In January of 2014, E! debuted its new reality show ‘Rich Kids of Beverly Hills’ which was inspired by the popular Tumblr blog ‘Rich Kids of Instagram’. Not surprisingly, the photo-sharing social networking service is a huge element of the show. On the series, cast mates Dorothy Wang, Morgan Stewart, Roxy Sowlaty, Brendan Fitzpatrick and Jonny Drubel are depicted as fun-loving twenty-five year olds living lavishly, thanks to their families’ accumulated wealth. Connoisseurs of the good life, each describes their upbringing as having unlimited access to whatever they wanted. This show gives viewers an inside look into the lives of five privileged young adults and has been compared to a real-life West Coast version of ‘Gossip Girl’. It is not uncommon to see cast mates taking flights on private jets, picking up $30,000 bar tabs and purchasing $15,000 handbags. Dorothy has even been shown buying a $3.5 million apartment. Reality TV shows are designed for escapism and RKOBH delivers a diversion in luxurious style.
This is not the first time E! has debuted a reality show featuring a group of young, wealthy offspring. In 2005, ‘Filthy Rich: Cattle Drive’ made its debut, showing rich kids lured from the city to work on a Colorado cattle ranch. The show was said to be tagging off the success of ‘The Simple Life’ starring celeb kids Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, which aired for five years. Among the notable cast mates of ‘Cattle Drive’ were Kourtney Kardashian, George Foreman III, Shanna Farigno, Brittny Gastineau and Alex A. Quinn. The show aired for two months. Kourtney went on to star in the long-running hit reality TV series, ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashian’s’, but it signaled the end of Brittny’s E! reality TV career. Brittny and her mother appeared on ‘Gastineau Girls’, which aired from 2005 to 2006 before being cancelled. Airing right after the declining ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’, RKOBH is a fresh new series with the potential of becoming America’s new reality TV fetish.
Following the shows debut, the RKOBH stars have been called everything from snobby to vapid and were blasted during a recent appearance on ‘Bethenny’ for bragging about assets that they did not earn. Some cast members have since stepped up to deny the shows trivial depictions of them. Dorothy now claims to have her real estate license and work at The Agency with Mauricio Umansky, from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Morgan has also spoken out in the media to declare her life is not as glamorous as it seems and that viewers will only see footage that is great for TV. Yet, despite the public backlash over the superfluous display of wealth, the shows ratings have reportedly been high in all key demographics and have helped increase traffic on EOnline.com. Viewers have spoken, and it is obvious that they love reality TV shows about rich kids who live a lifestyle that most can only dream of. For fans that can’t get enough, the tell-all book is scheduled to be released in July, Rich Kids Of Instagram: A Novel.
Who are the shows stars? Meet the cast of ‘Rich Kids of Beverly Hills’:
Roxy Sowlaty – $100K
Roxy Sowlaty is the daughter of Persian printing mogul, Sam Sowlaty. The self-described “Persian Princess” is known for her extravagant spending habits. Though she still lives at home, the show focuses on her recent financial struggles after having her monthly allowance rescinded. Roxy is good friends with Morgan and is working on building a freelance interior design business. She is reportedly also close to the Kardashian clan, having attended school with Rob Kardashian and managed the sisters DASH store in New York City.
Roxy’s Instagram/Twitter: roxysowlaty
Brendan Fitzpatrick – $500K
Brendan Fitzpatrick is a real estate agent with The Agency, a top luxury real estate firm. Mauricio Umansky, CEO of The Agency and ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ star, mentored Brendan and helped him build a successful real estate career. Intent on making a name for himself in the business early, Brendan reportedly sold his first property for over $10 million at the age of 19. Though he was born into wealth, he now supports himself using his real estate earnings. Brendan has stated in interviews that he is only participating in the show to capitalize on the publicity and expand his brand. He has also reportedly been dating Morgan for over a year and their romantic relationship is prominently featured on the show.
Brendan’s Instagram/Twitter: brendanfitzp
Jonny Drubel – $800K
Jonny Drubel is a singer-songwriter who has appeared on CBS, MTV and VH1. While his parent’s identity and monetary status are not identified, he is friends with the rest of the cast and claims to have known each member for at least five years. Johny reportedly moved from Hanover, New Hampshire to L.A. to pursue a career in music. Described as a “gay romantic”, Johny is an advocate for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. He is currently part of the social media campaign, #ComingOutMatters, which encourages others to embrace living an openly gay lifestyle.
Jonny’s Instagram/Twitter: jonnydrubel
E.J. Johnson – $2 Million
The son of Magic Johnson, E.J. Johnson, may not be a full-fledged cast member, but he can be credited with helping to create a buzz. The series regular started a media firestorm when he appeared in public carrying a bright handbag, walking hand-in-hand with his boyfriend. Magic Johnson released a statement to the press saying that he is proud of his son, supports his son’s decision to “come out” and that he believes E.J. will one day have his own reality TV show. E.J. grew up in L.A. and his connection to the show is his friendship with Dorothy. Known for his love of fashion, E.J. is self-described “royalty” and frequently flaunts his wealthy lifestyle. The fan-favorite currently attends New York University.
E.J.’s Instagram: ej_antoinette
Morgan Stewart – $5 Million
Morgan Stewart is the daughter of Herb Stewart, an architect and luxury real estate developer who remodels commercial property on Rodeo Drive. The ‘BoobsandLoubs’ blog owner is a college dropout who admits to living off her parent’s financial support. Her adoration of her physical assets and 200 pair Louboutin collection reportedly inspired her blog’s title. Morgan has described the show as an “accurate” portrayal of her lifestyle in recent interviews. She is dating fellow RKOBH cast member Brendan Fitzpatrick, is BFF’s with Dorothy and is known for her wild partying.
Morgan’s Instagram/Twitter: boobsandloubs_
Dorothy Wang – $10 Million
Dorothy Wang is the daughter of billionaire Roger Wang, chairman and CEO of the Golden Eagle International Group. The socialite describes herself as “funemployed and fabuluxe” and reportedly plans to work in real estate for her father’s company. Her claim to fame is having over 17,000 Instagram followers. She was reportedly asked to appear on the show after producers viewed her Instagram feed and has told the media she accepted the offer to help dispel stereotypes about rich kids. In 2007, her father was featured in Forbes’ List of billionaires and is listed among The Forbes 400 Richest Americans. The retail mogul splits his time between China and the U.S. and his estimated net worth is $3 billion.
Dorothy’s Instagram ID: dwanngg
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