With various media outlets reporting that Michael Jackson owes somewhere between $400 million and $500 million, his musical legacy isn’t the only thing he’s leaving behind.
While Jackson’s financial woes were unique in the sheer scale they encompassed, his bad habits are fairly common for businesses and individuals alike.
Here are just a few of the reasons how a man who amassed so much wealth could die owing so much:
Overspending. Michael Jackson was infamous for spending way more than he brought in. In fact, according to a forensic accountant who testified during Jackson’s 2005 trial, Michael spent $20-$30 million more per year than he brought in.
Unpaid bills and unfulfilled deals. While most people can relate to a few unpaid bills, a combination of Jackson’s failure to pay and/or live up to his end of arrangements resulted in a staggering number of lawsuits — currently almost 20. The suits were filed by almost everyone who did business with Jackson, including managers, producers, financial advisors, a Bahraini sheik (seriously), etc.
It would be interesting to see just how much of Jackson’s reported multimillion-dollar debt stemmed from legal fees, late penalties, interest, etc.