Forbes magazine, which in March 2019 declared reality TV star Kylie Jenner had become the world’s youngest self-made billionaire, has said it no longer believes her net worth was that much.
The magazine said it reviewed financial data released by Coty Inc, which bought a 51 per cent stake in Ms Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics company in November 2019.
The financial filings showed “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.
“Forbes now thinks that Kylie Jenner, even after pocketing an estimated $US340 million ($509 million) after taxes from the sale, is not a billionaire.”
The publication now estimates the net worth of Ms Jenner, 22, at around $US900 million.
Forbes’ story acknowledged that the coronavirus crisis and its effect on the cosmetics industry had hurt her net worth.
But it said it was “likely” that the “business was never that big to begin with, and the Jenners have lied about it every year since 2016 — including having their accountant draft tax returns with false numbers — to help juice Forbes’ estimates of Kylie’s earnings and net worth”.
The magazine said it could not prove the documents were forged.
Writing on Twitter on Friday, Ms Jenner said Forbes’ report was based on “a number of inaccurate statements and unproven assumptions”.
“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 wrote.
She later tweeted: “But OK, I am blessed beyond my years, I have a beautiful daughter, and a successful business and I’m doing perfectly fine.
“I can name a list of 100 things more important right now than fixating on how much money I have.”
Ms Jenner debuted Kylie Cosmetics in 2016 with $US29 lip kits containing matching lipstick and lip liner.
Her business and social media prominence have made her stand out even in the exceedingly famous family behind Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
She is the younger daughter of Kris and Caitlyn Jenner, sister to Kendall Jenner and half-sister to Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian.
Ms Jenner’s lawyer said the story was “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,” lawyer Michael Kump said in an emailed statement.
“We would not expect that from a supermarket tabloid, much less from Forbes.”
Forbes spokesman Matthew Hutchison said in a statement the magazine’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 her attorney to re-read the article.”
The spat between Ms Jenner and Forbes spilled over to Wall Street, where shares of New York-based Coty Inc fell more than 13 per cent on Friday.