How Chris Hansen's Controversies Affected His $1.5 Million Net Worth (2024)

By Antonia Georgiou

Hansen has found himself on the receiving end of various lawsuits, arrests, and legal troubles, all of which have dampened his net worth.

How Chris Hansen's Controversies Affected His $1.5 Million Net Worth (1)

Although regarded as sensationalistic, there's no doubt that Dateline NBC'sTo Catch a Predator has left its mark on the cultural milieu. The series, which revolves around sting operations to catch pedophiles, made its host, Chris Hansen, into a star, as well as a de facto icon for self-styled "pedophile hunters".

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It should come as little surprise that the man behind myriad sting operations has been subject to seemingly endless controversies. In addition to the ethical dilemma of using serious crimes as entertainment, Hansen has found himself on the receiving end of various lawsuits, arrests, and legal troubles, all of which havedampenedhis impressive net worth. Here's how Chris Hansen's controversies have affected his $1.5 million net worth.

10 How Did Chris HansenAcquireHis Net Worth?

As host of To Catch a Predator,Chris Hansen effectively became a pop culture hero, as well as somewhat of a meme. The show's distinctive, winning formula has been parodied incessantly. Hansen himself even guest starred inThe Simpsons'season 22 episode "Loan-a Lisa", in which he catches Homer returning used goods to the mall.

Like many other TV hosts, Hansen was handsomely paidfor the hit show. At the height of his fame, he was estimated to have a net worth between$12-$15 million. However, that number has steadily decreased due to the host's innumerable controversies.

9 A 'To Catch A Predator' SuicideDamaged Hansen's Reputation

In 2006, Chris Hansen faced a major blow to both his net worth and popularity. Louis Conradt, a Texas attorney, was caught posing as a teenager in order to allegedly procure sexual favors from a 13-year-old boy. Of course, the boy didn't actually exist and this persona wasconcocted asa ruse by Hansen and his colleagues toapprehendConradt.

Working with long time collaborators Perverted-Justice, an anti-predator organization, Hansen was able to catch Conradt having inappropriate conversations with the "boy" and a SWAT teamstormedhis property. However, Conradt shot himself once the police entered, dying shortly after.

8 The Incident Saw Him Face A Hefty Lawsuit

FollowingConradt's death, his sister, Patricia, filed a lawsuit against Hansen and NBC. She sought $109 million in damages, claiming that To Catch a Predator was responsible for her brother's death. To make matters worse, NBC aired the episode despite Conradt's suicide.

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Ultimately, the lawsuit was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount, but the damage to Hansen's reputation was already done. However, the host was adamant that his team had made the right decision in trying to catchConradt, telling VladTV that the attorney had numerous images of child p*rnography on his computer. "While you don't want to see anything like that happen to a guy, suicide, you could pretty much clearly assume that he didn't want to face the music," Hansen explained.

7 He Lost His JobDuringThe Fallout

Another blow to Chris Hansen's net worth came in in 2007 when To Catch a Predator was officially canceled in the fallout of the Conradt lawsuit. Though his salary has never been publicly revealed, Hansen is believed to have made millions from the show. SinceTo Catch a Predator was his livelihood, its cancelation would be the catalyst for a series of ensuingfinancialtroubles.

6 He Wrote $13,000 Worth Of Bad Checks To Fund His Controversial New Show

In an effort toinitiatehis new project, entitled Hansen vs. Predator, Chris Hansen began a Kickstarter in 2015. The funding goal was $400,000, but he was only able to raise a measly $89,000.

Testament to his financial decline, Hansen resorted to writing bad checksto purchase promotional items for the show, amounting to $13,000. Accordingly, he was arrested and due to appear in court. Much to Hansen's relief, the case was dismissed in 2019.

5 He Owed Hundreds Of Thousands In Back Taxes

Hansen's dire financial situation continued in 2019. As reported by the Daily Mail, he owed $250,000 in back taxes, as well as $60,000 to American Express, and several hundred thousand dollars to his bank and mortgage provider.Shockingly, the total debt amounted toover $1 million.

4 Things Went Downhill When He Tried ToExpose YouTuber Onision

Onision is one of the most hated YouTubers of all time. The vlogger has long faced accusations of grooming minors, so he was a prime target for Chris Hansen. Despite his various financial woes, Hansen has never given up his quest to expose predators. After interviewing several women who alleged that they had been abused by Onision, Hansen set out to expose the vlogger.

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In 2020, he arrived at Onision's home in an attempt toquestion him about longstanding pedophilia claims. Onision immediately called the police,allegingthat Hansen had been harassing and stalking him relentlessly. "There's a person who's been stalking me online, and they just showed up to my house," he said in a 911 call.

3 Onision Filed A Lawsuit Against Hansen

The attempted sting on Onision did not go according to plan and, yet again, Chris Hansen faced a lawsuit when the YouTuber sued him in January 2020. Mounting legal bills saw Hansen's already waning net worth decline even further.As reported by Newsweek, Hansenrequested that his substantial court fees be covered, but thepleawas denied.

While the lawsuit was ultimately dismissed, the damage to Hansen's net worth was colossal.

2 He Skipped Court After A Sting Operation That Caught 3 Alleged Predators

The many controversies ofTo Catch a Predatorhaven't stopped Chris Hansen from continually pursuing sting operations on suspected pedophiles.

In October 2020, Hansen was involved in an operation to apprehend 3 men who had been planning to meet underage girls. The men were successfully arrested and awaited trial. But in a bizarre twist, Hansen skipped court after being subpoenaed to testify. Accordingly, a warrant was put out for his arrest and Hansen eventually turned himself in.

1 There Are Rumors That He's In Financial Ruin, But He Won't Stop Trying To Catch Predators

Despite claims that To Catch a Predatorwas sensationalizing and capitalizing on predatory behavior, Hansen's recent efforts to apprehend alleged abusers suggest that money is not his incentive after all.

Subsequently, Hansen's post-Predatorcontroversies have seen his net worth plummet from an estimated $12-15 million to just $1.5 million. For some people, the pursuit of justice is more important than the acquisition of money, even if Hansen'smodus operandiis often highly controversial.

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How Chris Hansen's Controversies Affected His $1.5 Million Net Worth (2024)
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