Living with credit, Protecting yourself

Celebs have credit card problems, too

Emily Crone

Celebrities often seem otherworldly, immune from the troubles of average citizens. Their lives appear so simple and luxurious. While they make more money in a year than most of us will probably make in our lifetime, they aren’t even close to being exempt from everyday problems, especially when it comes to credit cards. Here are some examples:

• Mischa Barton of “The O.C.” reportedly went to the Apple Store in Pittsburgh on December 2007, and was shocked to learn that her credit card was declined.
• In late 2005, actor Will Smith’s identity was stolen and $30,000 was racked up on credit cards in his name.
• Tween sensation Miley Cyrus lost her first credit card after having it for only two days.
• Oil heir Jason Davis’s credit card was denied at a hotel in Los Angeles in January 2007. TMZ reports that he said, “My card had an issue.”
• Actress Brittany Murphy’s British writer-director husband found his citizenship to the United States delayed because he was charged with alleged credit card fraud in 2005. A Circuit Court in Virginia ordered the state to destroy the charges in July 2007. Innocent? Or off the hook because of celeb status? Hmmm …
• Heiress/socialite Paris Hilton, singers Patti Labelle, Whitney Houston and Jennifer Lopez were some of many celebrities targeted by a ring of identity thieves in Philadelphia in 2007. The ring used celebrities’ personal information to make fake checks and apply for credit cards.
• In October 2006, “Baywatch” star David Hasselhoff’s estranged wife claims that during their marriage, he spent $100,000 a month on credit card expenses.
• The wife of rocker Ozzy Osbourne, Sharon, gave a credit card to an interior decorator to pay the bill of more than $25,000 in October 2007. The card was declined, reportedly because it was a U.K. card, so Sharon gave the woman another card, which the decorator said was also declined. But when Sharon checked her statements, she realized she’d been double charged. Sharon had the charges reversed and sent the decorator a check.
• In 1999, Elton John found himself in over his head with debt and had to ask for $40 million in loans. His monthly credit card expenses were reported to average $400,000 a month, and his accountants said his wealth was in danger from the massive spending.
• According to Motley Fool, celebrity credit scores stink.

Below are a few other interesting celeb stories involving credit cards:
• Our favorite train wreck, Britney Spears, bought a Yorkie for $3,000 with her credit card at a pet shop in Bel Air, Calif., last July.
• Victoria Beckham, aka Posh Spice and wife of soccer star David Beckham, was given a $5 million credit limit at Beverly Hills’ Neiman Marcus in August 2007. She’s reportedly been spending thousands of dollars there since.
• In October 2007, when Spice Girl Mel B and her husband Stephen were leaving a club, a homeless man asked them for cash. Stephen said he had no cash, but offered to take him to the gas station next door to buy him food with his credit card.
• Covering Anna Nicole Smith’s funeral was a bit pricey for the media. The gated community in the Bahamas that contained the church where her March 2007 services were held charged $2,000 per camera and $5,000 per live feed. Before the funeral, interested parties had to submit a form with an authorized credit card number, thus rendering unto Visa the things which are Visa’s.

Here’s a link to one of our articles about Paris Hilton’s credit card problems.

Join the Discussion

We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, we ask that you do not disclose confidential or personal information such as your bank account numbers, social security numbers, etc. Keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

The editorial content on is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company's business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.