Social media and makeup mogul Kylie Jenner is no longer a billionaire, according to a Forbes tell-all – in fact, she wasn’t ever a billionaire to begin with.
The American business magazine – which once featured Jenner in its pages as “The Youngest Self-Made Billionaire Ever” – broke the story on Saturday. In the report, the magazine alleged that Jenner and her mother Kris knowingly inflated and fabricated the numbers in the documents that showed Jenner’s personal wealth and her company’s revenue.
The story – aptly titled “Inside Kylie Jenner’s Web of Lies—and Why She’s No Longer a Billionaire” – also said that the Jenners had provided them with tax returns, which were “likely forged.”
“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 in its searing report.
The magazine, in a statement published on ABC News, said they were compelled to write the story after newly filed documents revealed glaring discrepancies between information privately supplied to journalists and those publicly shared to the company’s shareholders.
Among the list of discrepancies uncovered by Forbes were Jenner’s sales for 2018.
Based on documents supplied by the family to the magazine, Kylie Cosmetics pulled in $360 million in sales for that year alone. However, financial reports acquired by Coty – the global beauty brand that acquired Kylie Cosmetics late last year for a whopping $600 million – showed that Jenner’s company only made about $125 million that year.
The manipulation goes even further.
Representatives for Kylie Skin – a skincare brand launched in May last year – touted that it made $100 million in revenues a month and a half after launching. Coty’s data, however, shows that the skincare line was actually just “on track” to finish the year with only about $25 million in total sales.
These discrepancies, Forbes said, present two possibilities: Either the business fell by over 50 percent in a single year, which business analysts say is unlikely, or that Jenner has not been entirely honest about the business’ finances since 2016. (Related: Kylie Jenner became a billionaire by poisoning youth with toxic lipstick ingredients, say critics.)
“It’s clear that Kylie’s camp has been lying,” Forbes said in its report.
Kylie Jenner established her company Kylie Cosmetics in 2015, in response to the controversy that arose after she finally admitted to getting lip fillers. The company experienced a meteoric rise in sales after Jenner successfully hawked her line lip liners and liquid lipsticks to her millions of followers on social media. It was then acquired by Coty in November – at a deal valued at $1.2 billion.
Before finalizing her partnership with Coty, Jenner signed a deal with Ulta Beauty. This allowed the high-end beauty retailer to put her products in all of its 1,163 U.S. stores.
Jenner has since lashed out at the magazine’s report.
“What am I even waking up to,” Jenner tweeted, calling Forbes’ reputation into question.
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
— Kylie Jenner (@KylieJenner) May 29, 2020
“‘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,” she added.
In another series of tweets, she noted that she did not want to obsess over her wealth.
“I am blessed beyond my years, I have a beautiful daughter, and a successful business and I’m doing perfectly fine,” she said, adding that she can list 100 things that are “more important” than just fixating on how much money she has.
In the aftermath of the damaging Forbes report, shares at Coty have taken a nosedive, falling to 68 percent – its lowest yet in 2020. The company has not released any statements.