Richest Reality Stars of the 2000s

The 2000s have given us a number of legendary reality shows, including “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” “The Hills,” “The Simple Life,” “Flavor of Love” and “Jersey Shore,” and with those shows came major celebrities — making major money. But the question is: Where are they now?

Although some of the most popular reality TV shows’ stars turned their 15 minutes of fame into million-dollar empires, others squandered their earnings with irresponsible spending or chose to retreat from the spotlight to lead normal lives. Find out which former reality TV stars are worth millions — and which stars went from riches to rags.

Heidi Montag rose to fame as Lauren Conrad’s best friend-turned-frenemy on the MTV reality television show “The Hills,” on which she appeared from 2006 to 2010. Though Montag reportedly earned $100,000 per episode in 2009, according to The Daily Beast, she squandered her fortune by spending millions on a designer wardrobe, a full security staff, fancy wine and a string of infamous plastic surgeries.

Although she burned through her MTV cash flow, the one thing she did leave the reality show with is her husband, Spencer Pratt, who also appeared on the hit series as her on-and-off love interest. The couple eloped in Mexico in November 2008 before making their marriage official with a stateside wedding in April 2009. The couple welcomed their first child, son Gunner Stone, in October 2017.

Montag is now getting a second chance at reality star fame and fortune: She’s appearing on the reboot of “The Hills,” which premiered on MTV in June 2019.

Kate Gosselin appeared on two TV specials, “Home Delivery and the two-part “Surviving Sextuplets,” before entering the world of reality TV. But it was 2007’s “Jon & Kate Plus 8” that made her a star.

Kate and Jon Gosselin went through a very public divorce in 2009, but the show continued on as “Kate Plus 8,” running off and on from 2010 to 2016. Gosselin reportedly was paid $250,000 per episode of her spinoff show, according to TV Guide. During a 2013 TV interview, Gosselin said most of her earnings had been put into college funds for her children. She also said that she spent some of her earnings on a tummy tuck.

Gosselin currently appears on a TLC reality series about her dating life, “Kate Plus Date.”

Adrianne Curry was an aspiring model when she appeared on — and won — the first season of “America’s Next Top Model” in 2003. She next appeared on the VH1 reality series “The Surreal Life” through 2005. It was on the show that she met and fell in love with Christopher Knight, who played middle son Peter on “The Brady Bunch.” They got their own reality show, “My Fair Brady,” which aired from 2005 to 2008.

The reality star duo split in 2011, and Curry has since left Hollywood to pursue a simpler life in the country. She currently sells Avon makeup.

Want to know how much the “Jersey Shore” cast members used to make? Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino was set to earn $5 million in 2010 during the height of his “Jersey Shore” fame, thanks to endorsement deals and a $1 million salary from the show, The Hollywood Reporter stated at the time. By 2012, he was making $2.55 million per season, Radar Online reported.

When the MTV hit originally ended in 2012, Sorrentino’s own reality career did not. He appeared on “The Sorrentinos” (2014), “Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars” (2015) and “Worst Cooks in America” (2016). He currently appears on the reboot, “Jersey Shore Family Vacation,” which premiered in 2018.

Sorrentino is currently in quite a legal “situation.” He made reality TV news headlines when he was sentenced in October 2018 to eight months in prison for tax evasion, People reported. He began serving his prison sentence in January 2019.

Tiffany “New York” Pollard made her mark on the reality TV world as a contestant on Flavor Flav’s dating competition show, “Flavor of Love,” in 2006. She appeared on two seasons of the show and was runner-up twice. Although she didn’t win at love, she did score numerous spinoff shows.

Pollard starred in her own dating competition show, “I Love New York,” which ran from 2007 to 2008, as well as in the shows “New York Goes to Hollywood” (2008) and “New York Goes to Work” (2009). She also appeared on “Celebrity Big Brother” in 2016.

Pollard has tried her hand at acting, starring in the films “First Sunday” (2008), “The Shop” (2014) and “Sharknado 5: Global Swarming” (2017). She is set to appear in the upcoming film, “The Shaw.”

Flavor Flav Net Worth: $3M

  • Known for: “The Surreal Life,” “Flavor of Love”

As part of the rap group Public Enemy, Flavor Flav achieved both critical acclaim and commercial success. The group has released 17 albums, three of which have been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Flav might now be just as well-known for his reality TV career as for his rapping, having appeared on four VH1 shows: “The Surreal Life” (2004), “Strange Love” (2005), “Flavor of Love” (2006-08)” and “Couples Therapy” (2013). Next, Flav is slated to appear in two upcoming documentaries.

