There's always some kind of bickering going on in The Real Housewives of Orange County (RHOC) set. And despite being one of the newer members (relatively), Kelly Dodd knows how to stay on top of anything. And despite not earning as much as her other co-stars, she knows how to splash the cash and also, bring loads of it in. Being a stay-at-home mom isn't surprising, but considering she doesn't have a job, you'd be surprised how she collected her massive net worth.
Born on September 26, 1975 [age 44], in Scottsdale, Arizona, as Kelly Meza, she joined the Bravo TV's reality show in its 11th season in 2016. Don't let it fool you, she already has eyes on veterans Tamra Judge and Vicki Gunvalson. Plus she's also had some beef with their bestie, recently divorced Shannon Beador, after she sent Beador for the emergency room check-up when she hit her in the head as a joke.
There's more to Kelly Dodd's net worth than the 'RHOC' salary.
Photo from: Getty Images
In contrast to her earnings, other members make quite a bunch from the show. But Dodd isn't the one to care about the fact. She has many other ways of earning her money. Plus, she very much likes to flaunt her price tag with expensive items. Here's her net worth value which might surprise you.
Kelly Dodd's Net Worth is $10 Million, As of 2019 — Sources of Income, RHOC Salary, and Comparisons
As of January 2020, Kelly Dodd's net worth is estimated to be around $10 million. Aside from her job in RHOC, Kelly's other income sources include that divorce settlement with ex-husband Michael Dodd (which includes the amount he earned as the COO of LeapFrog and from the sale of their house), the life with new boyfriend-turned fiancé Rick Leventhal and her entry into the business world.
You know, she might leave RHOC for RHONY one day right?
Source: Bravo TV
As for her salary, Dodd was offered $150,000 per season for coming back to her second season of RHOC (12th season) in 2017, which she obviously took. That amount is much less than the other housewives' yearly salary from the show, presumably four times less than Judges' and others. But in retrospect, she has one of the best net worth values in the show. Also, the value may have been pumped up by now.
Here's a comparison of her castmates' net worth:
Of course, the net worth values are just presumptions, and there are several loopholes in the calculations. But when comparing every Real Housewives' fortune, there will obviously be that edge some will get from the others. And Dodd (now Meza again) pretty much stands out. Her marriage was a big one, after all.
Before the Divorce, Kelly's Ex-Husband's Job at 'LeapFrog' Made Millions — The Marriage That Cracked Twice
Kelly Meza-Dodd and her now ex-husband Michael Dodd were together since 2004. They got married in 2006, and it wasn't a pretty marriage, except for the first few years. Their daughter, Jolie Dodd, was born the same year (Wow! She's already 13 now!). You could say it was quite a beautiful time in their marriage when raising little Jolie. But as soon as the first decade of the 21st century was over, trouble started brewing.
Even the presence of a daughter couldn't help survive their marriage.
Photo by: Kelly Dodd
Before Jolie was born, Michael was the Chief Operating Officer at the educational tech and entertainment company, LeapFrog. You know, the company that invented a thing called LeapPad, way before iPads were around? Yeah. When the company's finance went public in 2002, LeapFrog was the best-performing new stock of the year after raising $115 million.
The 60-year-old's tenure ended after their daughter was born though. He reportedly cashed out of the company at the time, and you can imagine how much she, too, added to her net worth after the success. LeapFrog wasn't heard of since either.
As a businessman, however, Michael traveled a lot. When he came home, he wanted to stay in, but she was more of an outgoing person. After leaving the COO job, nothing clicked anymore. Kelly believed it was also a toxic environment for their daughter either.
The mother-of-one took him by surprise when she filed for divorce in 2012. He didn't want it. But after filing the paper, she'd already moved on. She was even engaged while technically already married to Michael. The divorce took long, but it seemed, at the time, as though it was for the best at the time. She ended the engagement, and they later moved in closer to each in Orange County to co-parent their daughter more effectively. But they were not getting back together.
