How Much The Most Controversial HGTV Stars Are Really Worth

When you turn on HGTV, you're likely in the mood to see top-notch home renovations and inspiring DIY décor ideas, not to mention getting the opportunity to live vicariously through house hunting couples. The network delivers those things and more thanks to the help of a team of stars who are ready to step in front of the cameras and share their expertise.

That kind of real estate and design savviness earns HGTV plenty of loyal viewers. "The ratings just keep going up and up," Billie Gold, vice president of programming research at Amplifi US, told Country Living in 2016. "And I don't think this is a phenomenon that's going to die down anytime soon." That continues to be true as HGTV remains the force behind hit shows such as Masters of Flip, and while Deadline notes that there's been "a 10% year-to-year decline in viewers, HGTV climbed a notch to an all-time-high No. 3 in total viewers" in 2019.

This success, in turn, means that the network's popular personalities can demand a heck of a lot of money in return for their on-camera services. However, at the same time, their public profiles can also bring them unwanted attention when they spark buzz for scandalous reasons. In fact, it's hard to imagine what would be more shocking to fans: the antics that these famous figures have been involved in or how much the most controversial HGTV stars are worth.

Chip and Joanna Gaines are scandal-ridden millionaires

Chip and Joanna Gaines are popular, controversial, and rich! What's helped them gain fame, fortune, and notoriety? Well, it didn't hurt that their HGTV hit, Fixer Upper, became "the most successful show to ever air on the network" and experienced "record numbers of viewers across the board," according to Country Living. "Even Blake Lively calls Fixer Upper her perfect Thursday night." Beyond that, Business Insider notes that the duo "have their hands in several businesses — like magazine Magnolia Journal, home-decor lines under the Magnolia Home umbrella, clothing lines, Target collaborations, storefronts and restaurants at The Silos, the Magnolia Table cookbook, Magnolia Realty, and so much more." That's why Chip and Joanna are estimated to have $10 million each, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

However, while it's clear that the Gaines have enjoyed plenty of success, they've also caused what Good Housekeeping deemed was "major drama" over the years. For instance, their seemingly highly curated family-focused image was tainted once Chip was sued for fraud, and the couple faced backlash "when their church's pastor preached against same-sex marriage." And those weren't the only controversial aspects of their lives. Frankly, the pair have been involved in so many iffy situations, that Cosmopolitan included them over and over again on their list of the "biggest HGTV scandals of all time."

Perhaps this is one duo who should spend a little less time fixing up houses and a little more time fixing up their reputations.

These hosts make their fair share of money and headlines

Tarek El Moussa and Christina Anstead became popular with HGTV fans as a couple, however, the Flip or Flop hosts caused a buzz in 2016 when they "separated ...after a scary incident involving guns and a feared suicide attempt," TMZ explained. Apparently, when police — including "11 deputies and a helicopter" — "responded to 'a call of a possibly suicidal male with a gun' at the couple's Orange County home," witnesses revealed that they had seen "Tarek grab a gun from his safe, run out the back door, and flee down a hiking trail." That was followed by Anstead "running out of the house crying and shaking." El Moussa was soon located and claimed to have the gun to deal with potential "mountain lions and rattlesnakes." Whether or not that was true, "deputies went back to the house and ended up seizing 5 guns, including an AR-15."

Following the stars' split, they found themselves sparking cringe-worthy news when fans felt like El Moussa's girlfriend, Heather Rae Young, was attempting to look like his ex-wife. However, Young called the claims "ridiculous," according to People, saying, "Last time I checked I've looked like this my whole life."

While these are the kind of scandals that you might think could harm their earning potential, that doesn't seem to be the case as El Moussa is worth $10 million, while Anstead has $12 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Jonathan Scott is your super-rich boy-next-door type

Jonathan Scott has a whopping $100 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, as does his brother, Drew Scott, if you're curious. That kind of money proves that the twins' money-making potential goes beyond what you see onscreen. E! News explains that along with the siblings' "multiple television projects and their production company, Scott Brothers Entertainment," the pair are also the famous faces behind the "Scott Living housewares brand." Frankly, "the HGTV stars have created an immensely successful business empire," which resulted in "a half-billion dollars in sales in 2018" alone, according to Entrepreneur.

