Ian Somerhalder Was Millions of Dollars in Debt Before Meeting His Wife Nikki Reed

Ian Somerhalder is seen as one of the most successful actors working today. The 42-year-old starred on the hit ABC cult classic Lost, and then he followed that up with an eight-season run on the beloved The CW series, The Vampire Diaries, where he portrayed the menacing Damon Salvatore.

Since then, Somerhalder has gone on to star in and produce the Netflix drama series V Wars as well as the documentary, Kiss The Ground. Therefore, fans were stunned when the actor revealed that prior to meeting his wife, actor Nikki Reed in 2015, he was millions of dollars in debt.

Thankfully, with the help of his wife and the sucess of his burbon brand, the environmentalist has been able to pull himself out of the massive debt.

Ian Somerhalder wearing a hat and leather jacket
Ian Somerhalder | Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

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Ian Somerhalder made $40,000 an episode on ‘The Vampire Diaries’

Somerhalder has a long history of working in Hollywood. The Louisiana-born actor garnered small roles when he first began working in 2000 before snagging a role in the short-lived Dawson’s Creek spinoff, Young Americans.

However, his major breakthrough came in 2004 when he was cast in Lost as Boone Carlyle. Though the character did not survive past the first season of the series, he was such a fan favorite that the writers and producers found creative ways for him to return to the show over the seasons.

Still, most people know Somerhalder for his role in The Vampire Diaries. The show ran for eight seasons with Somerhadler becoming a producer for the final season. According to Celebrity Net Worth, toward the end of the show’s runs, Somerhalder was making $40,000 per episode.

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Ian Somerhalder’s eight-figure debt

Since he was bringing in a good sum of money from his work as an actor and he’d begun his foundation, the Ian Somerhalder Foundation to positively impact the environment while educating others, fans were stunned to learn about the actor’s massive past debt.

In honor of his wife, Nikki Reed’s 33rd birthday, Somerhalder wrote her a touching tribute on Instagram which also explained the troubling financial situation he found himself in before meeting her.

“I’ve never disclosed this publicly, but this woman worked selflessly for 2yrs to build me out of a terrible business situation I got myself into,” he wrote on Instagram. When he began shooting TVD, the actor began his own company. He said he “invested heavily” and “huge personal guarantees to banks.” Unfortunately, things did not pan out well.  “Due to greed and fraud within that company and fraudulent activities from our biggest customer, not to mention the temporary collapse of the oil and gas industry – I was left in an EIGHT- FIGURE hole.”

The actor said he began working so much to pay down the debt that he was hospitalized several times.

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Ian Somerhalder credits his wife Nikki Reed for helping him get debt free and build his bourbon brand

The actor went on to explain that without Reed he could not have gotten out of debt or have built his Brothers Bond burbon brand with his partner and former co-star Paul Wesley.

“She devoted her life to getting me out of that mess and it almost killed her along the way,” Somerhalder explained “I am where I am BECAUSE of this woman. Brothers Bond Bourbon is actually here today because of this woman. I was able to start my life over because of this woman.”

According to Celebrity Net Worth the actor is now worth $12 million.