Kylie Jenner was titled Forbes’ youngest-ever “self-made” billionaire in March 2019, but new records have come out and the outlet says that the Jenners provided inflated numbers in order for Jenner to reach that status.
During Forbes’ review, they were told that the annual revenue for Jenner’s company between 2016 and 2018 was somewhere between $307 million and $360 million a year, but the numbers were actually much smaller in reality, they say. Now, Forbes says the numbers were $125 million for 2018 and $177 million for 2017, and they also claim the number for 2016 was exaggerated.
Forbes reports that they were invited to the Jenners’ mansions and their CPAs’ offices during the initial review, but the new information was revealed after Jenner sold half her company for $600 million in November 2019.
Jenner Is No Longer Listed as a Billionaire
Jenner’s not a self-made billionaire yet, Forbes says, but Forbes still has the young business mogul listed as having a net worth of $900 million as of May 29, 2020.
After the sale of half of Kylie Cosmetics to Coty Inc., Jenner pocketed $540 million pre-tax, according to Forbes. Then documents were released showing that the business was smaller than the family had claimed.
Jenner’s cosmetics company was founded in 2015 after she used $250,000 of her earnings from modeling to pay an outside company for her first 15,000 lip kits. Those kits sold out in just minutes at the time, Forbes reports.
The Jenners Allegedly Gave Inflated Numbers to Reporters
According to Forbes, soon after Kim Kardashian West was given a cover story in July 2016, Jenner’s publicists wanted a “Forbes cover for Kylie.” They proceeded to show proof of revenue numbers of $400 million for the business’ first 18 months and a take-home of $250 million for Jenner.
They also showed tax returns detailing $306 million in 2016 revenues, with Jenner herself taking home $110 million for the year. The report says that the numbers weren’t convincing, though, because they claimed the company grew from nothing to over $300 million in revenue in just one year. In 2017, Forbes placed Jenner at the number 59 spot on their Celebrity 100 list after speaking to analysts and industry experts.
In July 2018, Forbes reported that Jenner was worth $900 million and would soon be the youngest self-made billionaire ever. Jenner took to Instagram following the list’s publication, writing, “Wow. I can’t believe I’m posting my very own @Forbes cover. Thank you for this article and the recognition. I’m so blessed to do what I love every day.”
Different Numbers Came Out When Jenner Sold Half of Kylie Cosmetics
In 2019, after Jenner sold part of Kylie Cosmetics, the numbers were different than those that had been reported previously. Coty Inc., the public company that bought 51% of the company, presented that the revenues over a 12-month period were $177 million and that those were up 40% from the previous year.
That meant that the business was much smaller than had been previously reported.
Forbes emphasized that they cannot prove that the Jenners created fake documents, but they say it is clear that Jenner has been lying about the size of her business and her net worth.
Documents Indicate Jenner Did Not Own 100% of Kylie Cosmetics Prior to the Sale
Also indicated in Forbes’ report is that Jenner never owned Kylie Cosmetics altogether. Instead, the agreement for sale indicates that a “KMJ 2018 Irrevocable Trust,” which is controlled by Kristen M. Jenner, owned a profit interest in Kylie Cosmetics.
Now, Jenner is said to own an estimated 44.1% rather than the 49% she would have owned if she originally owned the entire company.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Coty’s share price has fallen more than 60% and “even better-performing competitors like Ulta Beauty and Estée Lauder are still down single digits,” Forbes says.