Celebrity Wives Who Make More Money Than Their Husbands

The gender pay gap, or, in other terms, the difference between how much men and women make for performing the same duties in the same fields, is a longstanding prevalent issue in countries across the world. While it may seem unlikely, in reality, the United States, despite its highly developed economy, is no exception. According to the Pew Research Center, studies show that, on average, American female workers made only 82% of what their male counterparts earned in 2022. Shockingly, this is no progress compared to the gender pay gap that prevailed in America in 2002, when women typically earned $0.80 for every dollar men pocketed for the same occupation.

It's no surprise that female celebrities face the same discrimination. In 2019, The Wire estimated that women in Hollywood, on average, were paid $6.6 million, whereas men doing the same work earned $11.9 million. Taking into account these recent studies on the topic, it's safe to say that Hollywood still has a lot to do to abolish gender-based discrimination. Even in marriage, money plays a huge role, and large pay differences between couples sometimes leads to tension in the marriage — and possibly divorce. However, there are exceptions, and many happy marriages exist where women earn considerably more than their partners. Here's a list of celebrity wives who are worth more than their husbands, inspiring and empowering women by smashing a part of patriarchy the world can and should do without.

Scarlett Johansson

Known for playing Black Widow in Marvel Cinematic Universe films and starring in movies including "Lucy," "Marriage Story," "Jojo Rabbit," and "Her," actor Scarlett Johansson has an estimated net worth of $165 million, while her husband, "SNL" star Colin Jost, is reportedly worth $10 million. Johansson married Jost back in October 2020 and shares her second child — Cosmo, born in 2021 — with the comedian. Although the pair's individual net worths are extremely far from one another, Johansson's extremely high net worth is no surprise, since she was Hollywood's highest-grossing female actor in 2018 and 2019.

As it turns out, Johansson can be quite particular about her earnings. In 2021, shortly after the Johansson-starring Marvel film "Black Widow" was released in cinemas and on the OTT streaming platform Disney+ due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the actor sued Disney, accusing the company of violating her contract. She alleged she was supposed to be paid on the basis of the movie's performance in cinemas, but its release on Disney+ caused her to suffer a huge loss. That said, Disney later revealed the actor was paid $20 million in advance. The lawsuit, which was ultimately settled, may say otherwise, but Johansson has reportedly received only $33,000 for eight weeks of shooting for the 2023 Wes Anderson film "Asteroid City," proving money isn't the only factor that matters when choosing projects she wants to work.

Julia Roberts

Oscar-winning actor Julia Roberts reportedly has an astounding net worth of $250 million, whereas her husband, cinematographer Daniel Moder, is said to be worth $10 million. However, despite such a wide pay gap between them, the pair, by Hollywood standards, has clearly been going strong for the past two decades. Having met in 2000 on the set of the 2001 film "The Mexican," a project they worked on together, Moder and Roberts tied the knot in 2002 and are parents to twins Hazel and Phinnaeus and son Henry.

Working in the industry for nearly four decades, Roberts has earned staggering amounts of money for most films she's done. While she reportedly made only $300,000 for 1990's "Pretty Woman," Roberts broke all records in 2000 by becoming the first female Hollywood actor to earn $20 million for a single film – "Erin Brockovich," a project that earned Roberts a much-deserved Academy Award. Later, in 2010, she reportedly made $3 million for six minutes of screen time in the Garry Marshall rom-com "Valentine's Day" and received 3% of the film's gross box office earnings. Then, in 2016, the actor was paid $3 million for four days of shooting the Jennifer Aniston-starring, Garry Marshall-directed rom-com "Mother's Day." No wonder Roberts has a net worth so unbelievably high!

Melissa McCarthy

Melissa McCarthy's struggle to reach the top, be it as an actor, screenwriter, producer, or businesswoman, isn't something that can be overlooked. McCarthy, who at one point had less than $5 in her bank account, is now a millionaire with an estimated net worth of $90 million — $70 million more than what her husband, actor Ben Falcone, is reportedly worth. While her earnings from movies such as "Bridesmaids," "Tammy," "Identity Thief," and 2016's "Ghostbusters" and shows including "Gilmore Girls," "Samantha Who?" and "Mike & Molly" add to her astonishing net worth, she has quite a few other sources of income, some of which include her husband's involvement.

