Christy Carlson Romano Talks Losing Disney Money

“This is how I blew all my Disney money.”

In case you need a quick refresh, Christy started working for Disney when she was just a teenager back in the early ’00s. You might remember Christy as the star of Even Stevens or the voice of Kim Possible.

Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection

“I really regret not investing my money wisely — I didn’t get a house, I didn’t take any money and store it away,” Christy began. Although she did start to attend college with some of the money to minimize her student debt, she left a year and a half in.

Christy Carlson Romano / Via youtube.com

“I had this money at my disposal. I was never told how much money I was making, money didn’t have a purpose for me, I didn’t really know what it was, I just knew that I had it and I didn’t care about it.”

In particular, Christy said that she was surrounded by people — including someone she was dating — who made her feel as if she wasn’t good enough: “I felt like if I could just buy certain things, I would feel better or if I just lived a certain lifestyle, I would be closer to that joy of feeling accepted and a lot less alone because I felt really dumb for not knowing about my money and I never really made peace with that. Even to this day, there’s nothing I can really do about the fact that money came and went.”

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Some of the big items Christy bought included a ’72 Corvette that she never drove, a Mercedes G Wagon, and a psychic who she says took a lot of her money.

“When I was 21, I had a record deal, I had a book deal. In that year I made just about a million dollars — in that same year, I spent it,” Christy continued. “It’s really sad.”

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“My biggest thing about child actors — you aren’t told that the work is going to slow down. In fact, I was told the opposite, specifically by my mom, some of my team, even my money manager at the time. — ‘Oh don’t worry, the residuals come, you’re going to keep making money.’ It’s interesting, it bred a sort of contempt in me. It’s a tremendous amount of pressure and I think I self-destructed.”

Lawrence Lucier / FilmMagic / Getty Images

Christy then says that she started doing movies purely for financial reasons, which took the joy out of her work. “There was a specific movie that I actually did that I’m not proud of,” Christy continued, referring to Mirrors 2. “I did a nude scene. I had never thought in a million years that I would ever do something like this — I was America’s sweetheart, morally sound in my mind, I believed in the Disney magic, I still do. I felt so exploited, marked, and horrible.”

Nowadays, Christy says that she’s “okay” and making money from monetizing her YouTube channel and doing sponsored content. “If you’re having a hard time, know that I have had a hard time too,” she concluded. “Build small and make sure that you’re doing things that are smart — that can make you money, not break you.”

You can watch the full video here.

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