Lenny Henry has said it is ‘right’ for rich parents to cut their children out of inheritance so they can learn to ‘stick up for themselves’
Lenny Henry has said it is ‘right’ for rich parents to cut their children out of inheritance so they can learn to ‘stick up for themselves’.
The actor, 56, praised the string of celebrities, including Nigella Lawson, Sting and Simon Cowell, who have said they will not be leaving their vast wealth to their children.
It is the first hint from the father-of-one that he won’t be handing over his reported £5million fortune to his adopted daughter Billie, 23.
He 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.’
He made the comments on Monday evening following a screening of the new series of The Syndicate. Henry stars in the third run of the BBC One show that sees a group of colleagues win the lottery.
He was supported by his co-star, The King’s Speech and Brideshead Revistied actor Anthony Andrews, 67. Mr Andrews, himself a father-of-three, said: ‘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.’
Henry adopted his daughter with former wife Dawn French, 57, who he divorced in 2010 after 26 years of marriage.
The actor and comedian hinted that he won’t be handing over his reported £5million fortune to Billie (pictured left and with her adopted father right in 2005)
His remarks make him the latest addition to a growing list of celebrities that have questioned whether it is right to leave their children vast sums of money.
Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson, 55, who has two children, has previously said they can expect none of her fortune, previously estimated at £15million.
She said in 2008: ‘I am determined that my children should have no financial security. It ruins people not having to earn money.’
Pop star Sting, 63, later followed suit, commenting last year that his six children will not receive a chunk of his £180million fortune after his death.
He said: ‘I certainly don’t want to leave them trust funds that are albatrosses round their necks. They have to work.
'All my kids know that and they rarely ask me for anything, which I really respect and appreciate.
‘Obviously, if they were in trouble I would help them, but I’ve never really had to do that. They have the work ethic that makes them want to succeed on their own merit.’
Henry praised the string of celebrities, including Nigella Lawson (right), Sting (left) and Simon Cowell, who have said they will not be leaving their vast wealth to their children
Former Dragons’ Den star Duncan Bannatyne, 66, has warned his six children that he will be leaving his £187million fortune to charity, while composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, 67, said his five children will have to learn to support themselves.
He explained: ‘It is about having a work ethic - I don’t believe in inherited money at all. I am not in favour of children suddenly finding a lot of money coming their way because then they have no incentive to work.’
Shortly before the birth of his first child Eric, music mogul Simon Cowell said of his £325million fortune: ‘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.’