Chelsea Handler on financial independence: “I didn’t ever want to rely on a man to provide for me”

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Kayleigh Dray
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We’ve championed the importance of having a ‘Fuck Off Fund’ as a form of financial self-defence, and it seems as if Chelsea Handler is also a big fan of the idea.

The outspoken feminist has discussed fulfilling her dreams of becoming financially independent in a new interview, saying she doesn’t regret putting the professional side of her life above all else because she’s thankful she is for the freedom it brings.

Speaking to People, the Netflix star admitted that she has always felt insecure around people who have money – and that a lot of it stems from her childhood.

Handler was one of six children; her father was a used car salesman, her mother was a homemaker. As such, they found it difficult to scrape enough money together to get by – and left her craving adulthood, when she was determined to have “the opposite of what I had growing up”.

“I wanted to be comfortable,” she said, “and I wanted someone in my house, cleaning!”

More importantly, however, she was desperate to find a way to stand on her own.

“I didn’t ever want to rely on a man to provide for me,” Handler, 41, explained. “I wanted to create something that was completely and utterly mine. And I didn’t want anybody in my life dictating what I do.”

Handler threw herself into her work, resulting in a successful chat show, Chelsea, of her own, and says it’s the only thing “going on” in her life: “It’s not like I’m married or have babies, so the show is like a dream come true for me. Work hard, play hard.”

Now, and only now, that she has the career and lifestyle that she always wanted, Handler says she is open to a relationship – but if she doesn’t meet someone, is absolutely happy to remain single rather than have a relationship just for the sake of it.

And, let’s face it, there are some perks to staying single. “I don’t really have anyone to answer to,” she said. “That’s nice for work and it’s nice for life!”

It’s not the first time that Handler has addressed an important feminist issue; she has touched upon a number of topics in the past and, famously, attacked journalist Reince Priebus after he criticised Hillary Clinton for failing to smile during a presidential debate.

Directly addressing Priebus in her Netflix show, Chelsea Does Online, she said: “Who the fuck are you tell someone to smile?”

She continued: “This is just another example of how men feel like they can belittle every woman in the world and order up a smile. It’s not just Hillary; they tell actresses to smile, they tell female athletes to smile… even paintings aren’t safe.”

She finished: “So here’s my message to all men - stop telling women to smile. We don’t like that - it’s not an icebreaker, it’s a dealbreaker. And what is your gameplan anyway? Do you think we’re gonna go smile and then magically float onto your penis?

“It doesn’t work that way.”

Images: Rex Pictures