Salma Hayek Addresses Accusation She Married Billionaire François-Henri Pinault for His Money

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Samantha Schnurr
·3 min read
Salma Hayek Addresses Accusation She Married Billionaire François-Henri Pinault for His Money
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Marry for money? Not Salma Hayek.

More than a decade of marriage later, the Oscar nominee has not forgotten the stereotypical accusations she faced after tying the knot with reported billionaire businessman François-Henri Pinault. During an interview on Dax Shepard's podcast, Armchair Expert, the host admitted he, too, had considered money as the motive behind their nuptials. "I'm admitting to something. I didn't know who he was. I just heard or maybe read in a headline that you had married a very rich guy," Shepard recalled to Hayek. "So, I was like, 'Oh, ok. She married a rich guy. Maybe that's why she married him, I don't know.'"

However, the actor changed his tune once he came face to face with the French mogul. "I meet him and I'm like, this guy is so foxy, he's, oh my god, the confidence, his eyes, he's so good-looking and charming and I was like, oh, this motherf--ker could have been broke. He's a bombshell."

Shepard's comments spurred Hayek to candidly gush about her other half. "The thing is that in pictures you cannot begin to guess the magic in him and he's made me become a much better person and grow in such a good, healthy way," she said. "When I married him everybody said, 'Oh, it's arranged marriage. She married him for the money.' I'm like, 'Yeah, whatever bitch.'"

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While the accusations are untrue, Hayek is unbothered by them. "Think what you want—15 years together and we are strong in love and I don't even get offended." Still, the claims confused Shepard's co-host Monica Padman, who pointed out that the star was successful on her own.

Salma Hayek, Francois-Henri Pinault
Salma Hayek, Francois-Henri Pinault

"We're touching on a very interesting conversation. Discrimination also reaches men," Hayek pointed out. "Immediately you think because somebody's rich, [they] might not be a good person." She continued to list the stereotypes rich people face, including that they're materialistic or workaholics, that they don't deserve the success or that they found success the wrong way. In fact, she thought them herself.

"It was the last thing I wanted," she said of being with a wealthy man. "It was not my type at all." However, she said Pinault "melted" all her misconceptions away. "My guy finishes work, no matter how hard it was—and trust me, he has a lot of responsibilities—big smile on his face. Happy to be home. Happy to see me and the kids. Make us laugh. We go on vacation, he completely shuts off. He's in the moment."

As she concluded of her main point, "It's not just an insult to me—I'm not the one being judged only. 'Oh, she's an actress. She's going for the money.' They cannot begin to imagine what a joy that human being is."

This is not the first time Hayek has publicly addressed the way she's been treated since exchanging vows with Pinault. "A lot of people are very shocked that I married who I married. And some people are even intimidated now by me," she said in a Town & Country interview from 2019. "But it's another way of showing racism. They can't believe this Mexican ended up in the life that she has, and they're uncomfortable around me."