Blondie’s Debbie Harry: Broke and desperate after mega-success

The 70s icon had a dramatic fall from glory
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She was one of the world’s biggest stars in the late 70s and early 80s, but that didn’t stop Blondie legend Debbie Harry from losing her vast fortune, her house and even the clothes off her back!

The Heart of Glass icon has revealed her shocking downfall in her new autobiography, Face It, which reveals for the first time the extent of her problems after the spotlight of mega-success began to fade.

WATCH: Debbie Harry talks about her downfall with drugs and financial mismanagement 

After the life-changing performance of the band’s Parallel Lines album, Debbie confesses she was awash with vast sums of money, but she claims that no one was looking after her finances properly, and that unbeknownst to her, the band had not paid any taxes on income for the two years of their most extreme success.

During this time Debbie and partner Chris Stein were advised to splash out of a lavish 5-floor abode in Manhattan.

‘Money had started coming in at last and it was our accountant’s idea that we should buy this place,’ she writes in the book. ‘The house was so big it had an elevator. Chris had his own studio down on the garden level, and on the top two floors there was a separate duplex apartment that we never went up to.’

But the glory of their new lifestyle was not to last, with the tax department coming knocking. Debbie writes in Face It that the unimaginable soon happened – she and Chris were totally broke and kicked out of their home.

‘What else could you be but broke when you’ve sold more than 40million records, you’re at the top of your career and you’ve worked non-stop for seven years with no vacation?’ she writes in the book. 

Debbie Harry
Getty Images

Debbie excuses her lack of close involvement in her own financial management by writing that ‘musicians are notoriously shambolic at taking care of business, which leaves the window open for wolves to come loping in’.

The star blames her financial advisors and terrible deals the band signed early in their career for the dramatic change of fortune, but a raging addiction to drugs did not help. The couple not only lost their house, ‘the IRS took everything they could lay their claws on,’ she writes.

‘They took my car. They even took my coats — which was bizarre.’

The star eventually pulled herself out of the mire of drug addiction and financial drama, and with better financial advice – as well as years of very hard work and a series of comeback hits – she and Chris are back in clover and living well.

Debbie’s book, Face It, is out now via Harper Collins.

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