Forbes Magazine estimated Hammer's net worth at more than $33 million in 1991. But, just five years later, Hammer—born Stanley Burrell—was reportedly in debt to the tune of $13 million.
Hammer filed for bankruptcy in 1996, but today, he says his debt wasn't a matter of losing his head. "No, I lost my heart," he says. "I didn't just take the money and say, 'I want to be a blessing to myself.' I took my money and employed 200 people in my community. I had a payroll of a million dollars a month at times."
Hammer says he's in a good place now. "Some people ask me sometimes, would I go back and change things?" he says. "They are flabbergasted by my answer. My real, true answer is I wouldn't change one thing. I really believe in the butterfly effect. Meaning that if I change one thing, everything else changes. I lose the kids I have now. I lose the relationships I have now. I lose the peace I have now. So I'm very happy with my decision."