Karl Lagerfeld's Choupette Follows a Long Lineage of Celebrity Pets Receiving Inheritances

From Michael Jackson to Alexander McQueen, it pays to be a celebrity pet.

by Evan Ross Katz
Mar 1 2019, 4:59pm

Following the death of Karl Lagerfeld, one of the biggest questions that remained was the fate of his beloved Birman cat, Choupette, a star in her own right. "With a once cold but now simply broken heart, I am going into mourning," Choupette ~wrote~ on Instagram following her owner's passing. "I pray that your kind words and well-wishes will help me to put my best paw forward in my future without Daddy Karl Lagerfeld & as my own woman."

That woman—who, quick reminder, is a cat—stands to inherit a chunk of Lagerfeld's estimated $195-300 million. Despite reports claiming Choupette can't earn the fortune due to... well, being a cat, hope remains. According to Bloomberg, Choupette could receive her earnings in one of two ways, either via a designated caretaker or through a legal entity like a trust or non-charitable foundation.

And while Choupette could stand to be the richest non-human heiress, there exists precedent from other celebs who have left sizable inheritances to their animal offspring. Perhaps most famously, Michael Jackson, who reportedly gifted his beloved chimpanzee Bubbles an estimated $2 million upon his death in 2009. Alexander McQueen left his dogs Minter, Juice, and Callum $82,000 in 2011. Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, the widow of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry reportedly left roughly $3.3 million to her pets in 2008. Meanwhile, "the queen of mean" Leona Helmsley left $12 million for her maltese Trouble in 2008 (a judge later ruled that amount to be too much and lowered it to $2 million.)

Could Choupette eclipse the current reigning Guinness World Record holder for Wealthiest Cat? Perhaps so. Millionaire antiques dealer Ben Rea left his cat Blackie an estimated $12.5 million in 1988, meaning Choupette could easily out-inherit Blackie with even a small percentage of Lagerfeld's fortune. But there's a big asterisk here, with the exact earning amount remaining unknown. And with Chanel and Lagerfeld's godson Hudson Kroenig remaining mum, it might stay that way. Unless, of course, Choupette gives us an update on her fortune via Instagram... which... isn't totally out of the question.

Karl Lagerfeld