You’d think that once you make it on TV or in movies, you’ve got it made in the shade. But you just has to remember what happened to Nic Cage to know that isn’t the case. You need to watch your finances just like anyone else, lest you end up selling oranges on the freeway.
Not so long ago it seemed like Mischa Barton was poised to be another “it” girl. Unfortunately for her, she fell victim to what a lot of young actors fall victim to: the parental manager. According to the Hollywood Reporter Barton’s mother is a financial vampire who would lie to her about her salary for jobs, telling Mischa she was getting paid much less than the actual amount and keeping the difference for herself, then charging her 10 percent of what was left over as a management fee. Barton also claims her mother kicked her out of her own home, an eight-bedroom, eleven-bathroom mansion, and took out loans against the property, after having co-signed for the property so her name would be on the paperwork. She went on to establish businesses in her daughter’s name, taking all the profits for herself and leaving Mischa with nothing.
2. Tila Tequila
Tila Tequila has had a lot of ups and downs in her life. She rose to fame as a Myspace celebrity and a car circuit model before hitting reality TV. From there she appeared on a number of shows and gained a lot of notoriety for being the crazy, bubbly hot chick, and she made a good deal of cash along the way. Fast forward to 2016 and Tequila has been begging fans on Twitter for financial assistance in paying for furniture, claiming she’s broke. Her last stint on TV was in 2015’s Celebrity Big Brother, for which she made $175,000. It seems likely Tequila’s been living a bit beyond her means. In a GoFundMe she set up, she says her rent is $4,500 per month and she needs to move and buy new furniture. Fortunately for Tequila she still has enough fans to support her and actually met her funding goal, this despite the fact the last time she made any big headlines was for writing a blog entry on how she could sympathize with Hitler.
3. Fantasia Barrino
Fantasia Barrino was one of the early successes from American Idol, or at least it seemed that way at first. The singer took the crown in season three of the show and no doubt she was hoping to duplicate Kelly Clarkson’s immense success. With two albums and a tour under her belt, things seemed good at first, but Barrino says she was taken advantage of by management who left her penniless. Eventually Barrino had to sign her mansion over to the bank to avoid being foreclosed on, according to TMZ. In the midst of it all her own father filed a lawsuit against her for $10 million for defaming him in her book. All of this and other personal issues took their toll and eventually led to a suicide attempt. Hopefully Barrino is a little more cautious with who she trusts these days as she moves forward with plans to release a gospel album.
4. Chris Tucker
After the success of films like Friday and Rush Hour, it seemed like Chris Tucker was going to be the next Eddie Murphy. Instead, Tucker became the next MC Hammer. At one point Tucker had racked up over $14 million in back taxes. An article in Forbes detailed how the IRS hit Tucker with a $14.5 million lien, which he eventually worked out a deal to pay off, but it suggested heavily that Tucker had been letting his finances run wild for years. In 2015 Tucker planed a Netflix comeback special and ended up being sued over it by fellow comedian Terry Hughes who said he worked for Tucker for years but never got paid. Tucker counter-sued and early in 2016 the case was settled out of court.
5. Sly Stone
From the late 1960s to the early 1980s, Sly and the Family Stone rocked out and rocked out hard. “Dance to the Music,” “Hot Fun in the Summertime” and “Everyday People” are classics that everyone recognizes even now, decades later. So what became of the legendary singer behind it all? The New York Post reported Stone had been living in a van for years when he was discovered in 2011, while an elderly couple made sure he ate at least a meal a day and their son worked as an assistant for him. Stone had lost everything to unscrupulous management and substance abuse. He says he spent a fortune on drugs but also stopped receiving royalties as a result of a shady deal with his manager who went on to defraud him. It seemed like a lucky break for Stone he won a judgment in 2015 against his manager for $5 million but that was lost when another judge discovered he had traded his rights to royalties for 50% ownership in a production company, meaning Stone is right back where he started.