Surprise! Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe’s son, Deacon, is an NYU student who’s living a more luxurious life than most. On Tuesday, Caleb Simpson, an influencer known for taking his followers inside other people’s homes, posted a video of Phillippe’s West Village apartment, which the 20-year-old shares with two roommates.
The tour shows a two-story apartment with a spiral staircase in the middle of the living room and an exposed brick wall lined with vinyl records. But what really seemed to set people off was when Simpson asked his signature question — “How much do you pay for rent?” — and Phillippe answered, “West Village prices.” The median price for a studio in the neighborhood is about $4,000, while a 3-bedroom goes for $7,000. “Ummm, this is Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Philippe’s son. Please don’t try to paint him like a normal college student “ one person commented. “lol why not just say “my famous parents Reese and Ryan pay my rent,” another wrote.
When Simpson — who has 7.8 million followers on TikTok — walks up to someone on the street, he typically asks, “How much do you pay for rent in New York?” and “Could I have a tour of your apartment?” The account frequently features people who aren’t famous, whose abodes vary widely in cost and size. Some celebrities, like Scarlett Johansson and Eva Chen, have redirected Simpson to their offices for walk-throughs. Others, like Christie Brinkley and Barbara Corcoran, seem aware of the fact that their homes will probably only ever be aspirational for the rest of us — which is fine. We love Architectural Digest and MTV Cribs tours partly because they don’t come with the pretense of normalcy. We know that the celebrities featured are living wildly different lives than us.
What’s grating is when rich people try to pretend that their lives are normal or attainable. Last week, DJ Brendan Fallis took Simpson on a tour of the home he shares with his wife, the Seagram heiress Hannah Bronfman. Asked how much they pay monthly, Fallis said $4,300. But there was no mention of the fact that apartments of this size in downtown Manhattan typically cost millions of dollars — and that’s before the gut renovations.
Of course, nepo babies and other celebs live in apartments most of us can only admire from Zillow. But it would sting less if they would at least own up to it.