Did Kylie Jenner Lie Her Way to The Billionaire Status?

In a surprising and controversial reveal, Forbes has announced that Kylie Jenner is no longer a billionaire. In March 2019, Kylie Jenner’s net worth was $1 billion, published by Forbes itself. This marked her place as the world’s youngest self-made billionaire. However, the web of lies story states that she actually lied her way to that status. Kylie responded to the report stating that she never tried to lie, and also called out Forbes in a series of Tweets. As the drama unfolds, let’s take a look at what led to the spar between the media giant Forbes, and the popular Kylie Jenner.

Forbes Story – Kylie Jenner Web of Lies

Forbes accused Kylie Jenner of manipulating the numbers and lying about the size and success of her business. Kylie Jenner was the proud sole owner of Kylie Cosmetics. She sold half of to beauty giant Cyto, and this became one of the most lucrative celebrity deals of all time. The deal had value of $1.2 billion, and hence “gave” Kylie the billionaire status. However, Forbes claimed that the Kardashian-Jenner family desperately coveted this title for Kylie. Hence, they misled the public about the actual worth of Kylie and her business.


Accusations in the report

  1. Kylie Jenner is not a billionaire even after she got $340 million after-tax from the Coty deal.
  2. Kylie’s business is smaller and less profitable.
  3. She forged tax returns, to look richer.
  4. Kylie Cosmetics growing from 0 to $300 million in sales in a year is a lie.
  5. Kris Jenner and Kylie’s publicist manipulated the media to raise revenue numbers and estimates.
  6. The Jenner’s had the accountant draft tax returns with false numbers.
  7. Lastly, Kylie’s actual ownership is 44.1% instead of the claimed 49%. Kris Jenner owns the difference of about 5%, masked by a “KMJ 2018 Irrevocable Trust,”.

Evidence in the report

Upon investigation, Forbes discovered evidence that supports their claim and accusation. The report contains the following evidence.

  1. Kylie’s business isn’t as big and profitable as the public was led to believe. Filings released by Coty over the past six months are proof of this.
  2. Coty’s publication reveals that Kylie Cosmetics did $177 million in sales the year before the deal. This was far lower than the published estimates.
  3. Coty also revealed that sales increased by 40% in 2019. Simple calculation revealed that this meant the company did $125 million in sales in 2018, instead of the $360 million Forbes was led to believe.
  4. Kylie’s representatives stated that Kylie’s skin care line did $100 million in revenues in its first month and a half. However, tax filings show that the line was actually likely to finish the year with just $25 million in sales.
  5. Kylie’s profits are likely lower than estimated earlier, since her EBITDA margin is only around 25%. Coty’s filings prove this.

Kylie Jenner’s Response

Kylie did not hold back while responding to the claims. She expressed her disappointment in a reputable publication like Forbes making false claims backed by no evidence. She denied the accusations and claims made. Moreover, she stated that she had never run towards or asked for a title, let alone lie her way to it. She also tweeted that there were more important things to worry about than focus on how much money she was making. We have collected all of her tweets in response to the Forbes story and displayed it for you below.

Kylie VS Forbes: Battle begins

Kylie was quick to make an official statement through her attorney Michael Kump. Micheal told People, “Forbes‘ accusation that Kylie and her accountants ‘forged tax returns’ is unequivocally false and we are demanding that Forbes immediately and publicly retract that and other statements,”.

However, In response to the attorney, Forbes responded through Chief Communications officer Matt Hutchison. “Today’s extensively-reported investigation was triggered by newly-filed documents that revealed glaring discrepancies between information privately supplied to journalists and information publicly supplied to shareholders. Our reporters spotted the inaccuracies and spent months uncovering the facts. We encourage the attorney to re-read the article.”

To conclude, it is safe to say that this isn’t the end of the story. This is likely to be a prolonged battle, considering the strong fronts at both ends. However, amidst the pandemic and all, Forbes could have made better use of its resources and kept its focus where it mattered. We will keep you updated nevertheless. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter!

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Sarim Siddiqui

Sarim is the founder of PACE enterprises currently comprised of two divisions, PACE events and PACE Business. He is a certified Digital Marketer and works as a Digital Consultant, Content Strategist, and Search Engine Optimization specialist. He is passionate about educating on business and startups, as well as helping small businesses achieve their digital goals. You can find him on Instagram @sarim112 or LinkedIn, or reach out to him at

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