Hollywood and the celebrity lifestyle is an unforgiving place, once you get over the constant adoration and loads of cash, that is! It can somewhat resemble a real-life roller coaster where one minute leaves you high, then a gut-wrenching plunge leaves you forgotten. Alternatively, even worse, humiliating yourself on reality TV shows to recapture a sliver of the magic! Out of the pair, fame and fortune, most people would choose the latter, but fame is one hell of an addictive drug and most of those that have tasted it, want more.
In a Kardashian world where people are known for sex tapes, marrying rappers and being the daughter of a lawyer, people now are famous for being famous. The phenomenon is nothing new – the late Zsa Zsa Gabor, for example – but nowadays it is fast becoming the exception as opposed to the rule. It was once a joke that some people were so desperate for attention that they’d turn up to the opening of an envelope, but a sense of humor is lacking a lot today! Although what about the flip side? What of those to whom celebrity has treated cruelly but are still the better off financially for their mingle with the media? Here are 15 celeb rejects who still command some serious bank!
Remember him? The “Gangnam Style” guy? He is no doubt the singer of the most famous one-hit wonder of our time, with “Gangnam Style” racking up almost 3 billion hits on YouTube. That’s right; a cheesy pop song has close to half the world’s population’s worth of views! However, Psy (real name: Park Jae-sang) is not only reaping the rewards of “Gangnam Style,” but he is also the son of Park Won-ho, chairman of South Korea’s DI Corporation. DI Corporation makes semiconductors and computer chips – Googling DI Corporation shows an animated Psy dancing his trademark dance – so he is heir to a corporate fortune. Worth dancing over and with a mega hit like “Gangnam Style” Psy ensures he too will always remain dancing, all the way to the bank!
14. Rob Kardashian
Easily the least noticeable of the famous reality TV family, the 29-year-old even needed to take a turn on another reality show, Dancing With the Stars! Being the odd one out from a stable of famous sisters and possibly even more famous stepmother in Caitlyn Jenner must be hard when your relative’s lives are all about fame. Rumoured to be wealthy in his own right, his on/off relationship with the model, Blac Chyna certainly is a money spinner for the gossip columns and no doubt for Rob Kardashian himself. Also, mom Kris Jenner is said to throw some cash Rob’s way and being Kim’s brother has some cache for free gifts. Coming from a family that is always clogging up celebrity gossip news and breaking the internet, hardly makes even the runt of the litter poor.
13. Dannii Minogue
It is not easy for anyone to be overshadowed by his or her more successful older sibling, especially when that sibling is one of the world’s most adored pop princesses. Although it must be one hell of a treat to be the parents of not one, but two popstar multi-millionaire daughters… that’s retirement sorted! Australian sisters, Kylie and Dannii Minogue have graced global audiences for decades, and their careers span acting as well as singing. However, ask anyone which famous woman has the surname Minogue, they will most likely answer ‘Kylie.’ Despite Dannii’s career being less successful, with a turn as a judge on UK’s The X Factor that prompted Sharon Osborne to resign, Dannii Minogue has still bagged some serious money while in her sister’s shadow, not bad at all.
12. Tori Spelling
Born into Hollywood royalty, her father was legendary TV exec, Aaron Spelling. As the daughter of an influential producer, daddy could pull some strings, and Tori Spelling landed a role in the seminal 90s drama, Beverly Hills, 90210. However, a father’s powers are not all-powerful, and even his clout could not disguise Tori’s bad acting, and she began to embody nepotism. After Aaron Spelling’s death, a fierce battle ensued over his fortune, and Tori became a faded star, though has still managed to earn a fairly lucrative amount of money over the course of acting in various bit parts in movies from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Scream 2. Also, as Aaron Spelling’s eldest child, Tori stands to inherit most, if not all, of his vast fortune when her mother Candy passes.
11. La Toya Jackson
Another tale of a person being overshadowed by a more talented sibling. Unlike the Minogues, La Toya Jackson is one of many of the older brothers and sisters that pale in the youngest’s limelight. La Toya is one child in the legendary Jackson family that came to fame in the 70s when the Jackson 5 gained global popularity. Michael Jackson stood out as the most talented and grew to be one of the most influential recording artists in history. Not only that but the youngest Jackson, Janet, also had a very successful music career. Nevertheless, the Jackson name carries well for business, music, reality TV (La Toya fired by Donald Trump before it was cool… *ahem, James Comey), all of which has earned La Toya over a rich woman in her own right.
10. Mara Wilson
No, she is not the less famous sibling of Owen and Luke Wilson, she is a former child star. Just mentioning a few of her turns in some Hollywood movies in the 90s will instantly make her recognizable: Miracle On 34th Street, Mrs Doubtfire, Matilda. Many can name her as only the cute girl with the lisp from those movies, yet as she grew up, the cuteness faded and so did the offer of roles from producers. As an adult, she has now produced a play, runs a website and released a bestselling memoir, detailing her life as a child star. Mara Wilson also writes about why she thinks child stars go off the rails and has sworn off acting, though Wilson has done some voice work for shows like BoJack Horseman as an adult.
9. Maria Sharapova
Sharapova broke through in 2004 by winning Wimbledon, beating Serena Williams, aged just 17 at the time. Since then, she has gone on to win four more tennis Grand Slams and is one of the few players to have won all four. As a statuesque beauty, Maria Sharapova earns more off the court than on it, and despite a career plagued with injury, Sharapova managed to obtain the world number 1 ranking numerous times. Last year, she tested positive for meldonium, a substance banned in the US where she lives but not in her native Russia. Despite protesting her innocence that the substance was banned, Maria Sharapova received a two-year ban, reduced to 15 months. Many tennis legends, including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Chris Evert and Jennifer Capriati condemned Sharapova. Capriati even suggesting tennis authorities strip Maria of her titles, although Novak Djokovic was more understanding. However, Maria was recently refused a wild card to the French Open (that she won twice) after dropping to 175 in the world rankings. Will she recover from this shame? If not, there will always be her 9 figure fortune in the bank.
