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Learning from the Stars: Celebrities Fess Up to the Worst Money Mistakes They Ever Made – Part I

Most people admire everything their favorite celebrity does and looks up to them with hope, inspiration, and at times, also for direction. However, celebs are just like us ordinary people too and are vulnerable to debt, financial trouble. Celebrities are not that gullible, or at least not most of them. There are those who trust too easily and offer some scammers a window of opportunity to decamp with their hard-earned money. Some others have only themselves to blame for their financial trouble. All we can do is learn from the financial faux-pas made by our stars and hope to never commit them ourselves.

Billy Joel admitted knowing nothing about his money matters 

The rocker, by his own admission, stayed away from financial matters on purpose, as it tended to mess up his ‘artistry.’ He always felt insulted when people accused him of grinding it out just for the money. But he ended up with regrets about his forced ignorance as Frank Weber, his former brother-in-law and manager siphoned off $90 million from him. When the matter was taken to court, Joel was awarded damages to the tune of $2 million while Weber coughed up $250,000 before he declared bankruptcy in 1990.

Jennifer Lawrence “failed as a negotiator” and that cost her money

After release of her 2013 film American Hustle, for which Lawrence secured an Oscar, leaked emails and communication between her and Sony Pictures revealed she was paid much less than what her male co-stars made. When she learned of this, she got mad at herself because she had failed as a negotiator as she gave up too easily. Not fighting for better pay came from wanting to be liked and not be ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled’. This fine idea evaporated when she saw the leaked payroll and realized that Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, and Jeremy Renner, all succeeded in negotiating better deals for themselves. They were tactical and fierce, while she lost her fair share.

Liv Tyler’s dermatologist stole from her credit card

Unlike the celebrities on this list, Lord of the Rings actress Liv Tyler did not have her financial advisor or manager to blame for her lost money but a lady named Mari Gabriela Hashemipour, who was also her dermatologist and a well known skin expert with big named clients like Jennifer Anniston and Cher. But Ms. Hashemipour’s only interest was not just in her clients’ skin, she also got her hands on their their credit card particulars. Tyler’s managers thankfully noticed that she was being charged for items the actress never purchased. It was Hashemipour doing all the extra shopping.

Ben Stiller trusted his financial manager a little too much

The comedian hired Dana Giachetto, a professional financial advisor, to look after his money and investments but Giachetto had other objectives in mind and made off with Stiller’s $250,000, apart from $10 million that he took from other clients. Giachetto was finally sentenced to only 3 years in a penitentiary, a rather light sentence considering how much money he cheated out of those who trusted him with their funds.

Keifer Sutherland lost money to fake investments

The former 24 star may have portrayed a smart and observant anti-terrorist officer, saving the world in just a day, but Michael Wayne Carr managed to make Sutherland poorer by $869,000 by convincing him to invest his money in selling steers. It was later found out that Carr was never even into the steers business. For cheating, he now faces several felony charges.

A financial planner cost Uma Thurman a million bucks

The star of Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction may intimidate everyone by waving her katana, signifying that he really shouldn’t be messed with but actress Uma Thurman was duped big time. She lost $1 million and the person who cheated her was financial planner, a man named Kenneth Starr. But Thurman was not the only client Starr handled and cheated. The slick financial planner cheated a majority of his clients and made off with $33 million. For the illegal and deceitful financial activities, Starr was sentenced to spend 90 months in prison.

Sting should have run a background check on his manager

Music icon Sting must just be too rich because he did not even notice that his financial advisor for about 15 years, Keith Moore, was blatantly stealing him blind. Sting had hired Moore to work on his financial portfolio but he carefully started taking money out from the many accounts maintained by Sting and invested the money in various shady deals and also satisfied his personal financial hungers. People were amazed at how Sting was unable to detect the $9.8 million theft earlier.

Elton John’s Management agency cost him a fortune  

It is said that legendary singer Sir Elton John is a frivolous spender but when the news broke that he lost a reported $29 million because of mismanagement, it shocked everybody. John, of course sued the management agency, Price Waterhouse Coopers and Andrew Hadyon, who was hired by him to make his money grow. By moving to court, he wanted to retrieve the money, but the lack of any compelling evidence led to the case being thrown out. To add insult to the injury, John paid $10 million as legal fees to his counsel.

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