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Dionne Warwick files for bankruptcy in New Jersey

March 26, 2013|By Nardine Saad
  • Grammy-winning singer Dionne Warwick has filed for bankruptcy in New Jersey.
Grammy-winning singer Dionne Warwick has filed for bankruptcy in New Jersey. (Vince Bucci / Associated…)

Dionne Warwick has filed for bankruptcy in New Jersey.

The "Walk On By" singer owes more than $10.7 million in taxes and fees to the Internal Revenue Service and the state of California, according to Reuters. She filed her petition on March 21 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New Jersey, the state where she was born, started her career and where she lives.

The debt accrued because of "negligent and gross financial mismanagement," her representative, Kevin Sasaki, said.

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Warwick, 72, claims that her monthly income is $20,950 but her monthly expenses are $20,940. The five-time Grammy winner also claimed she only receives $1,000 a month in music royalties, TMZ reported.

"In light of the magnitude of her tax liabilities, Warwick has repeatedly attempted to offer re-payment plans and proposals to the IRS and the California Franchise Tax Board for taxes owed," Sasaki said. "These plans were not accepted, resulting in escalating interest and penalties."

Warwick has paid the back taxes but is still accruing interest and penalty fees, he added.

Warwick topped the soul charts in 1980s and 1990s and has built quite the sophisticated soul career for more than 50 years. But she's parlayed her popular music career into television in recent decades.

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In the 1990s, she starred infomercials as the spokesperson for the controversial Psychic Friends Network, which later filed for bankruptcy. In 2002, Warwick became a staple on the TV game show "Hollywood Squares." And as recently as 2011, she appeared on Donald Trump's "The Celebrity Apprentice" where she was labeled "a bully" and is said to have "acted like a petulant child." Critics believe that the reality competition tarnished her treasured legacy. In 2012, she appeared in the TV doc "The Houstons: On Our Own," which chronicled the lives of Whitney Houston's family after her untimely death. Warwick is Houston's cousin.

In the bankruptcy filing, Warwick said she still possesses these assets: two fur coats, two pairs of diamond earrings, gowns worth $5,000 and 10-year-old living room furniture, dining and bedroom sets, according to court documents obtained by TMZ. She also spends $5,000 a month on housekeeping and $4,000 a month on her personal assistant.

Sounds like she needs someone to say a little prayer for her.

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Nardine Saad

Follow Ministry of Gossip @LATcelebs.

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