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Born Rich: The Children of Western Oligharchs

Inside the luxurious lives of the world’s richest kids, and it’s not what many might expect. Contrary to popular belief, extreme wealth does not equal happiness. 

In 2003, Jamie Johnson, heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, released a documentary called Born Rich, which was filmed between 1999 and 2001, shows a behind the scenes look at 10 young heirs to fantastic fortunes, who were surprisingly candid, ‘letting their guard down,’ so to speak. The project was undertaken by Johnson as a way to offset his own incredible inheritance received on his 21st birthday. The documentary lifted the veil on a previously unseen, insular world of the ultra rich – showing what causes the wealthy to be wildly dysfunctional, and surprisingly unhappy.

“How could he? How dare he? He was one of them. Privileged and the heir to a fortune, 21-year-old Jamie Johnson never had to work a day in his life. Then he went into the movie business, made a candid documentary about his fabulously wealthy friends. They spilled the beans and thus broke the last great social taboo – never, ever, ever be crass enough to talk about money. Well, you could hear the smart set choking on their silver spoons. They cut young Jamie dead. You’ll see why in this preview of his sneaky expose, the film he called Born Rich,” said 60 Minutes.

60 Minutes Australia interviewed the filmmaker Jamie Johnson in 2004, along with Cody Franchetti to talk about the project and what he learned about life inside the super class. Watch: 

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