While the brothers have a boys-next-door appeal, which helped to make them famous (and super-rich), Jonathan's bad-boy side came out in 2016 when he faced potential charges related to what USA Today called a "bar scuffle." During the "incident [that] gained nationwide attention," Jonathan and "several other patrons ... became annoyed when staff took their drinks away at closing time." After the HGTV star and "the other customers were led out of the bar's back entrance," they "[returned] and [had] to be kicked out again."

Beyond that, "there was shoving involved and photos from TMZ show [Jonathan] being placed in a chokehold," which is probably why he "[claimed] he was assaulted by the bouncer." Luckily for the star, prosecutors "decided there was insufficient evidence to charge him" after the incident, and he was free to go back to making millions of dollars.

Carter Oosterhouse's life involves millions of dollars

What's your favorite Carter Oosterhouse show? Is it HGTV's Carter Can? Or do you prefer Celebrity Motor Homes and Million Dollar Rooms? Frankly, all of these shows have helped the star earn a fortune that sits at $8 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. However, when Oosterhouse's name ended up in the news in 2017, it wasn't due to his television work.

That was when Kailey Kaminsky, Oosterhouse's former makeup artist, accused him of "coerc[ing] her into performing repeated acts of oral sex during production, an experience that she says eventually led to her becoming hospitalized for depression and losing her job," according to The Hollywood Reporter. Oosterhouse responded to the accusations by admitting that he had "an intimate relationship" with Kaminsky, but insisted that what happened "was 100 percent mutual."

The star's wife, actress Amy Smart, stood by her husband, telling Us Weekly, "People can say a lot. And ... I just think there was a lot of not truth that was put out there." Oosterhouse, who has appeared on TLC's Trading Spaces, was also supported by Nancy Daniels, the network's president and general manager, who told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour (via Variety), "At the end of the day, we feel very comfortable continuing with Carter in the show." Apparently, the accusation didn't end up hurting Oosterhouse's career, and he'll likely be showing up on screen (and making money) for years to come.

Genevieve Gorder made questionable choices on TV

Genevieve Gorder is an interior designer who, according to her Instagram bio, is "mastering the art of living beautifully." She's also someone who's getting by with $5 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. The star made her fortune, in part, due to a pair of her own HGTV shows — Dear Genevieve, which ran for six seasons, as well as Genevieve's Renovation, which "follow[ed] along as she transform[ed] her tiny 1850's apartment into a fabulous space."

However, Gorder got her start in the entertainment industry and made her name in show business thanks to TLC's Trading Spaces, where she was responsible for one of the show's "most memorable ... fails," according to People. "Homeowner Nancy, who opened her eyes to an Asian-inspired space in a particularly cringe-worthy reveal during the show's original run ... [looked] stunned" when she saw what Gorder had done to her house. That's not hard to believe when you find out that host Paige Davis had to explain that "one wall in [the] made-over abode [was] 'actually rust.'"

You have to wonder if that kind of thing played into the fact that Gorder was "the only designer who [did] not return" to Trading Spaces in 2019. She admitted, "It was not my decision at all." Apparently, that rusty wall wasn't the only thing that had decayed, because it seems as if Gorder's relationship with the show that made her famous has eroded as well.

David Visentin may have damaged someone's home

HGTV fans will recognize real estate agent David Visentin from Love It or List It, a show that's so popular, it's just one in a "bushel of global franchises" that was sparked by the original, according to The Star. Even Hillary Clinton told The New York Times in 2012 that it was her favorite thing to watch, saying, "I find it very calming."

Clinton may be able to thank the show for helping her chill out, but Visentin can thank it for contributing to the fact that he has $6 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. And yet, he's another HGTV personality whose show upset unimpressed homeowners. "A North Carolina couple filed a lawsuit in April against the production company behind Love it or List It, claiming their home was left 'irreparably damaged' after the show filmed," Cosmopolitan explains.

The Miami Herald broke down the situation, noting that Deena Murphy and Timothy Sullivan "contend that not only were they victims of shoddy work, they also suffered from a breach of contract, unfair trade practices in violation of North Carolina's general contractor laws, and a 'bizarre' business model." Cosmo points out that Visentin's show allegedly "left the place in major disarray, with low-grade carpet, ruined floors, and windows painted shut." After a four-year court battle, the parties involved settled in 2019, although they wouldn't disclose what they had agreed on in order to end the lengthy litigation.

Nicole Curtis' fame made her rich, but with drama, too

Nicole Curtis, who HGTV viewers know as the host of Rehab Addict, may have $7 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, but it was her lack of funds that put her on the path that led her to her current career. "I got interested in rehabbing because I was poor," she told AZCentral. "Nothing motivates you to learn how to do something like not having the money to pay to have it done."