8. Macaulay Culkin
Probably the male Shirley Temple of modern times and the poster child of child stars, everyone knows Macaulay Culkin. The movie that made him famous, Home Alone, is one of the highest grossing Christmas movies, but like many who found fame young, Culkin’s adulthood has been short of the mark – apart from dating Mila Kunis perhaps! A cute kid does not necessarily make a handsome adult with transferable acting talent to grown-up matters, and Culkin has only a weird friendship with Michael Jackson dogging adulthood. Macaulay’s legacy as a kid who hilariously foils burglars meant he got numerous millions of dollars out of such hijinks and other roles. And although he no longer really acts, despite rumors that he may play Kurt Cobain in a biopic of the Nirvana frontman, his wealth is a good way to do all one’s work while they are young.
7. Paul Reubens (Pee Wee Herman)
Pee Wee Herman found fame in the 80s with The Pee Wee Herman Show and several movies where he starred as the inept actor/comedian. He was riding high on ratings and popularity when he fell afoul of police in Sarasota, California, after his arrest for public indecency in an adult movie theater. Pulled over by cops, Herman told them who he was and offered to do a police benefit gig as a way of getting off the charge. Inevitably, this led to a worldwide disgrace, and his career never recovered. In 2002, police raided his home on suspicion that he possessed child pornography, but those charges were dropped. Since then, Pee Wee Herman has made several cameos but is making a comeback after working on a project for Netflix, which will surely add to a multi-million dollar fortune.
6. Lance Armstrong
Lance Armstrong was a beacon of the notion that anything is possible. As a survivor of testicular cancer, he returned to glory with a record-breaking seven victories at cycling’s pinnacle event, the Tour De France while winning numerous other titles besides. With countless endorsements and investments on his part, perhaps the potential for a political career after hanging up his helmet, Armstrong had it all. Then it all came crashing when he tested positive for a banned substance that went on to reveal the level and sophistication of doping Armstrong indulged in to win all of those yellow jerseys in France. What followed was a spectacular fall from grace and the revelation of one of the most complex doping strategies ever. Even so, The New York Times estimated his fortune at over 100 million in 2012.
5. Chloe Khan
Who? Well, that is a legitimate question. Chloe Khan, formerly known as Chloe Mafia, was originally a contestant on UK musical talent show, The X Factor, but got booted off the show. From a bland town in Yorkshire, England, being a celebrity reject did not let her cover up her ambitions. In fact, pursuing her dreams meant shedding clothes on a webcam for money. Many boob jobs and fake tan bottles later and Chloe now has her own webcam stripping business and suns herself in LA rather than licking her wounds in rainy Yorkshire. Also, choosing to wear less clothes is a far better idea near the beaches of Los Angeles rather than windy moors in the north of England. Some clients have paid six-figure sums to see her bare all, Simon Cowell too, perhaps?
4. Justin Gatlin
Justin Gatlin was fast enough to even rival Usain Bolt and won an Olympic Gold Medal in Athens in 2004. However, his brilliance was already marred by doping and punishments for it, in 2001 he received a ban for amphetamines, which he appealed with claims that it was for treating ADHD and got the ban repealed. However, in 2006, Gatlin tested positive for testosterone and after being found guilty, was banned from athletics for eight years. During that time, he flirted with joining the NFL yet made a comeback to athletics. Although know back in the sporting arena that gave him fame, he cannot compete with the likes of Usain Bolt any longer. Despite this fall from grace from the blue ribband Olympic event, Justin Gatlin is still estimated to be a multimillionaire. So maybe cheats do prosper?
3. Carly Simon
Less of a reject but more someone whose star naturally faded over time, as the music industry and fans tastes changed and she failed to adapt well enough. The singer, most famous for her song “You’re So Vain,” a song which no one still knows who is the ‘You’re’ in the song and ex-wife of folk legend James Taylor, still has some serious cash! Simon revealed that the person who thinks this song is about them is in fact, record exec David Geffen, who Carly Simon felt was favouring Joni Mitchell over her at the time. As the daughter of the co-founder of major publisher Simon and Schuster, the sale of the company must have lined her pockets and contributed to her fortune and therefore making her a page turner for any bank manager.
2. Al Gore
What bigger rejection exists than losing the most significant political office in the world? In 2000, Bill Clinton’s two terms in the White House were up and his deputy Al Gore was believed by many to be his successor and beat the Republican candidate, George W. Bush. Although Bush won, taking office just eight years after his father’s defeat. Gore refused to go into the trash can of political history and turned his eyes to the international stage as an environmental activist. Gore’s documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, won an Oscar for Best Documentary and earned Al Gore the Nobel Peace Prize. The film is part of the former Vice President’s work in raising awareness about Climate Change’s dangers– as he ironically burns much fuel jetting around the world attending summits– and no doubt added to his fortune.
1. Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods had it all. He was on course to smash Jack Nicklaus’s 18 golf major record and with it came all of the fame, endorsements and adulation a sporting legend could have hoped for when starting their career. However, this star spectacularly fell to earth when revelations of his string of affairs came to light. A public and messy spat with his wife led him to crash his Escalade, which got plastered over the news. Stories of his infidelity lost Woods many sponsors and this year, footage of him disoriented surfaced, as police spotted him asleep in his car. Woods passed a breathalyzer test, but admitted being on prescription drugs. Potentially the greatest golfer ever and wealthiest sportsman after Michael Jordan, his reputation was brought low by his actions, lower than his PGA rankings, still doesn’t diminish the greatness of his wealth.
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