Most of us will endure financial struggles at some point in our lives and come out on the other side, but debt can make people do otherwise unimaginable things.
These are the true stories of people who went to great extremes to find financial freedom.
1. Paying for college with porn
Student loans are no joke, and college coeds sometimes have to find odd jobs to help put themselves through school.
Earlier this year, people revealed that Duke University student Belle Knox had a porn career on the side to help pay for the costly tuition.
In an interview with RealClearEducation.com, the student said tuition is $60,000 per year — she was offered only $13,000 year in financial aid.
Her parents were unable to assist, and with student loan interest fees so high, she decided to go into porn to put herself through school.
Knox plans on pursuing a career in civil rights law with an emphasis on women and hopes to use her experience to protect the rights of other sex workers.
2. Getting face tattoos for money
When faced with growing debt and many mouths to feed, Billy Gibby became a human billboard. He accepted money from companies to tattoo their websites on his face, also hoping to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records.
Over a period of 10 years, he made $100,000 from this unusual practice, according to NY Daily News.
Additionally, “He has even changed his name to Hostgator Dotcom and is willing to again change his name to that of a company or website.”
In March 2013, NY Daily News wrote that Gibby regrets his face tattoos because it makes it hard to get a job, and he was asking for financial help in getting the face tattoos removed — in exchange for tattoo real estate on the rest of his body.
3. Pimping your child
In 2009, police arrested Antoinette Davis on charges of child prostitution. She trafficked her own 5-year-old daughter, Shaniya, in an act of utter desperation to pay off a drug debt.
Sadly the child was raped and murdered in the process by a man named Mario Andrette O’Neil. It’s tragic the mother chose this as a way to earn money to pay off her debt.
4. Royal bribery
The Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, also known as the “Duchess of Debt,” owed roughly £600,000 ($889,000) in 2009 after her U.S.-based businesses Hartmoor collapsed.
In 2010, in an act of desperation, she was caught on video accepting a bribe of £500,000 ($750,000) from an undercover reporter in exchange for an introduction to her ex-husband, Prince Andrew. U.K. tabloids had a field day with the discovery.
By 2011, Ferguson was able to get out of debt due to compensation from a reality show on Oprah’s TV network and counseling from financial expert Suze Orman, according to the NY Post.
5. Teacher turned bank robber
In 2009, a Syracuse, New York, man robbed a Chase bank at gunpoint, leaving with $20,000 in tow. Police caught up with and arrested Mark S. Gurniak II, a local high school math teacher.
What caused this educator to turn into a bank-robbing criminal? He owed more than $9,000 in credit card and bank debts.
Apparently Gurniak, supporting a wife and daughter, felt there was no other way to pay back what he owed on a teacher’s salary. Locals were shocked to find out Gurniak was being charged with first-degree robbery.
Photo credits: goRillA-iNK/Deviant Art, hostingkartinok.com, mardecortesbaja.com, tattootatuagem.com.br, scaredmonkeys.net, oprah.com, cnycentral.com