Parents to daughters Vivian and Georgette, the duo tied the knot in 2005 and have been inseparable ever since. They've worked on a number of projects together, including episodes of "Gilmore Girls," "Bridesmaids," and "Identity Thief." They also founded a production company called On the Day Productions (which produced "Tammy") in 2013 and invested in a pandemic-born whiskey company, Big Nose Kate, in 2022. As for McCarthy's own business endeavor, back in 2015, she launched a size-inclusive clothing line known as Seven7, which was unfortunately discontinued a few years later.

Anne Hathaway

Best known for movies such as "The Princess Diaries," "The Devil Wears Prada," "Rachel Getting Married," and "Love & Other Drugs," Anne Hathaway is reportedly worth $80 million, which far surpasses the net worth of her husband, Adam Shulman. Shulman, an actor and jewelry designer Hathaway married in 2012, is worth an estimated $1 million. That said, the difference between their individual earnings doesn't seem to be a problem. The couple is apparently living a happy married life and share two sons, Jonathan Rosebanks and Jack, born in 2016 and 2019, respectively.

Hathaway's net worth comes as no surprise. She has been in the film industry for more than two decades and has reportedly earned massive amounts of money, even for small cameos. For example, Hathaway was paid $7.5 million for 19 minutes of screen time in the 2012 film "The Dark Knight Rises." Furthermore, Hathaway reportedly earned $10 million for playing a brief role in 2012's "Les Misérables," the movie that brought her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Another factor that undoubtedly helped Hathaway succeed is her ambitious nature. As she told Elle in 2022, "When you are not born into the life that you would like to have for yourself, you have to be ambitious ... I love that I'm hardworking ... And I love that I have really big dreams and goals for myself."

Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman, known for blockbusters such as "Far and Away," "Batman Forever," "To Die For," "Eyes Wide Shut," and "The Hours," the last of which earned her an Academy Award, married singer-songwriter Keith Urban in 2006. Kidman is reportedly worth around $250 million, while Urban, with whom Kidman shares two of her four children, has a net worth of $75 million.

Back in 2008, Forbes listed Kidman as the "most overpaid" Hollywood celebrity, noting that the 2008 movies in which she starred grossed only $1 for every dollar Kidman pocketed for the projects. According to reports, Kidman was paid somewhere between $250,000 and $350,000 per episode for the first season of HBO's drama series "Big Little Lies" and reportedly earned $1 million per episode for the second. The show ran from 2017 to 2019, with 14 episodes aired. Additionally, Kidman banked $1 million an episode for Hulu's "Nine Perfect Strangers," which broadcast eight episodes.

During Kidman's initial days in the film industry, she lived by the motto "get out there and work," she told The New York Times Magazine, adding, "There's no chance of being selective because you've got to make money. I didn't come from an affluent family." With money no longer an issue, she admitted, "I do get to make choices and have some say in my trajectory as an artist."

Jennifer Lopez

Singer and actor Jennifer Lopez's relationship with her now-husband, actor Ben Affleck, has been one of the most scrutinized Hollywood affairs. The pair, who called their initial engagement off in 2004, rekindled their romance nearly two decades later, ultimately saying "I do" in 2022. Despite being extremely successful in their individual fields of expertise, the two are nowhere near each other in terms of their net worth. Affleck's estimated net worth is $150 million, whereas Lopez is said to be worth a jaw-dropping $400 million.

