How to Go Broke Like a Rock Star

The financial problems of celebrities, from Britney Spears to Annie Leibovitz, often hold lessons.

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Just say no. Alby Salaman, chair of Holland & Knight's private wealth services group for the mid-Atlantic region and lawyer to several NBA and NFL players, says his clients often get asked for money from friends. "They call in their chips. There are all sorts of distant relatives who have really sad luck stories," he says. Having a financial adviser can help because the celebrity can say, "I'd like to give you the money, but I've been with this adviser for a really long time, and he'd kill me if I did that."

Like noncelebs who pull themselves back into solvency after bankruptcy, many stars manage to make financial comebacks. Through a spokeswoman for Vanity Fair, Leibovitz says her debts have been paid off. And since her divorce proceedings, Spears's father has taken control of much of her affairs and likely clamped down on her spending. Even the famous, after all, deserve second chances.