Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Surprising celebrity speaking fees

The really infuriating part: the same school is paying Toni Morrison only ("only") $30,000 to speak at its commencement in May.

 Perhaps you've heard recent reports that Snooki (the reality TV star) was paid $32,000 to speak at Rutgers.
 If Snooki can get $32,000, what are other famous faces making? We tracked down what a few well-known speakers have been paid, and if you're thinking it's anything less than "a lot," you're wrong.

Jodi Sweetin

Her fame as Stephanie Tanner on Full House might only be eclipsed by the attention she garnered for becoming a meth addict. Now (thanks to an intervention by her "Full House" co-stars), she's out of rehab, in recovery and available to speak about her inspirational journey. Her fee is between $5,000 and $10,000.

Drew Lachey

Brother Nick (former husband of Jessica Simpson) is the more famous Lachey, but Drew's own career — as a member of the boy band 98 degrees and a winner of the 2006 season of "Dancing with the Stars"— has given him the acclaim and fame to gather speaking fees in the range of $10,000 to $20,000.

Dan Savage

Seattle-based sex columnist (and founder of the It Gets Better Project) Dan Savage garners between $10,000 and $20,000 in speaking fees per gig.

Betty DeGeneres

Betty DeGeneres is Ellen DeGeneres' mom. She is a breast-cancer survivor and an advocate for gay and lesbian rights. Her fee is between $10,000 and $20,000.

Bristol Palin

Sarah Palin's eldest daughter earned $14K to speak at a fundraiser for a home for single mothers in Kentucky. That payout was a cut from her normal fee; she is signed with Single Source Speakers and available for appearances in the $15,000 to $30,000 range, depending on the event.

Greg Mortenson

The best-selling author of "Three Cups of Tea" and the founder of the Central Asia Institute, which builds schools in rural communities in Afghanistan and Pakistan, garners $30,000 for his public speaking appearances.

Aron Ralston

Aron Ralson is a climber who fell in a ravine, got stuck under a boulder, and cut off his arm in a heroic effort to save his own life. A movie was made about his experience starring James Franco ("127 Hours"). He gets paid between $30,000 and $50,000 to talk about cutting off his arm.

Sarah Palin

The former governor of Alaska was paid $75,000 last year to speak at a fundraiser for Cal State Stanislaus, though her speaking fees are rumored to reach up to $100,000.

Bill Clinton

Former President Clinton has earned $65 million in speaking fees since leaving office in 2001. The highest-paid appearance was $525,000 for a "The Power Within" motivational conference in Canada.

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