In Hulu’s newest documentary, WeWork: Or The Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn, filmmaker Jed Rothstein attempts to trace the company’s inflated rise and fantastic fall through the lens of the characters who helmed the company’s financial ruin. The two biggest players? Naturally, former CEO and co-founder Adam Neumann and, more surprisingly, his wife, Rebekah. While Rebekah’s involvement isn’t the main crux of the doc, she is presented as a powerful figure both in Adam’s life and the company’s. (Her inheritance was WeWork’s first big investment, and she was eventually named the third “co-founder.”)
In particular, Rebekah encouraged Adam’s leadership and WeWork culture to be more spiritual—though her more toxic additions to the business have been well-documented—and she was responsible for the launch of WeWork’s educational venture, WeGrow, which subsequently lost the company millions of dollars. If the documentary left you curious about Rebekah Neumann, here’s what we know about her life and where she and Adam Neumann are now.
Was Rebekah Neumann an actress?
The 43-year-old had a short-lived acting career; her IMDb page has just four on-screen titles to her name as well as a few producer credits. Her most “notable” role was Awake, a short film she wrote, produced, and starred in (opposite Rosario Dawson) out of WeWork’s office. She also appeared in 2010’s Nomads, which starred Lucy Liu.
Acting wasn’t Neumann’s original life plan—according to a Bustle profile, she studied business and Buddhism at Cornell and briefly worked at Smith Barney post-graduation. But she quickly left the trading desk, spent a few years in India studying spirituality, then moved to Los Angeles where she fell in with the Kabbalah crowd and took acting lessons. (At one point she also trained to be a yoga teacher, but Adam encouraged her to not waste her time since it wasn’t a lucrative profession.)
Yes! Neumann’s maiden name is Paltrow. Rebekah’s father, Bob, was brothers with the late Bruce Paltrow, Gwyneth’s dad. (That also makes Rebekah a niece of actress Blythe Danner.) Bob Paltrow pleaded guilty to felony tax evasion in 2014 and was subsequently sentenced to six months in prison.
How did Adam Neumann and Rebekah Neumann meet?
In 2007, Rebekah was introduced to Adam by one of her college friends (the friend met Adam on the roof of his building). One of Adam’s most told tales is his first meeting with his now-wife: “Within five minutes—now I say five minutes to be nice but it surely took 10 seconds—she looked me straight in the eye and she said, ‘You, my friend, are full of shit. Every single word that comes out of your mouth is fake’,” Adam said in a Baruch College commencement address.
They married in 2008. They share five children, including two sets of twins.
Where are Adam Neumann and Rebekah Neumann now?
Immediately following WeWork’s spectacular financial collapse, the couple took their $1.7 billion dollars and retreated to Tel Aviv. But according to Forbes, the Neumanns returned stateside in May 2020 and currently reside in one of their Hamptons homes.
They also reportedly have plans to relaunch the educational arm of WeWork, WeGrow, as “Student of Life for Life” a.k.a. SOLFL (pronounced “soulful”). The school was undoubtedly Rebekah’s biggest passion project since launching in 2017; it boasted 100 students paying $20,000 to $40,000 a year in tuition before being shut down.
watch the documentary on Hulu