Johnny Depp and Other Stars With Serious Debt Problems
Johnny Depp, the fifth highest-paid actor in Hollywood, earned $48 million in 2016, according to Forbes’ estimates. But the millions the Pirates of the Caribbean star is bringing in aren’t enough to keep him afloat if the stories about his financial woes are true. How can a man who reportedly earned hundreds of millions of dollars in the past decade be broke?
Well, it’s easier to understand once you realize Depp was also spending $2 million a month to maintain his lavish lifestyle, including $30,000 on wine alone. Combine that with personal problems and conflicts with his managers, and you have a recipe for financial disaster.
Depp’s fiscal problems appear to be serious, but he’s hardly the only celebrity who has run into money troubles. We’ve told you before about the ones who’ve declared bankruptcy, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Depp and these 14 other stars might have big paychecks, but that hasn’t stopped them from developing serious debt problems.
1. Nicolas Cage
Owed $14 million to the IRS
Nicolas Cage’s money troubles are the stuff of Hollywood legend. The actor owed $14 million to the IRS at one point, according to ABC News, though he’s managed to pay off a big chunk of that bill.
Like Depp, extravagant spending sank the National Treasure star. Among the things he blew his cash on were a collection of shrunken heads, a dinosaur skull, a Gulfstream jet, a variety of exotic pets, the first Superman comic, and a pyramid-shaped tombstone in New Orleans, per Thrillist.
But the real cause of his financial downfall was his real estate portfolio, according to The Street. The Oscar-winner bought multiple castles and private islands at the peak of the housing bubble but couldn’t keep up with the payments.
Next: A Beverly Hill 90210 star who’s been sued twice by American Express
2. Tori Spelling
$259,000 tax lien
Celebrity gossip hounds can’t help but gawk at Tori Spelling’s financial woes. A court recently ordered the former Beverly Hill 90210 star and her husband, Dean McDermott, to pay $220,000 to City National Bank after they reneged on a 2010 loan. The couple also faced a $259,000 tax lien in 2014 and were sued twice in 2016 by American Express because of unpaid credit card bills.
The reality TV star has said her privileged upbringing makes it hard to live within her means. Her dad, producer Aaron Spelling, was one of the richest men in Hollywood before he died in 2006. But Tori only got $800,000 from his estate.
“I grew up rich beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. I never knew anything else,” she wrote in her 2013 memoir, Spelling It Like It Is. “Even when I try to embrace a simpler lifestyle, I can’t seem to let go of my expensive tastes.”
Next: How bad is Johnny Depp’s financial picture?
3. Johnny Depp
$40 million tax debt
Depp’s debt totals $40 million, according to a lawsuit the actor filed in January 2017 against his former managers. The actor blames his advisers for not paying his taxes on time and taking out high-interest loans without telling him. The managers countersued, saying the Alice in Wonderland star alone is to blame for his money misery.
The Hollywood Reporter has a detailed report on the “insane story” of Depp’s financial issues that’s worth a read. In short: Depp’s advisers claim they urged the actor several years ago to scale back his spending and sell some of his assets, such as a French chateau or some of his art collection. Depp ignored them.
Depp has said the managers are full of it. “Why didn’t they drop me as a client if I was so out of control?” he told The Wall Street Journal. But he didn’t exactly apologize for his spending. “It’s my money,” he said. “If I want to buy 15,000 cotton balls a day, it’s my thing.”
Next: This celebrity is $53 million in debt