In the world of Hollywood, people come from all backgrounds. Some, like Miley Cyrus, come from a showbiz family, and already have the money and backing to help them start their careers. Others, like Jay-Z, start out dirt poor, and build their careers from scratch. This rags-to-riches story is fairly common in the celeb world, but what about those who chart the opposite route? Some celebrities were once worth millions of dollars, but their savings have steadily diminished in the last year, leaving them bankrupt or almost bankrupt. Here are five celebrities who lost a whole lot of money in 2013.
Active since 1988, Kelly Rutherford has starred in a few major roles, like Stephanie Whitmore on Generations, Megan Lewis on Melrose Place, and her biggest role – as Lily van der Woodson on Gossip Girl. Because she plays an Upper East Side resident on the show, often replete with diamonds, it’s hard to imagine that Rutherford’s current net worth is -$2 million. In June, 2013, Rutherford filed for bankruptcy, claiming debts of $2 million, a large portion of which were due to legal fees from her widely publicized custody battle with ex-husband Daniel Giersch. To her dismay, the court ruled in Giersch’s favor. Poor Kelly Rutherford. She suffered both financially and emotionally this year.
The English singer is best known as a band member of Atomic Kitten. She left the group for more than a decade after her pregnancy in late 2000, rejoining when the group reformed in 2012. Katona and her ex-husband, Mark Croft, were held hostage in their home in 2007, and suffered a loss of about £150,000. Then, in August, 2008, after she was unable to pay her taxes of about £82,000, Katona was declared bankrupt by the London High Court. As a result, she lost several contracts, as well as her magazine column and MTV shows, incurring major financial losses. She bounced back, but not for long. In July, 2013, she again filed for bankruptcy. Her wedding to fiancé, George Kay, and her plans to have a fifth baby were naturally postponed.
Although she once declared herself the world’s first supermodel in a conversation with Glen Beck, Janice Dickinson is best known as the bitchy judge on the first four cycles of America’s Next Top Model. She eventually quit the show to start her own, The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency. Dickinson’s prime was in the 70s and 80s, when she was rightly regarded a great model. It seems, however, that Dickinson never truly accepted the idea of ageing. In attempts to recapture the glory of her youth, she managed to rack up debts to plastic surgeons and dermatologists. She owed money to her landlord, as well as the IRS. In April, 2013, Dickinson filed for bankruptcy, claiming to be almost $1 million in debt. However, thanks to wealthy fiancé, Dr. Robert Gerner, her financial travails didn’t stop her from moving into a $1.4 million home in Beverly Hills.
Child actor Lindsay Lohan starred in some famous movies like The Parent Trap and Life Size, and then grew up to star in some great teen chick flicks like Freaky Friday and Mean Girls. Everything was great for LiLo, until two DUI incidents in 2007, which led to probation and three visits to rehab. In an effort to get her career back on track, she started acting again. But from 2010 to 2013, she was back in rehab three more times, and was involved in much legal drama, due to her public misdemeanors and party-girl image. In October 2011, she was close to bankruptcy, but was then offered $1 million to pose nude in Playboy for a Marilyn Monroe-inspired spread. In 2012, the IRS seized her bank accounts when she failed to pay back the $233,000 she owed in taxes. Charlie Sheen tried to help her out, with a $100,000 – but it wasn’t enough. She was paid a further $2 million in August 2013, to participate in a series of interviews with Oprah, but most of it was used to pay off taxes and rehab fees.
Child star, Amanda Bynes, who appeared on hit shows like All That and The Amanda Show, and later in teen movies like She’s The Man and Easy A, had it all her way until about two years ago. Her run-ins with the law started in March 2012, when she earned a ticket for driving while on the phone. A month later she was arrested and charged with DUI. She was also charged with two separate hit-and-run incidents, and though those charges were dropped after out-of-court settlements with the victims, Bynes’ driver’s license was suspended. That didn’t deter her. In May 2013, she was in trouble again for driving with a suspended license, and faced three years of probation. But the major damage started in May 2013, when she arrested for possession of marijuana, after which she underwent a psychiatric evaluation. In July 2013, Bynes was hospitalized, for a 72-hour mental evaluation, when she attempted to start a small fire in a stranger’s driveway.
When she was deemed mentally unfit, her parents sought court approval to take control of her finances. They were shocked to learn that Bynes had blown through $1.2 million in 2013 alone, all without a consistent source of income. She was released from her parents’ care in December, and enrolled in a fashion design school in LA this year.
It just goes to show that having millions of dollars is no guarantee of a soft landing. Climbing the ladder of success is a slow process, but if you are not smart, coming down is fast, and often painful.