Bling Empire: The Truth About Anna Shay's Pet Monkey

While Netflix's Bling Empire has some pretty colorful characters (especially if the color is money) — from the designer sneaker wall-possessing Kane Lim to the necklace-gate-launching Christine Chiu — arguably none match up to Anna Shay. She tells some tales on Bling Empire that are pretty bananas, but did you know overnight sensation Anna once owned a literal pet monkey?

During the reality show's caviar-drenched first season — which debuted in January 2021 and follows "LA's wildly wealthy Asian and Asian American fun seekers" (via Netflix's description) as they shop, soul-search, and go back to shopping — the mysterious heiress instantly grabbed our attention. Anna, according to Marie Claire, is the wealthiest cast member on the show and, although she does not vocalize her wealth quite like the others (*ahem* Christine), she sure displays it. 

When we met Anna, the 60-year-old was knocking down her walk-in closet with a sledgehammer... while wearing a ballgown. Soon after, she revealed she has been divorced four times. Anna "goes to Paris more times in a year than she goes to Silverlake," Christine explained. And she exemplifies her comfort with air travel by dressing like a flight attendant and serving up drinks to her pals on-screen (see image below). 

Yup, Anna is a character, but you can definitely sense she has more stories to tell. Well, apparently, one of those involves a beloved pet monkey and, yet again, air travel? Swing down below to learn more. 

Anna Shay once took her pet monkey on an airplane

So what is the deal with Bling Empire's Anna Shay and her pet monkey? As you may recall, in Season 1 Episode 3 (per the New York Post) Anna explained that she thinks "there are spirits" in her Los Angeles, Calif. mansion (which she has since offloaded for $16 million). She added that's why her pet pocket monkey and fish mysteriously died. Well, Shay was not hyperbolizing about that monkey. Shay opened up to O, The Oprah Magazine about flying with her close primate pal when she was 7 years old. 

"When we moved to America from Japan, I had a pet monkey," Shay told the outlet in January 2021. "She had a bottom seat in Pan Am but I wanted her to sit next to me. My dad said, 'Walk in and know who you are, where you come from.' [Anna is from a family of billionaires.]" She added, "So I walked in. I was so nervous they were going to take him away. I placed her on the seat between my father and I... The flight attendants all knew my parents. She looked at me and said, 'Would your friend like a drink?'" Aww! 

Anna added, "I dressed her up. I didn't know if she was a boy or a girl. I said, 'She's my sister. She'll have some milk, please. And perhaps if you have a banana.' They didn't take the monkey away." Perhaps Anna should welcome another monkey into her life as she prepares for Season 2?