In addition to working in the entertainment business, Flav was in the fast-food business — but that didn’t last long, with four fried chicken restaurants that opened and closed shortly after. Most recently, the rapper opened a pizza and fried chicken restaurant, Flavor Flav’s Chicken & Vinny’s Pizza, in Henderson, Nevada, in December 2018. In January 2019, he left the business, though it still remains open as Vinny’s Pizza.

Kristin Cavallari Net Worth: $3.5M

  • Known for: “Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County,” “The Hills”

Like many of her fellow cast members, Kristin Cavallari made a lot of money on “The Hills.” She also stirred up the drama on the show as well as its predecessor “Laguna Beach.”

Cavallari has parlayed her fame from two of the most popular reality TV shows into a number of businesses. She launched the Uncommon James jewelry line in 2017, which she recently expanded to include a home goods line and a kids’ clothing line. She also has a line of shoes with Chinese Laundry.

Her first book, “Balancing in Heels,” was released in 2016 and is a New York Times best-seller, and she released a cookbook, “True Roots,” in 2018. Cavallari still appears on TV as an E! red carpet host and has her own show on the network, “Very Cavallari,” which was picked up for a third season. She is married to former NFL quarterback Jay Cutler, who earned over $112 million in his 11-year career, NBC Sports reported.

Omarosa Net Worth: $3.5M

  • Known for: “The Apprentice”

Omarosa Manigault might be the ultimate reality TV villain. The outspoken businesswoman first made waves on the inaugural season of “The Apprentice” in 2004, and appeared on the show again two more times as a celebrity on 2008’s “Celebrity Apprentice” and 2013’s “Celebrity Apprentice: All-Stars.” She also has appeared on several other reality shows, including “The Surreal Life” (2003 and 2005) and “Fear Factor” (2005).

Despite being fired by Donald Trump three times on “The Apprentice,” she was hired to be an assistant to the president and director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison. She resigned in December 2017 and later appeared on “Celebrity Big Brother” in 2018. She also published a tell-all, “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House,” in August 2018, and now works as a public speaker. 

Bridget Marquardt Net Worth: $4M

  • Known for: “The Girls Next Door”

Bridget Marquardt starred alongside Holly Madison and Kendra Wilkinson on “The Girls Next Door,” which followed the women’s lives as the late Hugh Hefner’s live-in girlfriends.

She appeared on the show from 2005 to 2009 and also hosted the Travel Channel series “Bridget’s Sexiest Beaches” in 2009. Marquardt also appeared on Wilkinson’s spinoff shows “Kendra” and “Kendra on Top,” and on Madison’s spinoff show “Holly’s World.”

The Playmate has since turned her attention to podcasting and is the host of “Ghost Magnet With Bridget Marquardt.”

Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi Net Worth: $4M

  • Known for: “Jersey Shore”

Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi was the breakout star of MTV’s “Jersey Shore,” which followed the antics of a house of 20-somethings as they partied hard in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. Polizzi appeared on the hit show from 2009 to 2012 and was reportedly paid $2.55 million for the final season, according to Radar.

Polizzi then went on to star in a spinoff show with her co-star Jenni “JWOWW” Farley, aptly titled “Snooki & JWOWW,” which aired from 2012 to 2015. She also appeared on “Dancing With the Stars” in 2013, and was a contestant on “The New Celebrity Apprentice.” In 2018, she returned to the Shore for “Jersey Shore Family Vacation,” and she also hosts “How Far Is Tattoo Far?”

In addition to her reality show endeavors, Polizzi has an extensive online retail store, The Snooki Shop, that sells clothing, shoes, swimwear, makeup and accessories. She also sells handmade crafts on the Nicole’s Craftroom site, and co-hosts a podcast, “It’s Happening With Snooki & Joey.”

See: Celebrities Who Are Richer Than You Think

Jamie Chung Net Worth: $5M

  • Known for: “The Real World: San Diego”

Jamie Chung got her entertainment industry start as a cast member on “The Real World: San Diego” in 2004 and as a contestant on “The Challenge” in 2005. She’s since turned her focus from reality TV to acting, appearing and voice acting on numerous television series, including “Days of Our Lives,” “Samurai Girl,” “Once Upon a Time,” “Gotham” and most recently “Big Hero 6: The Series.” She is set to star in the upcoming series, “Lovecraft Country.”

