The actress addressed speculation about her finances during an appearance at the INBOUND conference in Boston on Friday
Reese Witherspoon is setting the record straight on her finances.
On Wednesday, news broke that Consortium Brand Partners had acquired a 70% ownership stake in Witherspoon’s fashion and lifestyle brand, Draper James, according to Forbes, which also named her "the wealthiest self-made female actor in the world."
In the wake of the sale, some outlets speculated that the actress, 47, could be close to joining the billionaire club — particularly given the 2021 sale of her production company, Hello Sunshine, for $900 million.
However, Witherspoon shut down those rumors during a conversation with NBC News Daily anchor Zinhle Essamuah in Boston on Friday.
“I didn’t,” she said of speculation that she recently became a billionaire. “They’re wrong.”
She added, “That’s enormously flattering and if I ever touched the bottom of whatever Oprah’s magic golden boots do, I would be so lucky.”
During the conversation, which was hosted at HubSpot's annual INBOUND gathering, The Morning Show actress also shared her perspective on how to deal with rejection — something that she's faced a lot of in Hollywood.
“I think I started so young, and rejection was such an early piece of my life that I learned a long time ago that other people's opinions of me are none of my business,” she said.
Witherspoon continued, “I really don't care what anybody thinks. I'm gonna do my work anyway. I'm gonna date whoever I want, go hang out with a friend nobody likes. When you release that feeling of other people's opinions crushing you or holding you down, you're free. You’re totally free.”
She also revealed the secret to cultivating a strong inner circle. “Everybody out there over 40 knows. If you aren’t adding to my life, get the heck outta my life.”
Witherspoon advised the audience, “Edit your friendships,” adding, “My grandma used to say people are radiators or drains. Stick with radiators.”
The mission of Friday’s INBOUND conference was to "focus on human connection to drive transformative growth, meaningful conversations, and actionable insights.” The event brought “industry-spanning icons, marketing [and] sales leaders, wellness experts, and acclaimed authors” to Boston.
While speaking with Essamuah, Witherspoon opened up about the dearth of female-driven projects in Hollywood, which led her to “put my money where my mouth is” and “actually walk the walk” to launch the production company that became Hello Sunshine.
“I was told not to put my own money in it several times by many, many advisors. I saw people who were taking money from studios, and I saw how watered down the product was. I saw that they were sitting on material that never got made,” Witherspoon explained of her decision to personally invest in her production company Hello Sunshine.
She continued, “And I thought if you were to function and do something differently, you have to think about it differently. And you have to capitalize it differently. So probably about a year and we had two of these three Oscar nominations, we had a television show that got done. And I couldn't keep the lights on.”
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Witherspoon then shared that she credited her ex husband, Jim Toth, for helping her refine her approach.
“I approached my husband at the time and a business partner and retooled the business plan. And so we went ahead to raise capital, which was a whole lot of asking people for money. It was terrifying,” she said. “Every day I would wake up and I would do something to further my dream.”
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