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5 famous people who declared bankruptcy

On Behalf of | Mar 9, 2018 | Bankruptcy

If you are like many people in Louisiana, you have severe financial problems. You may have lost your job, or your salary may be far less than what it once was. In the meantime, you may have accumulated substantial debt that you now find you cannot pay. You may be trying to make mortgage payments, car payments, credit card payments, payday loan payments and a variety of other payments all at the same time. Your money simply will not stretch that far, so you may be thinking about filing bankruptcy as a last resort.

However, if you are like many Louisianans in another respect, you may feel embarrassed or even ashamed at the thought of filing bankruptcy. You may think that it will mark you as a deadbeat, or at least, someone who cannot handle financial affairs. While this is understandable, you should not feel this way. Bankruptcy is not a punishment or cause for shame. Many famous people have filed bankruptcy and survived it quite well, with no loss of reputation or future earning power. Here are five of them.

1. Donald Trump

You may not be aware that our president filed bankruptcy six times between 1991 and 2009. Actually, several of his companies did. The Trump Taj Mahal casino filed first in 1991. Five more of his casinos and hotels filed bankruptcy over the following 18 years. Obviously, this string of business bankruptcies did not prevent Mr. Trump from becoming President of the United States. Indeed, he maintains that bankruptcies are strategic business decisions. As he said in one of his interviews, “Basically I’ve used the laws of the country to my advantage … just as many, many others on top of the business world have.”

2. Mark Twain

Over a century ago, Samuel Clemens, the famous author who wrote “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” under his pen name of Mark Twain, declared personal bankruptcy during America’s financial panic of 1893. He had invested in a new kind of typesetter, and his investment did not work out. In addition, his publishing house suffered cash flow problems.

3. Marvin Gaye

Who can forget the incredible voice of Motown legend Marvin Gaye? His records and albums sold millions of copies back in the 1960s and 1970s. Nevertheless, he declared bankruptcy in 1976, mostly due to the $600,000 in alimony he owed his ex-wife Anna Gordy, sister of Barry Gordy, Motown Records’ legendary founder. Ultimately Marvin promised to pay Anna all the royalties from his next album, but he got his revenge in a way. Not only did he entitle his album “Here, My Dear,” the title of one of the songs was “You Can Leave, But It’s Going to Cost You.”

4. Kim Basinger

Famous Oscar-winning actress Kim Basinger had to file bankruptcy in the 1990s after she refused to star in “Boxing Helena,” a movie she had agreed to appear in. She subsequently had to pay $8.1 million to Main Line Pictures. Interestingly, one of the assets she liquidated in her bankruptcy was her share in the town of Braselton, GA. She and some other investors had bought the town so they could turn it into a tourist attraction.

5. 50 Cent

Famous hip-hop artist 50 Cent once said he would “get rich or die tryin,’” He got rich, with a net worth of about $155 million in 2015. And he did not die. But he did file bankruptcy when a woman sued him for allegedly posting a sex tape of her online, and some of his investments went sour. After reorganizing his finances and coming up with a plan while in bankruptcy to pay his creditors over $23 million, 50 Cent successfully concluded his bankruptcy in 2016.

So take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. These people emerged from bankruptcy with their heads held high, and so can you.

Source: Money & Career CheatSheet: “Rich Gone Broke: 14 Celebrities Who Went Bankrupt,” Megan Elliott, Dec. 22, 2017

Disclaimer – Attorney Advertising. Under Federal Law, we have been designated a Debt Relief Agency and we help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code. This information is not intended as legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is created. Results may vary. Results not guaranteed. Dramatization – not actual clients in pictures and videos. Thomas C. McBride, attorney in Alexandria, LA.