A lot of people think that celebrities shouldn’t have any financial woes because they are simply rolling in the dough. What most people fail to remember is that with millions of dollars come millions of problems — ones that can land even the most successful celebrities in hot financial water.
Singer Mary J. Blige, perhaps best known for her nine Grammy Awards, has already been sued once this month for allegedly defaulting on a $500,000 loan from Bank of America. Now the singer has been hit with a $901,769.65 tax lien in New Jersey.
Last November, Blige and her husband, Martin Isaacs, were sued after failing to pay off a $2.2 million loan. Signature Bank, which filed that lawsuit, is not only looking to collect the original loan amount, but almost $60,000 in interest as well.
On top of all of this, Blige’s charity, The Mary J. Blige and Steve Stoute Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now, has been accused of mishandling money and cheating scholarship students. The foundation was sued for failing to pay back a $250,000 loan — leaving the singer with over $3 million in unpaid loans.
All of this seems to lead to one question: How? For a nine-time Grammy Award winner who has been around for years, one would think that Blige would have learned how to manage her money — or at least hire someone to do so for her.
Sadly, she isn’t the only one.
In Good Company
Music producer Scott Storch who worked with performers such as Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Fat Joe and Beyoncé, to name a few, is best known not for his success, but his demise. He lost $30 million in six months, and saw his entire life taken from him — his car, his house, his private jet. His main problem was his drug addiction — and that landed him in serious debt.
So how does this happen? How does a multimillionaire get into such serious debt and not realize it until it’s too late? And why aren’t they spending just a small percentage of that money on someone who knows what they are doing, such as a CPA or personal financial adviser?
Diamond Teeth and $100,000 Leggings
Perhaps the mindset many people take is that the more money they have, the more careless they can be with it. Celebrities especially are famous for blowing their money on elaborate purchases, whether it be diamond teeth (Kanye West), a $100,000 pair of leggings (Beyoncé) or $85,000 for a fish pond (Michael Vick).
While it is humbling to see that even the wealthiest celebrities don’t always make the best financial decisions and can end up in debt just like “normal” Americans, it still doesn’t change one fact: Debt in America, whether it is millions or simply hundreds of dollars, is something that plagues lives daily. Maybe we all need to get some professional help with our debt.
Bill “No Pay” Fay has lived a meager financial existence his entire life. He started writing/bragging about it in 2012, helping birth Debt.org into existence as the site’s original “Frugal Man.” Prior to that, he spent more than 30 years covering the high finance world of college and professional sports for major publications, including the Associated Press, New York Times and Sports Illustrated. His interest in sports has waned some, but he is as passionate as ever about not reaching for his wallet. Bill can be reached at [email protected].