While Curtis is someone who obviously knows how to turn DIY necessity into TV profitability, she's also someone who's learned "that with popularity comes drama" — something that Good Housekeeping notes while listing five times the star has "dealt with serious" situations. For instance, she faced more than a little headache when the "city of Minneapolis sued Detroit Renovations (Curtis' company) for breach of contract," when she "dealt with public battles with her exes [Shane Maguire and Steven Cimini]," which involved a situation that could have landed her in jail, and when her "mother filed a protective order against her ... claiming she was being harassed with threatening calls and texts."

While talking to Country Living in April 2017, Curtis addressed the estranged nature of her relationship with both of her parents and admitted, "Our situation is absolutely horrifying and heartbreaking. I can't say anymore to that." Fame may bring some people a fortune, but it apparently can't fix all problems, especially when family matters are involved.

Jillian Harris can't always please her fans

"Some might think I have it ALL going on in the financial department but that's not necessarily true," Jillian Harris admitted on her website. However, the Love It or List It Vancouver host — who reality TV fans may recognize from both Season 13 of The Bachelor and Season 5 of The Bachelorette — also explained that after having "royally EFFED up along the way," she learned from her mistakes and took control of her finances. That may be why she now has $3 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

However, while Harris is savvier when it comes to money, she apparently hasn't learned how to avoid sparking backlash. In 2016, the HGTV star had some of her blog's readers believing that she'd, as one person put it, "experienced some bullying and shaming" in regards to her decision to switch to a "vegan-ish" diet.

Beyond that, she also put up with unhappy readers when "a commenter ... left a snarky message under 5 Steps to Becoming a Boss Mom," which dealt with "motherhood and Nike sneakers" because the reader was "unhappy" about the fact that the post was sponsored, according to Jezebel. "I'm confused," the reader wrote. "You just did a post about hating the mom bod now you are embracing it? I guess your thoughts change depending on who is paying you to post, eh gurl?" Hmm... you can't always please everyone, right?

Egypt Sherrod earns millions and speaks her truth

As the host of HGTV's Property Virgins and Flipping Virgins, as well as "a savvy real estate broker, an entrepreneur, an author, a philanthropist, and a motivational speaker," according to Essence, Egypt Sherrod is "one of the hardest-working women on television." However, "her aspirations didn't come true overnight." Instead, it "took more than two decades of diligence and purpose-driven moves to get to where she is today." Her current status not only includes fame, but it also includes a fortune that sits at $6 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

While that sounds like an enviable position to be in, Sherrod also faced a sensitive situation when she revealed during an appearance on Sister Circle (via Daily Mail) in 2019 that she'd been raped when she was 15.

The star also explained that she became pregnant during the assault and had an abortion because she "did not want to be 15 years old having a baby," and gave credit to Planned Parenthood for helping her. As a result, those who disagreed with what she had done tweeted things like, "The abortion didn't stop her from being a Mom. It just made her a Mom [of] a dead baby!!!" Despite the anti-choice sentiments that were aimed at Sherrod, it's unlikely that the criticism would make her regret the decision that was part of the — sometimes painful and sometimes controversial — journey that's led to where she is today.

David Bromstad supported an iffy charity

On HGTV's My Lottery Dream Home, David Bromstad "helps the suddenly rich find new digs," according to the Star Tribune. One of the things that might help him relate to the wealthy people he works with might be the fact that he's also rich, with a modest yet still impressive $2 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. However, while Bromstad — who was the first winner of HGTV Design Star and was the host of Color Splash — has found success by connecting with the wealthy, he's also found himself in trouble by connecting with the Salvation Army, who have what HuffPost explained as "established anti-gay history."

Bromstad, who is "openly gay" himself, addressed the backlash on Facebook, writing, "If we simply separate ourselves from those that we assume [oppose] us or our beliefs then we will never make strides in the right direction. I applaud the Salvation Army's symbolic handshake towards acceptance and would be foolish to not extend my hand in acceptance."

Some fans were appeased — "A little goodwill goes a long way. If we never extend the olive branch, then things will never change. Good on you, David!" — and others were not — "Just covering your own a** after not doing your homework before signing on to work with them. David would rather self promote than do the right thing." Maybe the next time Bromstad wants to support a charity, he should make sure to choose a less problematic organization.