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More stars file for bankruptcy


Laine Gordon

By Laine Gordon

4 min read

What do Mike Tyson and Dennis Rodman have in common? How about Perez Hilton and Donald Trump? Despite their fame a fortune these A-list celebrities have all graced the ‘B’ list at one point in their lives, famously filing for bankruptcy.

The latest star made infamous for her financial burden is English actress Martine McCutcheon, who hit the big time starring as Hugh Grant’s leading lady in the popular Christmas-themed romance Love Actually. The East Enders soap actress and one-time pop star – she topped the music charts in 1999 with her single ‘Perfect Moment’ – has been declared bankrupt, with the British tax collection department reportedly the largest creditor.

McCutcheon is not the first high-profile star to end up in money troubles, despite a successful and seemingly lucrative career.

Sports stars go bust

Some of the world’s highest-paid sports stars have come unstuck financially.

Former NBA player Dennis Rodman was declared bankrupt last year, owing more than $800,000 in child support to his third wife, TMZ reported.

Mike Tyson may have earned millions during his boxing career, but the former heavyweight champion quickly lost it all by 2003 when he filed for bankruptcy with about $27 million in unpaid bills.

Meanwhile in the footballing world, former England soccer player and Aston Villa star Lee Hendrie – who earned £24,000 (almost AU$40,000) a week at the peak of his career was declared bankrupt last year. Before him Irish footballing legend George Best, once said: “I spent 90 percent of my money on women, drink and fast cars. The rest I wasted.” He was declared bankrupt and his financial problems continued throughout his life.

Famous comebacks

Mario Lavandeira was forced to declare bankruptcy during his college years. While at New York University, Lavandeira filed due to unpaid credit card bills. He later changed his name and became successful as celebrity gossip columnist Perez Hilton.

Multi-billionaire Donald Trump has filed for corporate bankruptcy four times in 1991, 1992, 2004 and 2009. However, he has never filed for personal bankruptcy – which is an important distinction when considering his ability to emerge relatively unscathed, at least financially.

Even legendary talk-show host Larry King came close to ending his career after amassing huge debts and facing allegations of stealing from a business partner in the early 1970s. By 1978 he had to file for bankruptcy but went on to have a successful career.

Brian McFadden’s former wife and the mother of his two children, Kerry Katona, hit rock bottom and declared bankruptcy after failing to pay a hefty tax bill in 2008. But unlike Hilton, Trump and King, Katona’s comeback was more infamous than famous.

The former Atomic Kitten member and reality TV star came under fire again last month after it was announced she was to be the face of a short term loans service. Critics said it was ‘sad’ to see someone who has experienced the ‘misery’ of debt first hand publicising a company which was reportedly charging interest rates of 2680 percent on its loans.

Closer to home, Elle Macpherson’s sister Mimi declared bankruptcy after reportedly failing to pay $116,000 in architecture fees.

But you can be bankrupted for much less, as little as a few thousand dollars, if creditors join forces. In Australia, there were 31,515 new bankruptcies during the 12 months to June 2011, while business-related bankruptcy has claimed thousands of Australian firms.

If you’re struggling to meet financial commitments, such as repaying credit card debts or meeting home loan repayments immediately contact your lender or for further advice talk to a free financial counsellor.

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