The Kathy Hilton you know and love stirred up some major drama on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills during season 12. The fabulous matriarch officially joined the girl gang as a cast member after appearing on the show as a “friend” of the group. (Although, I’m not so sure how “friendly” everyone is feeling, RN). In fact, I’m gonna need some time to process everything that went down during the final part of the season 12 reunion last night.
In the meantime, RHOBH fans are curious to know more about Kathy’s life of luxury and what contributes to the hefty net worth that supports this Hilton’s lavish habits.
If you're a regular viewer of the show, you know that Kathy, 63, and her super-famous family, is, well, really rich. The other housewives even call her out for her wealth sometimes—and, as it turns out, her net worth is nothing to sneeze at (but more on that later).
But besides being on the show, where does Kathy's money come from? Keep reading for all the details on her many streams of income, and find out exactly how much this hospitality industry titan is worth:
Kathy married into the wealthy Hilton family when she was just 20 years old.
Kathy met her future husband Rick when she was 15 years old. Rick is the grandson of Conrad Hilton, the founder of Hilton hotels. He already had plenty of money to his name when he met Kathy, according to Business Insider.
Here's a snap from their fifth anniversary party, with Kathy and Rick on the right (and artist Andy Warhol to Rick's left):
The two married five years later, in 1979, per Celebrity Net Worth. Newlywed Kathy was working in the banquet and sales department at the Waldorf Astoria hotel for just $160 a week, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Kathy and Rick’s daughters, Nicky and Paris Hilton (who are also incredibly successful in their business ventures) are the current heirs of Hilton Hotels, which is estimated to have around $16 billion in total assets, per Life & Style Mag.
Kathy first owned a gift and antique store.
Right after she married Rick, Kathy became the owner of The Staircase, a gift and antique shop on Sunset Plaza in Los Angeles, California. After around a decade managing the store, Kathy made a brief return to showbusiness in the early 2000s.
First, she found a job as a host on QVC. Then, she moved on to host the reality show I Want to Be a Hilton, according to IMDb. She hopped around a few other acting gigs, like hosting on QVC's rival shopping network, HSN, and starring in an episode of the soap opera The Young and the Restless as herself. She also appeared on the first (and only) season of her daughter’s reality series, The World According to Paris in 2011, in addition to Cooking with Paris in 2021.
These definitely netted Kathy some spending money, but the bigger checks came rolling in later.
Then, she became a fashion designer.
In 2012, Kathy started designing for her label, the Kathy Hilton Collection, a line of cocktail and party dresses. “My inspiration is designing beautiful dresses that look like a million dollars but they don’t break the bank. These dresses are affordable, they’re classic and they’re timeless,” she told The Hollywood Reporter at the time.
“I wanted to design dresses that would be appropriate for myself—when you look through my lookbook and my collection—for my sisters who are a bit younger than me, my daughters, my nieces, their friends, my friends, and women of all ages,” Kathy added.
The dresses ranged in price from $395 to $750 and were sold at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, and online, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "I think it’s nice to bring back that ladylike, fun, feminine, with the edge and sexy at the same time, and something that’s fresh and new. That’s why all the stores took my line. They said it’s so fresh. It’s different," Kathy explained.
A global line of high-end dresses sold in around 400 stores? Definitely a massive moneymaker for Kathy.
And, her husband invested in plenty of real estate.
Of course, Kathy's wealth is tied to her husband's gigantic fortune. While Kathy was making it big on TV and on the runway, Rick turned to real estate to raise even more cash. Rick's son, Barron (one of Paris and Nicky's brothers), said of his dad: “Just seeing how he works with people, he’s universal, he’s likable, no ego and he knows more about real estate than anyone," per Forbes.
Rick and Kathy have invested in and sold plenty of high-value properties. One of Rick's biggest deals was selling his father's home for $61.5 million in May of 2021, according to the Los Angeles Times. The pair also bought an estate in the Hamptons for $2,385,000 in 1999 that they routinely rent out during the warm summer months.
Back in 2007, Variety estimated that the Hiltons pocketed $350,000 from renting the house out for one season alone. It's likely that number has skyrocketed since then.
Kathy has also modeled for high fashion brands.
Kathy, Paris, and Nicky have also modeled together for some pretty upscale brands. The trio starred in a Valentino campaign, per Page Six. “Loved playing dress-up with my girls,” Kathy captioned some snaps from the shoot on Instagram in 2020.
A gig like this pays a pretty penny, for sure!
And now, she earns a paycheck for her role on RHOBH.
Although the paycheck doesn’t compete with the revenue her other businesses bring in, Kathy has earned some money for her appearances on the show.
While the specifics of her current contract are not public, the paycheck is probably pretty minimal in comparison to her entire net worth.
Friends on the show only get paid per day of filming, according to Vulture. But the outlet reported that two friends on The Real Housewives of Atlanta made $150,000 and $300,000 for appearing on season 12 in 2019, so it's likely that Kathy is making something similar before she became a full cast member.
The Sun reported that Kathy supposedly requested $2 million to return to the show for season 12. While sources confirmed that she didn’t get exactly the amount she asked for, it’s likely that she received a pretty penny because she did end up returning to RHOBH.
She also may have received a stipend of around $1,000 or so for her season 11 reunion dress.
Plus, she's about to sell a mega-mansion in Beverly Hills.
Kathy's lavish lifestyle was a central focus of RHOBH season 11. Fans were stunned when she took fellow Housewife Sutton Stracke on a tour of the mega-mansion she was building—to sell, mind you, not to live in.
Kathy originally wanted to move into the huge home once it was finished being built, but she couldn't convince Rick to leave their current Bel-Air digs. "This house, we bought, Rick and I, for ourselves. But Rick goes, 'Don't you have like all these sentimental memories here and everything? I mean this house is perfect for us,'" she said, per Bravo. "It really means a lot for him to stay here, so I'm fine with that."
The 18,000 square foot home is the "best of the best," Kathy says, and was predicted to come with a price tag of around $52 or $53 million. Sutton was, understandably, floored.
"This house is huge. I could fit like three of my houses inside of this one house," she said. "This is Kathy. This has like the Kathy Hilton stamp of approval on it."
The listing is still posted as of October 2022, but it seems the price is now just about $39.5 million, down from $43 million. It's an 8-bed, 16-bath beauty. Any takers?
So, how much is Kathy Hilton worth?
Get ready, because Kathy's net worth is immense. She and Rick together are worth a whopping $350 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
FYI, her half-sister Kyle is only worth around $100 million, while her co-star Erika Jayne is worth just $5 million. So when the other Housewives say she's rich, they're not kidding! Everything's definitely hunky dory for Kathy Hilton.
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