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(a.k.a Celebrity Money Madness)

With Halloween just around the corner, it can be a pretty scary time of year. When it comes to money, we have all had some frightening situations, but even the way celebrities choose to splash their cash can sometimes end up being more of a trick, that a treat.

Splashing the cash

I like to think, that if I ever became famous that I would not let the money change me. When I recently won the lottery, I still kept my feet on the ground. Granted it was only £10, but hey, a win is a win. For some celebrities, it seems when they become famous, the wealth often goes to their head, and they can end up crying all the way to the bank!

Take ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson. Nowadays, he may be better known for his role in the movies ‘Hangover’ and ‘Hangover II’ and for having a rather questionable facial tattoo, but once upon a time he was actually a pretty good boxer (when he wasn’t chewing people’s ears off – literally)! At the height of his career, he could command around $30 million for a single fight, which might explain why he went a bit crazy buying over 100 cars (when you can only really drive one at a time!), houses worth millions, and even tigers (as you do) which needed $1,000 day in food (I thought they all ate Frosties like Tony!!). Unsurprisingly, within a short amount of time, he found himself in $23 million of debt owing both the US and British governments millions as well as to law firms, and limo services. He isn’t the only one, remember 90’s rapper, MC Hammer? He spent money like it was going out of fashion, much like his baggy trousers. Within just six years he found himself in bankruptcy court, and when you look at what he spent, you can see why. Let me ‘break it down’ for you, he managed to spend $130 million building a house which employed 200 staff and also invested money in buying thoroughbred racehorses. Shame he didn’t spend a bit more getting a decent stylist!

Actor Nicholas Cage has found some weird and wonderful to spend his money in the past. He has bought a private island (nice), a haunted murder mansion (handy for Halloween), and a collection of shrunken heads (um, why?!), but the most random purchase was a 67-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus Rex skull which he bought for a massive $276,000 (again, just why??).

Comic ‘Tax’ Relief

Apparently, according to Benjamin Franklin, the only things you can guarantee in life are death and taxes. Many celebrities in recent years have been found to get caught up in tax-avoidance schemes which tend to backfire on them. Comedian Jimmy Carr was laughing on the other side of his (quite smug) face when he was found out for being involved in one of these schemes and was even denounced by David Cameron as doing something that was ‘morally wrong’. Funnily enough, when Cameron himself was found out for being involved in something equally dodgy with offshore bank accounts, he kept schtum! Even pop stars Take That showed that they’re ‘not invincible’ after pouring £66 million into a scheme that was meant to invest in the creative industries. Guess they will definitely ‘never forget’ to pay their taxes again after they were stung with a £20 million bill by HMRC.

Where there’s a will

When it comes to the death bit, even the likes of Hollywood actors don’t always get a happy ending. When Batman Returns actor Heath Ledger died at just 28 years old in 2008, he had a few different drafts of wills, but not all were signed, which meant not only did his death cause heartache for those he left behind but also headache and a messy legal battle trying to work out who would get what.

Now obviously, I am not one to take pleasure out of other people’s pain (schadenfreude and all that) but I think it just goes to show that sometimes those with the most cents, don’t always have the most sense!!