twitter Handle: @Penthouse

Larry King talk show host
Larry King

Bragging rights: worth $150 million, according to CelebrityNetWorth

An arrest for grand larceny may have had its charges dropped, but Larry struggled to shake the stain. He couldn’t find a steady job for more than four years, and his money troubles forced him to declare bankruptcy in 1978. Fortunately he was offered a job later that year that would last 25 years and make him millions.

Social Clout: 322k Facebook likes, 2.49m Twitter followers

Twitter Handle: @kingsthings

Kim Basinger actress and model
Kim Basinger

Bragging rights: worth $36 million, according to CelebrityNetWorth

There are some commitments you just shouldn’t cancel. Kim lost more than $8 million to Main Line Pictures for backing out of her role in “Boxing Helena.” This forced the actress to declare bankruptcy in 1993 and sell her $20 million investment in a rural Georgia town. She’s been able to bounce back by working in many movies since then.

Social Clout: 41k Facebook likes, 1.6k Twitter followers

Twitter Handle: @kimbasinger1

MC Hammer rapper and dancer of 'Can't Touch This' fame
MC Hammer

Bragging rights: worth $1.5 million, according to CelebrityNetWorth

Millions of dollars can quickly turn to nothing when you make exorbitant purchases. Hammer declared bankruptcy in 1996 when he was $14 million in debt. He has since recovered, starring in a cartoon, co-creating DanceJam.com, working as a television host and even helping found the now-defunct search engine WireDoo.

Social Clout: 153k Facebook likes, 3.37m Twitter followers

Twitter Handle: @MCHammer

Stan Lee co-creator of Spider-Man, the Hulk, X-Men and more
Stan Lee

Bragging rights: worth $50 million, according to CelebrityNetWorth

Not even the X-Men could save Stan. His company Stan Lee Media was forced into bankruptcy in 2001 when they ran out of capital and his partner fled the country. A lawsuit against Marvel for not receiving any profits from Spider-Man helped put Stan back on top with his new company POW! Entertainment.

Social Clout: 3.4m Facebook likes, 1.38m Twitter followers

Twitter Handle: @TheRealStanLee

Perez Hilton celebrity blogger
Perez Hilton

Bragging rights: worth $30 million, according to CelebrityNetWorth

Celebrities fear his wrath, while Hilton feared his college debt and outstanding credit card bills. They got so bad that they forced him to declare bankruptcy in 2005. Fortunately his blog took off shortly after and now surpasses eight million hits a day.

Social Clout: 1m Facebook likes, 5.93m Twitter followers

Twitter Handle: @PerezHilton

Mike Tyson retired professional boxer, former Heavyweight champion of the world
Mike Tyson

Bragging rights: worth $1 million, according to CelebrityNetWorth

Divorce, losing his trainer, a stint in prison and biting his opponent’s ear off were all part of the downward spiral that led to Tyson’s 2003 bankruptcy. He retired in 2005 but managed to earn some money through several TV and movie appearences – like “The Hangover.”

Social Clout: 2.5m Facebook likes, 4.31m Twitter followers

Twitter Handle: @MikeTyson

Cyndi Lauper singer/songwriter
Cyndi Lauper

Bragging rights: worth $30 million, according to CelebrityNetWorth

Before she was a solo act, Cyndi was part of the band Blue Angel. Their album flopped and their manager sued them, forcing her to file for bankruptcy in 1981. She worked in retail to pay bills until her own career took off with the album “She’s So Unusual” — which coincidentally featured the song “Money Changes Everything.”

Social Clout: 2.6m Facebook likes, 229k Twitter followers

Twitter Handle: @cyndilauper

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