This week, barely six months after predicting it would happen, Forbes confirmed that, according to its calculations, Kylie Jenner had officially assumed the title of the world’s youngest self-made billionaire in history. It didn’t take long for the naysayers to re-emerge and reiterate their previously expressed criticism of the “self-made” title, since Jenner was already born on third base, as the daughter of wealthy and well-connected parents.
Among her detractors was Piers Morgan, who shared a tweet from Forbes about Jenner’s accomplishment on Tuesday and wrote, “It’s not self-made, it’s because her sister made a sex tape,” which is a very bold and very reductive claim to make, and one that perfectly tracks with his long history of misogyny and slut-shaming. Never mind the fact that she’s the child of an Olympic gold medal winner who was world famous long before the world knew the name “Kardashian.” Jenner didn’t deign to respond to Morgan’s tweet—nor, for that matter, to those of any other critic—so a rather unexpected fellow young celeb stepped up to do it for her: One Direction’s own Liam Payne.
“I’m sorry but Piers are you crazy your only here cuz you talk shit about everyone and make controversial outbursts about people to get attention … at least @KylieJenner has her own business she built herself why not congratulate someone for once instead of knocking people,” he wrote, which, though very chivalrous, played right into Morgan’s storied passion for starting Twitter feuds with stars many decades his junior. “a) She didn’t ‘build herself’, she became rich & famous from her sister’s sex tape. b) It’s ‘you’re,'” the TV host wrote.
At this point, Payne gave up on reason and simply decided to match Morgan’s pettiness with some of his own. “Sorry could you say it louder from the back of the line of irrelevant people please,” he wrote. A sick burn, to be sure, but one that seemingly implies that he, too, is in said line, and that admittedly set him right up for Morgan’s response: “Mate, no offence but I really wouldn’t play the relevancy card right now.”
As Morgan went on to spend the rest of his Wednesday afternoon responding to outraged tween One Direction fans, Payne gracefully excused himself, because why would you waste any more time exchanging virtual barbs with Piers Morgan when you could be hanging out with Naomi Campbell?
For her part, Jenner has previously clarified what being self-made means in the context of her very privileged life. “My parents told me I needed to make my own money, it’s time to learn how to save and spend your own money, stuff like that,” she told Paper magazine earlier this year, sharing that they cut her off financially at the age of 15. “What I’m trying to say is I did have a platform, but none of my money is inherited.”