Rise and shine? Honey, time for you to rise and grind. That’s the major takeaway from a Forbes investigation into Kylie Jenner’s actual net worth, two years after the magazine put her on their “America’s Women Billionaires” cover and touted her as the “youngest self-made billionaire,” really stretching the definition of “self-made.” Now Forbes claims that the Jenners have possibly been exaggerating the profitability of Kylie Cosmetics and Jenner’s net earnings as its owner since 2016. Damningly, Forbes alleges that the Jenners’ accountants may have shown the magazine falsified tax documents drafted with inflated numbers to “help juice Forbes’ estimates of Kylie’s earnings and net worth.”
During meetings at Kris Jenner’s palatial Hidden Hills, Calif. estate and the family accountant’s office nearby, Forbes was shown tax returns detailing $307 million in 2016 revenues and personal income of more than $110 million for Kylie that year. It would have been enough to put her at number two on the Celebrity 100 list, behind Taylor Swift, the accountant was quick to point out. But the documents, despite looking authentic and bearing Kylie Jenner’s signature, weren’t exactly convincing since the story they told, of ecommerce brand Kylie Cosmetics growing from nothing to $300 million in sales in a single year, was hard to believe.
In November 2019, Coty bought 51 percent of Kylie Cosmetics from Jenner for $600 million, thus valuing the business around $1.2 billion. While initially this buyout seemed to enshrine Jenner’s status as a billionaire, Coty’s filings revealed that Kylie Cosmetics had been profiting much less than industry estimates all along: only $125 million in 2018, though the Jenners “led Forbes to believe” it was $360 million. A 2019 skin-care line that Kylie’s reps claimed brought in $100 million actually did $25 million. The only revelation more shocking than this in the piece is that Dave Chappelle performed at her Barbie-themed 21st birthday. After the buyout, and with all things reconsidered, Forbes has recalculated Jenner’s worth at a paltry $900 million. Chump change.
Update, May 29, 12:30 p.m.: Well, it looks like Kylie has risen and shone and seen the piece, and she is not too pleased. She called Forbes out on Twitter for “a number of inaccurate statements and unproven assumptions,” in the piece.
She was quick to check her outrage though; she’s more blessed than stressed.
So list them, Kylie.