In her nearly four-decade-long Hollywood career, Lopez has pocketed astonishingly huge amounts of money for most of her work. For example, Lopez broke Planet Hollywood records when her "All I Have" residency at Las Vegas' Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino sold more than $1 million in tickets in 2016. Back in 2010, Lopez was even rumored to have signed a $12 million contract with Fox to serve as a judge for the 10th season of "American Idol." In 2008, Lopez sold photos of her then-newborn twins, whom she shares with ex-husband Marc Anthony, to People for $6 million. She later told the Daily Beast that some of that money went to charity, while the rest was saved for her kids. However, no matter what it may look like, Lopez isn't really "money-crazy." She produced and starred in 2019's "Hustlers" for free, justifying her decision by telling GQ, "I do what I love."

Kourtney Kardashian Barker

Having tied the knot back in early 2022, television personality Kourtney Kardashian Barker and musician Travis Barker are now expecting their first child together. The "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" (KUWTK) star has an estimated net worth of $65 million, which is quite, if not a lot, higher than her husband's $50-million-dollar net worth. As with any other celebrity, Kourtney has various sources of income, but her earnings from "KUWTK" are a huge factor when it comes to her bank balance.

In 2015, E! allegedly paid the Kardashian-Jenner family a whopping $80 million for airing the show through the end of its 14th season in 2017. That same year, according to various reports, the family signed a $150 million contract for five upcoming seasons of "KUWTK." If we believe Kris Jenner, who told Ellen DeGeneres that the family of six has equally distributed their earnings among themselves, Kourtney banked about $38 million from the 2015 and 2017 deals. Kourtney also has her very own lifestyle brand called Poosh, where she sells products from brands she partners with.

Despite her wealth, one piece of financial advice she received from her father, Robert Kardashian, is something she has never forgotten. "The biggest thing that my dad always told us was just that money doesn't buy happiness. He would drill that into our heads," she told CNBC in 2019.

Kelly Ripa

Actor-turned-talk show host Kelly Ripa is a household name, thanks to her hosting "Live!" for over two decades now opposite co-hosts over the years who included Regis Philbin, Michael Strahan, and Ryan Seacrest. Since Seacrest's 2023 departure from the show, Ripa has hosted it with her longtime husband, actor Mark Consuelos. Consuelos and Ripa, who are parents of three, are reportedly worth $40 million and $120 million respectively. However, Ripa, who now annually earns about $20 million for "Live" (she also hosts ABC's primetime family-friendly game show "Generation Gap"), wasn't always paid as much as she deserved. Surprisingly, at one point, it was a very serious gender-biased discrimination against Ripa that actually worked in the favor of her husband.

While acting in the soap opera "All My Children," Ripa earned far less than her then-co-star, Mark Consuelos, even though she joined the show before he did. As Ripa told Variety, "It wasn't until I got what we call my 'fancy job' that I started actually earning more money than him." However, she also made clear that the previous and current pay gaps have never really affected the dynamic the couple share, saying, "We have been together so long that it's always been collective money. We are very much old-fashioned in that sense."

Cameron Diaz

Starting her career as a model, Cameron Diaz stepped into the Hollywood film industry with "The Mask," starring opposite Jim Carrey. During her two-decade-long acting career, prior to taking a break to focus on her personal life, Diaz starred in hits including "Charlie's Angels," "What Happens in Vegas," "Knight and Day," "Bad Teacher" and "Sex Tape." Although she has since returned to acting with "Back in Action," a forthcoming Netflix movie also starring Jamie Foxx, Diaz banked the majority of her estimated $140 million net worth before she temporarily retired. Diaz's earnings overshadow that of Benji Madden, her husband with whom she shares daughter Raddix, to a great extent. Her musician husband is apparently worth $40 million.

Considering Forbes listed her as the second highest-paid female actor in 2010, her net worth is no surprise. The outlet reported that she pocketed a whopping $32 million that year. In 1999, Diaz reportedly was set to earn $12 million for 2000's "Charlie's Angels." For 2011's "Bad Teacher," Diaz was reportedly paid $1 million upfront and $42 million for the movie's performance in cinemas. That said, it seems the self-made actor managed to retain her worth over her inactive years due to the values she was raised with. As she once told Britain's Stella magazine, "I come from a frugal upbringing so I'm not just going to throw my money away" (via SBS News).