WASHINGTON: Forbes magazine has struck reality TV star and entrepreneur Kylie Jenner from its list of billionaires, and accused her family of inflating the value of her cosmetics business.
The magazine said it reviewed financial data released by Coty who bought a 51 percent stake in Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics company in November 2019.
Those financial filings show “Kylie’s business is significantly smaller, and less profitable, than the family has spent years leading the cosmetics industry and media outlets, including Forbes, to believe,” the magazine said.
Forbes now estimates the net worth of Jenner at around $900 million. Jenner dismissed the report said the recent story was based on “a number of inaccurate statements and unproven assumptions.”
“I’ve never asked for any title or tried to lie my way there,” she wrote. “I can name a list of 100 things more important right now than fixating on how much money I have,” she added.
Jenner, half-sister of Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian, debuted Kylie Cosmetics in 2016 with lip kits containing matching lipstick and lip liner. She first grabbed the spotlight in the “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” reality TV show she starred in with her mother and siblings.
The move reverses the status Forbes conferred on Jenner in 2019 when it declared her a self-made billionaire. The description sparked controversy, with critics scoffing at the “self-made” title and pointing to her upbringing as a Kardashian family reality TV star.
Forbes credited Jenner’s status to the success of her cosmetics company, which she founded in 2015 and includes Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin.
Coty’s presentation to investors about the business suggested the firm did only $125m in sales in 2018. “If Kylie Cosmetics did $125 million in sales in 2018, how could it have done $307 million in 2016 (as the company’s supposed tax returns state) or $330 million in 2017?” Forbes asked in the article.
Forbes has previously accused other would-be billionaires of inflating their riches, including US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and President Donald Trump.