Michael Jackson: Overspending and Legal Debt

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The rise and fall of Michael Jackson has been well-documented, though the focus is usually on his legal troubles more than his financial ones. But the King of Pop went from one of the most iconic artists of all time — one that earned up to $100 million a year — to one that died deep in the red.

How did it happen? Jackson ate away at his fortune with real estate spending — including millions for Neverland Ranch — and funding $65 million worth of art projects. Ongoing legal fees to combat the scandal over his child molestation charges in 2005 also took a toll on his finances, totaling $20 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Despite his financial mishaps while alive, Michael Jackson’s brand remains strong to this day. Through rebuilding his legacy, Michael Jackson’s executors have brought his posthumous net worth to $500 million, making his estate the richest one on our list.

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