Happy Friday! The weekend is off to a wild start. Forbes Magazine wants all the smoke with Kylie Jenner. After once declaring her the youngest “self-made” billionaire, they’re now claiming she likely gave them fake tax returns to get that title. YIKES…
The Forbes article kicks off by talking about how after Kim Kardashian landed the July 2016 cover, Kylie’s publicists started campaigning to get a cover for Kylie.
Revenues were $400 million over the business’ first 18 months, they said, with a personal take-home of $250 million for Kylie. Pressed for proof, they opened up their books. 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.
The magazine claims they opted to do some fact checking and most of the experts they spoke with felt a better estimation of Jenner’s overall earnings was closer to $41 million — which landed her in the 59th spot on their 2017 Celebrity 100 list. Forbes said a publicist for Jenner reached out to voice how Kris was “so frustrated,” telling them, “We’ve done so much.”
Just two months later WWD ran a story using the same figures that Jenner had attempted to give Forbes:
“There has been raging speculation about the size of her business, with guesstimates ranging from $50 million up to $300 million,” the story reads. “Well, here’s the bad news for more-established beauty players: Jenner’s surpassed the higher figure with ease. Kylie Cosmetics actually has done $420 million in retail sales—in just 18 months—Kris Jenner revealed…” It was the first time the Jenners publicly disclosed the size of the business, the story boasted—“and they provided WWD with documentation.”
Business appeared to be booming for Jenner, so when July 2018 rolled around, experts placed her earnings between $350 million and $400 million — while the Jenners claimed their 2017 revenues were up 7% to 330 million. Based on those numbers and the 2016 tax returns Forbes was given, the magazine put her on their cover, ranked her 27th on their list of the richest self-made women and estimated she was worth 900 million and on her way to becoming the youngest self-made billionaire.
So why the about face now? The publication claims that once Coty purchased 51% of Kylie Cosmetics for $600 million, valuing the business at around $1.2 billion her worth was only further legitimized. But the scrutiny actually became greater for Jenner after the sale, because now that Coty had a piece of the business, they had an even clearer picture of the financials. In a call with stock analysts, Coty showed revenues for the company were $177 million for the year before their deal. They also disclosed that sales were up 40% from 2018, which would mean the company made closer to $125 million vs. the $360 million figure Forbes says the Jenners fed them. The magazine also notes that Jenner’s reps claimed Kylie’s skincare line made $100 million in revenues in its first month and a half after launching in May 2019, but filings by Coty show the line was closer to being “on track” to end the year with $25 million in sales.
So based on these new numbers from Coty, Forbes is now concluding there is no way the numbers they were given by the Jenners previously could be accurate. They say the tax returns they were given by the Jenners put Kylie Cosmetics at $307 million in 2016 — a number they say wouldn’t make sense if the company only did $125 million in 2018. They also now believe the $330 million figure they were given for 2017 earnings was also off… And to add insult to injury — the paperwork from the Coty deal also showed that Kylie did not in fact own her entire business outright because there’s a “KMJ 2018 Irrevocable Trust” controlled by Kristen M. Jenner listed as owning a profit interest, so Forbes concludes in their story that assuming the trust belongs to Kris Jenner, Kylie owns 44.1% of Kylie Cosmetics – not 49%. Bloop…
It’s a lot of fuss considering Forbes is now saying Kylie’s personal fortune is a little less than $900 million (what’s a little over $100 million to somebody this rich anyway), but we appreciate them coming clean on all the fuzzy math of the past.
Check out this video they made about the situation:
Hit the flip to find out how Kylie is responding to these allegations.