For the Divorce Settlement, The Dodds Sold Their Newport Beach Mansion for $5 Million
Plot twist! They were getting back together. A certain amount of time before Kelly got her job in The Real Housewives of Orange County, they decided to give love a second try. Well, they were already beginning to cook dinner and hang out together while taking care of their daughter. So they stopped the divorce proceedings. She joined the RHOC cast, and things seemed to be moving in the right direction.
However, a year later, everything was chaos. Their fights and spouts were even recorded on tape. After enough was enough, they decided to get a divorce, announcing it in October 2017. For real this time. And it was pretty smooth like they wanted it to be. They filed for the divorce that month and got it finalized on February 23, 2018. Pretty quick for a reality TV star.
It's probably weird, but her reaction to the divorce was unconventional, to say the least. She tweeted, "Over the moon happy!" Of course, it was a sound decision as even her daughter was sick of her parents bickering all the time. She wanted it too.
As part of the deal they made during the divorce, they sold their 4,370-square-foot, four-bedroom Corona Del Mar (in Newport Beach) home for $5 million the same month they filed for divorce and split the dividends. They bought the house in 2014 for $3.575 million, made some major interior renovations when living there and initially listed it for sale for $6.25 million.
Flaunting the Money with New Boyfriend/Fiancé
After the divorce, Kelly didn't move out that far from her then-sold home. She still stayed at a beach house, an oceanfront bachelorette pad if you will, and even brought the chandelier from the old house to hang over her kitchen table.
Watch: Kelly Dodd's Newport Beach House Before the Divorce from Michael
In the summer of 2019, Dodd started dating Fox News correspondent, Rick Leventhal, after her relationship with Brian Reagan couldn't go further than early July. And it seems she's absolutely head-over-heels for this guy. Along with already declaring that they'd get married in 2020 and even picking out a wedding date despite not even being engaged (at the time she said it), she also moved in with him to his New York City apartment in a few months.
No, she's not leaving the beach house. She's currently splitting time between the two homes. Meanwhile, the new wedding thing took shape in the form of an actual engagement earlier in November, and she couldn't stop flaunting her ring.
That move to RHONY with her fiancé is very much possible.
Image Source: Getty Images
She's no stranger to flaunting her wealth either. She sports a $65,000 diamond-encrusted Cartier watch while driving around town in her white BMW. To make life with Leventhal more glamorous, the family (the couple and her daughter) took a yacht trip around the Amalfi Coast in Italy when they first started dating.
Kelly's Business Mindset with 'Positive Beverage' and 'No Skills'
Stay-at-home mom means there'll be quite a time to think about getting into the business world. Earlier in February, she announced on Instagram that she'd obtained some stake in her "favorite beverage company", Positive Beverage. It's been going pretty well by the looks of it. She shared her excitement over expanding out to 136 Target stores back in October.
Kelly Dodd is a co-founder and a stakeholder of the beverage company, Positive Beverage.
Photo from: Kelly Dodd, Instagram
The 45-year-old's venture into business didn't just start there. When she joined RHOC, she already was the COO of a Newport-based cosmetics company called Kiss Me Mirrors. It's already fizzled out of popularity. Last year, she also announced she was working on a new clothing line, labeled No Skills. But even after replying to a commentator about the product being affordable, it seemed to have never pulled off. The Instagram announcement was removed too. Well, you can't always get success in everything you do.
A Slap from the IRS
Less than a month ago in December 2019, reports spread out that she, along with her ex-husband, was hit with a federal tax lien by the IRS, accusing them of owing thousands in back taxes. The Blast reported with the documents they allegedly obtained that, the two had failed to pay their taxes for the years 2015 and 2016. The amount, while considerable, might not be such a damper on her net worth though.
Of course, that was the time they were trying to make it right with their marriage before Kelly joined RHOC. The 2015 unpaid tax recorded as $14,853.73 and $8,532.89, totalling it to $23,386.62 in back taxes. They were for the Corona Del Mar house the separated couple used to live in. They were warned by the IRS to pay the bill quickly in order to stop their assets from being seized by the government.
Kelly seems to one of the strongest members of the RHOC cast, and it seems unlikely for her to be axed from the show anytime soon. That just means more fat cheques will be piling up her net worth.
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