Chung has also acted in movies, including “The Hangover Part II,” “The Hangover Part III,” “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” and “Office Christmas Party.” Up next, she’ll appear in “Windfall” and “The Misfits.”

In addition to acting, Chung has a fashion and travel blog called What the Chung.

Brooke Hogan Net Worth: $6M

  • Known for: “Hogan Knows Best”

The daughter of wrestling legend Hulk Hogan, Brooke Hogan became a reality star when she appeared on “Hogan Knows Best” (2005-07). Thanks to the show’s success, Hogan got her own spinoff show, “Brooke Knows Best,” which ran from 2008 to 2009.

Hogan used her reality fame to launch her singing career, releasing three full-length albums — “Undiscovered” (2006), “The Redemption” (2009) and “I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend” (2015) — and an EP, “So Many Summers” (2018).  Her latest single, “Ride the WAV,” was released in August 2018. Hogan most recently appeared on MTV’s “The Challenge: Champs vs. Stars.”

Kendra Wilkinson Net Worth: $6M

  • Known for: “The Girls Next Door”

Kendra Wilkinson was also one of Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends during the filming of the E! reality show about life in the Playboy Mansion, “The Girls Next Door,” which she starred in from 2005 to 2009. Although Wilkinson eventually decided to leave the mansion, her reality TV career did not end there.

Her spin-off show, “Kendra,” appeared on E! from 2009 to 2011, and her next show, “Kendra on Top,” ran on WE tv from 2012 to 2016. She’s also appeared as a contestant on “Dancing With the Stars” (2011), “Splash” (2013), “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!” (2014) and “Worst Cooks in America” (2016), among other TV appearances.

Wilkinson is the author of two books: “Sliding Into Home” (2010), which is a New York Times best-seller, and “Being Kendra: Cribs, Cocktails & Getting My Sexy Back” (2012).

Mike ‘The Miz’ Mizanin Net Worth: $9M

  • Known for: “The Real World: Back to New York”

Before he was “The Miz,” Mike Mizanin was one of seven strangers picked to be a part of MTV’s “Real World” cast in 2001.

Mizanin took advantage of his 15 minutes to become a successful WWE wrestler. He competed as a wrestler throughout the early 2000s, but it wasn’t until 2010 that he had a career breakthrough when he won the WWE championship. He continues to perform in the WWE and recently has been serving as a host for MTV’s “The Challenge” reunion shows.

Nicole Richie Net Worth: $10M

  • Known for: “The Simple Life”

Nicole Richie, the adopted daughter of Lionel Richie, appeared on “The Simple Life” with her real-life best friend Paris Hilton from 2003 to 2007, though their friendship came apart by the end of the show.

Despite a public feud with Hilton, Richie became successful in her own right. She currently has a clothing, jewelry and accessories brand, House of Harlow 1960, and made the transition from reality TV to acting. She appeared on the NBC comedy “Great News,” which was canceled in May 2018 after its second season, and has also appeared on “Camping,” “Grace and Frankie” and in the TV movie “Richard Lovely.”

Christian Siriano Net Worth: $10M

  • Known for: “Project Runway”

Fashion designer Christian Siriano has dressed Angelina Jolie, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rihanna and Michelle Obama, among others. But in 2008, he was just another up-and-coming designer competing on “Project Runway.” Siriano won his season and went on to achieve immense success in the fashion industry.

In addition to having his own high-end line, Siriano has collaborated with major retailers and brands, including Payless ShoeSource, HSN, Disney, Nordstrom, Best Buy and Puma. He also launched his own line of intimates, eyewear, home, bedding and beauty collections.

Kelly Osbourne Net Worth: $15M

  • Known for: “The Osbournes”

The daughter of Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne, Kelly Osbourne became well-known after appearing on the MTV reality show about her zany family.

Though the show ended its run in 2005, Osbourne remained in the spotlight. She released two albums in the early 2000s and appeared on TV as a host of E!’s “Fashion Police” from 2010 to 2015.

Osbourne also launched a fashion line with HSN in 2014, and she released the book “There Is No F*cking Secret” in April 2017. Nowadays, Osbourne occasionally appears on reality competition shows including “Drop the Mic” and “The $100,000 Pyramid.”

Holly Madison Net Worth: $16M

  • Known for: “The Girls Next Door”

Playboy Playmate and Hugh Hefner’s former “No. 1” girlfriend Holly Madison starred on “The Girls Next Door” from 2005 to 2009. Madison then starred in her own spinoff series, “Holly’s World,” which chronicled her life as a Las Vegas showgirl from 2009 to 2011.

