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Updated: Jan 17

Divorce can be messy, but when you live in the limelight, all that drama ends up in the public eye. In June 2016, Lisa Marie Presley, the only daughter of Elvis Presley, filed for divorce from her husband, Michael Lockwood. Lockwood demanded Presley pay his $450,000 in legal fees and provide $22,000 in monthly spousal support. In February 2018, a judge ordered Presley to pay $100,000 of Lockwood’s legal fees within 30 days. The rock n’ roll heiress claimed she would be unable to do so because she owed the IRS over $16.7 million in unpaid taxes from 2012 to 2015.

In addition to hundreds of thousands of dollars in credit card debt, court documents show Presley defaulted on the mortgage of the $6 million home she owns in the United Kingdom. This was shocking news considering Presley inherited her father’s $100 million estate in 1993 when she turned 25. Presley claimed the fortune had dwindled to $14,000. She also claimed that her financial distress was primarily due to the “reckless and negligent mismanagement and self-serving ambition” of her former business manager, Barry Siegel.

Presley is not the first celebrity to owe big bucks to the IRS or blame the loss of their fortune on poor money management. In 2009, Actor Nicolas Cage sued his former business manager for alleged mismanagement that cost him millions of dollars. However, regardless of who is to blame for the poor management of the Presley estate, Lisa Marie is still expected to pay off the debts and answer to the IRS for her unpaid income taxes.

MC Hammer who filed for bankruptcy in 1996, has faced similar tax problems. He might be known for singing, “U Can’t Touch This,” but the IRS thinks differently; they sued him for back taxes owed.

Moral of the story: It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, a commoner or a celebrity. If you don’t pay what’s owed to the IRS, they will find you, and you could end up in “Heartbreak Hotel.”

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