Singer Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, member of TLC a group which had ten Top 10 singles, four multi-platinum albums, and won four Grammy Awards, has filed for bankruptcy.
T-Boz owes creditors $768,642.99, mostly from mortgages on her $1.2 million house, court documents revealed. According to TMZ, the “Waterfalls” hitmaker still earns $1,200 a month in royalties. Her total monthly income is $11,700 and her expenses are just $8,821, so where’s the loss coming from?
T-Boz claims she wouldn’t be in financial trouble if she received $250,000 in child support that she says she’s owed in the court documents. T-Boz divorced from her daughter’s father, rapper Mack 10, in 2004.
Certainly T-Boz’s lack of child support is a contributing factor to her need to file bankruptcy; but there may also be something even more insidious at work here. Many celebrities are under immense external and internal pressure to live the “life” after they enter the spotlight. That “living the life” can lead them to financial ruin and eventually to a need to file bankruptcy.
In the collective imagination, celebrities should live large in mansions and drive expensive late model vehicles despite the fact that their true financial picture may be a lot more humble than many of us would imagine. Because of this belief system, bankruptcy trustees witness their fair share of celebrities who have financially extended themselves well beyond their means. But this isn’t limited to celebrities; it can also impact ordinary people who feel the need to live large with expensive homes, brand name clothing and expensive cars because they’re encouraged to do so in a culture that promotes consumerism. If this type of mentality is not challenged during the bankruptcy process, some debtors may find themselves needing to file bankruptcy again after they succumb to the pressure to rack up debt trying to live like the rich and famous.