Lenny Henry’s daughter Billie, 23, shouldn’t expect to benefit from her father’s wealth — the actor and comedian has revealed that he agrees with wealthy celebrities like Sting, Simon Cowell and Nigella Lawson who have all said they won’t be leaving any money to their children.
On Monday evening, following a screening of BBC1 show The Syndicate, in which a group of work colleagues win the lottery, 56-year-old Henry said: “Quite a lot of wealthy people now do this thing of not giving their children any money. There is a thing of not over-privileging your children if you are very, very rich because how are they going to learn? How are they going to learn to stick up for themselves? So it’s probably right.”
Henry appears in The Syndicate with Anthony Andrews, who also starred in The King’s Speech and Brideshead Revisited. Andrews appeared to agree with him on this issue saying, “It’s illustrated all over the place. People who have inherited money and don’t know what to do. It changes their personalities and the way they view the world. It changes their work ethic, it changes everything. I think it’s a big responsibility handing on money.”
In 2008 Nigella Lawson told My Weekly that she wouldn’t be leaving her children any money saying, “I am determined that my children should have no financial security. It ruins people not having to earn money.”
Her views were echoed by Simon Cowell, who said before the birth of his son Eric in 2013, “I’m going to leave my money to somebody. A charity, probably — kids and dogs. I don’t believe in passing on from one generation to another.”
Lenny Henry’s comments come the same week as the results of a report from Hearts and Wallets, a U.S. research firm that tracks retirement trends. The study found that parents who are providing financial support to their adult children are 25 percent more likely to have “heightened financial anxiety” than those who don’t.