Johnny Depp once spent $3 million to fire Hunter S. Thompson’s ashes out of a cannon. That and other over-the-top splurges (plus an expensive divorce from actress Amber Heard) have pushed the star of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise to the fiscal edge, according to Variety.
The revelations of Depp’s dismal financial situation came as part of a countersuit his former managers filed. Depp is suing those managers, saying they’re responsible for his money woes. To hear the managers tell it, the actor is on the brink of insolvency for a simple reason: He kept spending more than he was taking in.
“Depp, and Depp alone, is fully responsible for any financial turmoil he finds himself in today,” the former managers alleged. “He has refused to live within his means, despite … repeated warnings about his financial condition.”
If the Oscar-nominated actor ends up bankrupt, he’d be in some pretty famous company. From rapper 50 Cent to acclaimed author Mark Twain, there are plenty of other celebrities who’ve ended up bankrupt.
To the average person, it can be hard to fathom how hugely successful people can find themselves without a cent to their name. After all, Depp’s fortune was once estimated at more than $400 million. Still, wild spending combined with an expensive breakup can do a number on even the wealthiest person’s solvency. Other celebrities who declare bankruptcy might not really be flat broke. Some are likely using a bankruptcy filing as a business strategy (much like some companies file for bankruptcy as a way to restructure their business).
Here are 14 celebrities who have ended up bankrupt. No. 3 is an Oscar winner who was ordered to pay $8.1 million for backing out of a film, while problems for the No. 6 celebrity started with grand larceny charges.
1. 50 Cent
Back in May 2015, Forbes named 50 Cent one of the five wealthiest hip-hop artists, pegging his net worth at $155 million. But bad investments and a big lawsuit — he was ordered to pay $5 million to a woman who says he posted a sex tape of her online — put the rapper’s fortune in jeopardy.
The man who once promised to “get rich or die tryin'” filed for Chapter 11 protection in a Connecticut court, a move that allowed him to reorganize his finances while developing a plan to repay his creditors. At the time, he estimated his debt at between $10 million and $50 million and his assets in roughly the same range. In July 2016, he emerged from bankruptcy with a plan to repay more than $23 million in debt over the next five years.