Kylie Jenner has slammed Forbes after it published a bombshell report on Friday accusing the Jenner family of inflating figures and ‘forging’ tax returns for the makeup mogul’s cosmetics company.
It appears the 22-year-old reality star was taken by surprise at the article, which claims Kylie Cosmetics is not doing as well as the Jenners want people to think – and that the Lip Kit creator is not actually a billionaire.
Forbes named Kylie the world’s youngest self-made billionaire in 2019 and again in 2020, and of her surprise over their latest article she wrote on Twitter: ‘what am i even waking up to. i thought this was a reputable site.. ‘all i see are a number of inaccurate statements and unproven assumptions lol. i’ve never asked for any title or tried to lie my way there EVER. period’
She followed up with a quote from the Forbes report that accused the Jenners and their accountant of producing false tax returns.
‘“even creating tax returns that were likely forged” that’s your proof? so you just THOUGHT they were forged? like actually what am i reading.’ Kylie tweeted incredulously.
She followed up with another post focusing on the positive, ‘but okay i am blessed beyond my years, i have a beautiful daughter, and a successful business and i’m doing perfectly fine.’
In a detailed report based on public financial disclosures, Forbes on Friday accused the family of creating a ‘web of lies’ and said Kylie had inflated the size of her business and success.
The publication accuses her of ‘lying about company figures and forging tax returns’ to be dubbed a billionaire.
Based on filings from beauty giant Coty, which acquired a 51 percent stake of Kylie’s makeup company in January at a valuation of $1.2 billion, Kylie Cosmetics generated revenues and profits that were far lower that the figures touted for years by the Jenner-Kardashian clan.
These shock claims come after Forbes put Kylie on the cover and hailed her the youngest self-made billionaire ever two years running.
Forbes explained that it had been shown 2016 tax returns indicating revenue far higher than the numbers revealed by Coty’s filing, and that there were only two explanations: Kylie Cosmetics’ sales had utterly collapsed in the two years before the acquisition, or the tax returns were fabricated.
Forbes now think that Kylie, even after pocketing an estimated $340 million after tax from the sale, is not a billionaire.
The magazine claimed that filings released by publicly traded Coty over the past six months reveal Kylie’s business is significantly smaller than people have been led to believe.
They wrote: ‘Revenues over a 12-month period preceding the deal: $177million according to the Coty presentation, far lower than the published estimates at the time.
‘More problematic, Coty said that sales were up 40% from 2018, meaning the business only generated about $125 million that year, nowhere near the $360 million the Jenners had led Forbes to believe.
‘Kylie’s skincare line, which launched in May 2019, did $100 million in revenues in its first month and a half, Kylie’s reps told us. The filings show the line was actually “on track” to finish the year with just $25 million in sales.’
They add that there was no way the numbers the Jenners were offering in earlier years could be true.
If Kylie Cosmetics did $125 million in sales in 2018, how could it have done $307 million in 2016 as their supposed tax returns state or $330 million in 2017?
Forbes claimed that their new calculations put Kylie’s personal fortune at just under $900million.
MailOnline has contacted a spokesperson for Kylie Jenner for comment.
Kylie’s lawyer Michael Kump told TMZ: ‘We have reviewed Forbes’ article accusing Kylie of engaging in deceit and a ‘web of lies’ to inflate her net worth.
‘The article is filled with outright lies. 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.’
He added, ‘It is sad that, of all things, Forbes has devoted 3 reporters to investigate the effect of the coronavirus crisis on Kylie’s net worth. We would not expect that from a supermarket tabloid, much less from Forbes.’
In 2019, the star unseated Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, then 35, as the youngest-ever self-made billionaire – he was 23 when he made his first billion 11 years ago in 2008.
Forbes has addressed the controversy that surrounds the title ‘self-made’ as last year people were up in arms that Kylie came from an already privileged background.
They penned: ‘ Yes, self-made (despite a lot of help from her famous family, she didn’t inherit her business—she built it). And yes, billionaire (she’s worth $1 billion).’
The site also claimed that money from Kylie’s Coty sale meant she was one of just 2,095 people in the world with a fortune of ten digits.
Kylie previously told Forbes: ‘I didn’t expect anything. I did not foresee the future. But [the recognition] feels really good. That’s a nice pat on the back.’
Jenner, who is the youngest and richest of the entire Kardashian-Jenner family, started her make up line in 2015 by selling $29 lipstick kits.
The kits sold out within minutes of launching – an early sign of the power of her now 270 million-plus social media following.
Jenner’s products were only sold online when it was first launched but in 2018, the brand struck a deal to sell its goods in 1,100 Ulta Beauty stores across the U.S.
She expanded her empire earlier this year with Kylie Skin – a line of moisturizers, under eye creams and facial scrubs.
Jenner brought in sales of an estimated $360 million in 2018.
Forbes itself put Kylie on the cover in March 2019, hailing her as the youngest ever self-made billionaire.
The move appeared to anger her brother-in-law Kanye West, whom Forbes did not declare a billionaire until April of this year.
The magazine reported that West ‘reacted with hurt and venom’ after he was not included in its billionaires list earlier this year.
‘You know what you’re doing,’ he texted a Forbes reporter. ‘You’re toying with me and I’m not finna lye [sic] down and take it anymore in Jesus name.’
After he was finally added to the list, West disputed Forbes’ evaluation of his net worth at $1.26 billion.
‘It’s not a billion,’ West texted the magazine. ‘It’s $3.3 billion since no one at Forbes knows how to count.’
Forbes relies on a team of researchers as well as public and private financial documents to arrive at its estimates of net worth for the world’s richest people, rather than taking their claims at face value.
Per the report, West’s team provided statements that showed the rapper has $17 million in cash, $35 million in stocks, $81 million in ‘buildings and improvements’ and $21 million in land.
Adidas Yeezy, the fashion collaboration between the rapper and the German sportswear brand, has a revenue worth of around $1.3 billion – making West around $140 million from sales just last year.
The article suggests West has been eager to prove his financial status for some time, noting that he had previously claimed to be a billionaire during an appearance at the 2019 Fast Company Innovation Festival.
‘When I did Forbes, I showed them a $890 million receipt and they still didn’t say ‘billionaire,” dad-of-four Kanye told the audience.
In 2016, Kim Kardashian (Kylie’s half-sister and Kanye’s wife) appeared on the cover of Forbes and was listed at no. 42 on their ‘ 100 highest paid celebrities after netting $51 million the year before.
Kim couldn’t contain her excitement as she shared the Forbes image on Instagram on Monday and wrote: ‘Such a tremendous honor to be on the cover of @forbes!
‘I never dreamed this would happen and know my Dad would be so proud. #NotBadForAGirlWithNoTalent’
Kim now has a net worth of $370million.