Top 5 Forgotten Celebrity Bankruptcies
5. Kerry Katona
One time pop star, reality television icon and hawker of frozen foods Kerry Katona was declared bankrupt in 2008. This was the result of unpaid tax and regardless of her best efforts to cut the mammoth tax bill from £417,000 to £82,000 Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs thought this to be too little, too late. Katona left girl group Atomic Kitten in 2001 but celebrity status returned in 2004, eating creepy crawlies in ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here. She reportedly earns £750,000 a year from her Iceland adverts and £400,000 as a columnist for OK! Magazine. In addition to this, big spending Kerry supplements her income with an estimated £250,000 from her fitness DVD, £100,000 for reality show My Fair Kerry, the relatively paltry £25,000 winnings from I’m A Celebrity and the far more substantial £1m received for her autobiography, “Too Much Too Young.” But, as with much of the transient celebrity lifestyle, Kerry proves just how easy come, easy go the big bucks can be. After all, Kerry’s bouts of retail therapy have included a £1.5m luxury home in Cheshire, a £115,000 Lamborghini for hubby Mark, a £90,000 Range Rover, a £70,000 Porsche Cayenne GTS.
4. Stephen Baldwin
The Usual Suspects star Stephen Baldwin, brother of more famous Alec and yet another I’m A Celebrity alumni, filed for bankruptcy revealing debts amounting to $2.3m (£1.4m). During the filming of the US version of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, Baldwin reportedly received more than 125 insect bites and left the Costa Rican set after contracting an infection. Having obviously had his fill of bloodsuckers, Stephen decided it was time to face up to his mounting debt. Owing $1.2m (£733,000) on two mortgages, on the same property in up-state New York, Stephen petitioned for bankruptcy. In addition to this, the 43 year old Baldwin accumulated about $70,000 (£42,766) worth of credit card debt. A born-again Christian, Baldwin co-hosts a radio programme with evangelist Kevin McCullough and has recently released a novel.
3. George Best
The phenomenon of the superstar celebrity footballer began with George Best. At the height of his fame, legend has it Best’s life was a non-stop party with the world’s most beautiful women, fastest cars and seemingly boundless excess. The average footballer’s wages were somewhere in the region of £75 a week, at this time though, George Best was taking home about £3500 a week. Essentially, George just didn’t know what to do with it. He’s famously quoted as saying ‘I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.’ However, neither the money nor George’s body could keep up with his rampant over-indulgence. To fill the void left by professional football, George began gambling. He was declared bankrupt in November 1982 owing a grand total of £22,000 to his creditors. By the time he died, Best’s estate owed the private Cromwell Hospital in west London £300,000 for his treatment. His flat in Chelsea still had an outstanding £100,000 mortgage too.
2. Kim Bassinger
Debtors don’t often come any more glamorous than Oscar-winning movie star Kim Basinger. The seeds of Kim’s financial undoing were sown in 1989. Basinger decided to buy the town of Braselton in Georgia for an estimated $20 million ( £12.5m). Basinger had filed for Bankruptcy just four years prior to this. A judge had ordered her to pay Main Line Pictures $8.1m for backing out of a verbal commitment to star in Boxing Helena just four weeks before shooting. Kim made an appeal and reached a settlement with Main Line, selling her interest in Braselton for just $1 million to help cover the cost. The late eighties also saw Basinger face a bitter divorce from first husband, makeup artist Ron Britton. Britton had also been her manager and demanded a settlement estimated to be somewhere in the region of £15 million. At the time of her bankruptcy filing, Basinger’s monthly expenses topped $43,000. This included $6,100 a month for clothes and $7,000 a month for pet care. Happily, Basinger rebounded in 1994 with marriage to actor Alec Baldwin.
1. Mike Tyson
Former Heavyweight Champion of the World, Mike Tyson, the possessor of a seemingly bottomless money pit, has made about $400 million over the past 20 years. Tyson however, managed to spend every penny of this vast fortune. Not to make excuses for the guy, but the as the recipient of an apparently endless stream of credit, you can see how his head was turned. Looking to treat himself to an early Christmas present, Tyson walked into a Vegas jeweller on the 22nd of December and walked out with a $173,706 gold chain lined with 80 carats worth of diamonds. It is now listed among the $23m in debt specified in his bankruptcy petition. Naturally, he didn’t have to pay for it. Although Mike could once command $30million for a night’s work, any future earnings, plus the proceeds from the sale of his Connecticut mansion, will go to service a $9m divorce settlement. Tyson’s bankruptcy also outlines a host of other debt. For example, the Internal Revenue Service is owed $13.4m and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs are owed almost £8m. He owes seven law firms more than $600,000. Without a hint of irony, Tyson’s former financial manager Barry Hankerson is owed $500,000. Also, music producer Jimmy Henchmen is owed $450,000 and former trainer Stacey McKinley, is owed $800,000.