Some of today’s most well known celebrities made their money in – to quote Tupac Shakur – a “sleazy way.” Our list of shame includes rappers, former porn stars and the queen of reality TV.
In 2007 a tape of Kim Kardashian having sex with her ex-boyfriend Ray J was leaked online, turning Paris Hilton’s former best friend into a household name. Three reality TV shows, numerous endorsement deals and a Playboy spread later the new mom is reportedly worth $40 million and in 2010 helped her family make $65 million.
Not to be outdone, porn and media mogul Larry Flynt – the founder of Hustler – is worth an estimated $400 million. Since Hustler magazine was launched in 1974 Flynt’s empire has expanded and includes a website, a film studio and even a casino.
Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis learned early on there is no bigger cash cow than drunken girls flashing their boobs at clubs and capturing it all on film. Before he filed for bankruptcy in February 2013 he made millions – enough money to wallpaper his Bel Air mansion, which is worth an estimated $11.4 million.
Anna Nicole Smith
Anna Nicole Smith
The late Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith essentially amassed a $450 million fortune by stripping. Aged 26, she married 89-year-old oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall – a patron of the Texas strip club where she worked. In the years since his demise and her death her estate continues to seek part of his riches.
OK, so the artist formerly known as Snoop Dogg didn’t completely make his fortune selling sex. But in the past the rapper was a self-confessed pimp and drug dealer and, once he became famous, he supplemented his sizeable income by making hardcore porn videos, without actually removing a stitch of his own clothes.
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This business-savvy blonde is another former porn star who has parlayed her skin flick past into mainstream fortune. Now a successful author and entrepreneur, she is worth an estimated $30 million.
She’s fallen on hard times but in her heyday – before she was arrested in the Nineties – former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss made millions pimping out prostitutes to rich clients like Charlie Sheen.
Dubbed “the dirtiest girl in the world” by Rolling Stone, former porn star Sasha Grey is pretty savvy. She made her name doing hardcore sex scenes before quitting the business, aged just 21, and becoming a mainstream actress. According to CelebrityNetworth.com she is worth an estimated $2.5 million.
In 1953 the former Esquire magazine copyeditor raised $8,000 and got a $600 bank loan to launch Playboy. It is the foundation of his sex empire. Sixty years later he is worth an estimated $43 million.
They are considered to be American royalty but it has long been rumored that President John F. Kennedy’s father Joseph accumulated part of the family’s wealth through bootlegging. He is alleged to have imported liquor into the U.S. during Prohibition when alcohol was illegal.
The rap star has always been a hustler but before he became a music mogul and all around entrepreneur worth $500 million, Jay Z sold drugs on the streets of Brooklyn, New York to make money.