7 People Who Married for Money
Throughout history, there have been tons of cases of beautiful young women marrying older men to secure their fortune after their “dearly beloveds” pass away. Now, the modern gold digger doesn’t necessarily have to be some young girl — even men who ally themselves with successful women can earn the not-so-lovely label. Here’s a list of some of the most famous (though not necessarily the most successful) gold diggers in history.
Anna Nicole Smith
Anna Nicole Smith was born Vicky Lynn Hogan in Mexia, Texas in 1967. Her family was led by her mother Virgie, after her father disappeared shortly after her birth. She dropped out of high school in order to contribute a few extra dollars to the family income by working at a fried chicken restaurant. She fell in love with the restaurant’s cook, and married him at 17 years old, giving birth to their son later that year.
Anna Nicole dreamed of making it big in the entertainment industry, and a few years later started dancing in a strip club in Houston. There she met J. Howard Marshall II, an oil magnate who fell in love with her; they married 3 years later. At the time, Anna Nicole was 26, and he was 89 years old.
They remained married until his death not even two years later. Most of Marshall’s money was willed to his son E. Pierce Marshall, and Anna Nicole embarked on an 11 year journey through the US Justice System to secure her inheritance, which she claims J. Howard promised her verbally before his death, but never put in writing. Anna Nicole ultimately lost the lawsuit, but succeeded in her goal of becoming a household name in the entertainment world.
The days of calling only women gold-diggers are over! Kevin Federline has been called a gold-digger for years, ever since his 2004 marriage to Britney Spears. Although they seemed relatively well matched in the beginning (they met when he was hired as a backup dancer for one of her music videos), most people now can spot their obvious differences in not only wealth, but talent as well.
When they first met, Federline was the father of a 2-year-old daughter, with another child on the way with girlfriend Shar Jackson. Within a few weeks of meeting Spears, he broke up with Jackson who was 6 months pregnant at the time, and left the country to accompany Britney on her international tour. After only three months of dating, Spears and Federline were married. In an effort to prove that he was still an entertainer even though Britney was bankrolling everything, Federline started recording a rap album. Playing with Fire was a gigantic failure, selling only 6,500 copies in the first week.
After Federline and Spears split (after only 3 years of marriage), Federline fought for custody of their children Jayden and Sean, succeeding only after Spears’ mental health forced her into treatment.
Kimora Lee Simmons
One of the most personally successful people on this list, Kimora Lee Simmons is both a model and lifestyle entrepreneur. Although her own merits got her far before her marriage to Russell Simmons, it’s unlikely that she would have succeeded without his help.
She began modelling at the age of 14, and her first contract was a gig with Chanel that took her to Paris, where she became the muse of Karl Lagerfeld. Only three years later, she met Russell Simmons, the co-founder of Def Jam records. They married after a tumultuous dating relationship and had two children together. Her career path turned from modelling to fashion design shortly after she was married. Russell Simmons had been tasked with creating a children’s fashion line for Phat Farm, but Kimora took it over, and created all the looks for Baby Phat, a line that would eventually expand into a full lifestyle brand of women’s wear.
Although Kimora owes her initial success to Russell Simmons, they divorced in 2009. Kimora went on to marry first Djimon Hounsou, then banker Tim Leissner.