She is a New York Times best-selling author and has written two memoirs: “Down the Rabbit Hole” (2015) and “The Vegas Diaries” (2016). Madison has officially stepped away from reality TV and is now focusing on writing for her personal blog.

Bret Michaels Net Worth: $18M

  • Known for: “Rock of Love With Bret Michaels”

In the 1980s, Bret Michaels was best known as the lead singer of Poison, but in the 2000s, he was known for his dating reality show antics. Michaels starred on the VH1 show “Rock of Love With Bret Michaels,” which aired from 2007 to 2009 and made him a bona fide reality star.

In 2010, he appeared on and won “Celebrity Apprentice” following his recovery from a brain hemorrhage, and he also appeared on “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” in 2013. Michaels is on tour throughout the U.S. until the end of the year and is set to perform on The ’80s Cruise in March 2020.

Hulk Hogan Net Worth: $25M

  • Known for: “Hogan Knows Best”

Hulk Hogan was a star in the pro-wrestling world in the 1980s before appearing on the reality show “Hogan Knows Best” from 2005 to 2007.

In 2016, Hogan received a $31 million settlement from Gawker after the media company published an excerpt of a sex tape he appeared in, which he claimed was a violation of privacy. The settlement came after four years of litigation and ultimately led to Gawker shutting down for good.

Hogan owns two locations of Hogan’s Beach Shop, which sells Hulk Hogan-themed apparel, collectibles and autographed goods.

Lauren Conrad Net Worth: $40M

  • Known for: “Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County,” “The Hills”

Before she became a lifestyle guru, fashion designer and New York Times best-selling author, Lauren Conrad starred in the MTV series “Laguna Beach” (2004-05) and its spinoff, “The Hills” (2006-10). The Southern California native used her fame to launch an empire.

Conrad now has a fashion line, the affordable LC Lauren Conrad collection, sold at Kohl’s. Her LC Lauren Conrad line also includes home goods, jewelry, handbags and shoes.

She is also the co-founder of The Little Market, a nonprofit e-commerce site that sells handmade artisan goods to benefit the artists’ communities, and she has a lifestyle site, LaurenConrad.com.

Kelly Clarkson Net Worth: $45M

  • Known for: “American Idol”

Kelly Clarkson is the first-ever singer to be crowned an “American Idol,” winning season one of the show in 2002. Since the historic win, Clarkson has gone on to sell over 25 million albums, according to CNBC, and she has won three Grammy Awards.

Clarkson most recently released the single “Broken & Beautiful,” which appears on the “UglyDolls” soundtrack. She will be hosting her own talk show, “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” beginning in September 2019.

Ozzy Osbourne Net Worth: $220M

  • Known for: “The Osbournes”

Ozzy Osbourne was already well-known as the lead singer of Black Sabbath when he starred on MTV’s “The Osbournes,” but the reality show introduced him to a new audience.

He appeared on the show from 2002 to 2005 and received hefty paychecks for doing so. The family members were reportedly paid $5,000 each per episode during the first season. But thanks to the show’s popularity, they were paid an astounding $5 million per episode for the second season, CNN reported. Osbourne continues to perform as a solo artist and has upcoming tour dates beginning in 2020.

Sharon Osbourne Net Worth: $220M

  • Known for: “The Osbournes”

Sharon Osbourne, Ozzy Osbourne’s manager-turned-wife, became famous in her own right with the success of “The Osbournes” (2002-05). Osbourne has remained a television staple long after the show ended.

She currently appears as a host on “The Talk,” and she has authored or co-authored six books.

Paris Hilton Net Worth: $300M

  • Known for: “The Simple Life”

Hilton Hotel heiress Paris Hilton was known before her reality stint on “The Simple Life” (2003-07)  for being a socialite and party girl — and for splurging on her dogs. However, the show brought her to new levels of fame.

Outside of her family fortune, Hilton has several successful businesses of her own. She has her own lines of shoes, T-shirts, fragrances and accessories — as well as a New York Times best-selling book and an album that includes the RIAA certified gold single “Stars Are Blind.” Her perfume line has proved to be extremely profitable: As of 2015, she had sold 40 million bottles, totaling $2 billion in sales. Hilton’s latest business endeavor is the ProD.N.A. skincare line, a line of cruelty-free anti-aging products.

She has also returned to music, most recently releasing the single “Lone Wolves” with MATTN.

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All information in this article is accurate as of July 23, 2019.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Where Are They Now: Richest Reality Stars of the 2000s

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