There are many perks to being the rich and the famous. One downside, however, is that when you find yourself in financial strains, the entire world knows it. When you’re a celebrity, there’s nothing that’s off limits, including your bank account and status with the IRS. Check out these nine celebrities who found themselves dealing with very public financial woes in 2013, proving that with more money most certainly comes more problems.
Uncle Sam and the state of California chased down the New Orleans rapper to slap him with liens for unpaid taxes from 1999 and 2000, totaling more than $237,000. Consider this latest penalty pocket change compared to the $1 million tax lien he was hit with in 2000 that resulted in a series of lawsuits and the selling of his No Limit Record Label and Baton Rouge recording studio.
Hammer and his wife Stephanie were charged with failing to pay nearly $800,000 in back taxes from 1996 and 1997. The pricey bill is just the latest episode in a series of financial troubles endured by the “Can’t Touch This Rapper.” In 1996, he filed for bankruptcy after amassing $13 million in debt.
Ms. Lauryn Hill intentional tax evasion with the IRS got so messy that she was sentenced to three months in prison, in addition to being forced to tour and record a new album to make more capital to pay off her debt. According to reports, the singer owed more than $2.3 million over the span of five years.
Mary J. Blige
This year, Mary J. Blige was hit with a $3.4 million federal tax lien by the IRS, which claimed the Queen of Hip-Hop & Soul had not paid her income taxes in years. This came after she and her husband were sued for defaulting on a $2.2 million loan.
This year Ja Rule was released from federal prison after serving over 3 years for a joint sentence of gun possession and tax evasion. The rapper (real name Jeffrey Atkins) failed to pay $1.1 million in taxes - a price that cost him his freedom. Thankfully, Ja Rule has turned his life around and even became a born again Christian.
Though he’s currently serving up to 33 years in prison, O.J. Simpson is facing financial hiccups from behind bars. The former NFL star faced foreclosure on his Florida home after his daughter allegedly failed to pay the mortgage. The home was sold in auction at $655,000, which is nearly $100,000 more than what Simpson paid for it in 2000.
Like his fellow New York MC Ja Rule, Fat Joe was also on the IRS’ naughty list. The Bronx rapper was sentenced to four months in prison this year after failing to file his federal taxes for two years, owing more than $1 million. He was also fined $15,000. Guess these rappers love to learn the hard way.
Though the legendary Dionne Warwick had a great year by being honored at the 2013 Soul Train Awards, the singer didn’t have the greatest year when it came to her finances. Warwick reportedly owed more than $10 million in taxes. Her publicist blamed the matter on “mismanagement” and that the singer had paid most of her backed taxes and only had to interest left to pay.
Aside from the personal and family drama he endured this past year, football star Terrell Owens faced a tax lien for $430,000. The good news is that he was able to pay it off. Owens later sued his former agent for $6.5 million for negligence and bad financial advisement, and causing him to lose nearly $5 million.