The Rise and Fall of Fame: Celebs Who Went Bankrupt and Their Comeback Stories

In the world of entertainment, fame and fortune can be fleeting. Many celebrities have experienced the highs and lows of the industry, with some hitting rock bottom and struggling to stay afloat. Here are the stories of a few celebs who went bankrupt, but ultimately found their way back to success.

The Bankruptcy Club

1. MC Hammer

MC Hammer rose to fame in the late 1980s and early 1990s with his hit song “U Can’t Touch This” and his signature dance moves. But by the mid-1990s, his extravagant spending and lavish lifestyle had caught up with him. In 1996, he filed for bankruptcy with debts of around $13 million. However, he managed to turn his fortunes around by reinventing himself as a tech entrepreneur and social media influencer.

2. Toni Braxton

Grammy Award-winning singer Toni Braxton was at the top of her game in the 1990s, with hits like “Un-Break My Heart” and “Breathe Again.” However, she filed for bankruptcy twice, first in 1998 and again in 2010, due to financial mismanagement and health issues. Despite the setbacks, Braxton has continued to make music and has even branched out into other areas, such as reality TV and Broadway.

3. Mike Tyson

Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson was one of the most feared and dominant athletes of the 1980s and 1990s. However, his personal life was plagued by controversy and legal troubles. In 2003, he filed for bankruptcy with debts of around $27 million. Tyson has since rebuilt his career through various ventures, including a one-man show and a cannabis business.

Making a Comeback

4. Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart was once the queen of home decor and cooking, with a media empire that included TV shows, magazines, and products. However, in 2004, she was convicted of insider trading and served time in prison. Despite the setback, she managed to rebuild her brand and is now a successful TV personality, author, and businesswoman.

5. Robert Downey Jr.

Actor Robert Downey Jr. had a promising career in the 1980s and 1990s, starring in films like “Less Than Zero” and “Chaplin.” However, he struggled with addiction and legal troubles, which led to several stints in rehab and jail. After getting sober in the early 2000s, Downey Jr. made a triumphant comeback with his role as Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

6. Drew Barrymore

Actress Drew Barrymore was a child star who struggled with addiction and personal problems in her teens and early 20s. She went to rehab at age 13 and again at age 14, and was emancipated from her parents at age 15. However, she managed to turn her life around and has since become a successful actress, producer, and talk show host.


These celebs who went bankrupt and made comebacks show that even the biggest setbacks can be overcome with determination and resilience. While bankruptcy can be a daunting and difficult experience, it doesn’t have to be the end of the road. With hard work and a little bit of luck, anyone can make a successful comeback.

Author Profile

Dan Dunn
Dan Dunn
Executive Managing editor

Editor and Admin at MarkMeets since Nov 2012. Columnist, reviewer and entertainment writer and oversees all of the section's news, features and interviews. During his career, he has written for numerous magazines.

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