Kimberly Kardashian, West (born October 21, 1980) is an American reality television personality and socialite. Kardashian first gained media attention as a friend and stylist of Paris Hilton, but received wider notice after a 2003 sex tape with her former boyfriend Ray J was leaked in 2007. Later that year, she and her family began to appear in the E! reality television series Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Its success soon led to the creation of spin-offs including Kourtney and Kim Take New York and Kourtney and Khloé Take Miami. Kardashian’s personal life soon became subject to widespread media attention.
In recent years, Kardashian has grown an influential online and social media presence, including tens of millions of followers on Twitter and Instagram. She has released a variety of products tied to her name, including the successful 2014 mobile game Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, a variety of clothing and products, and the 2015 photo book Selfish. Her relationship with rapper Kanye West has also received significant media coverage; the couple married in 2014 and they have three children together.
Time magazine included Kardashian on their list of 2015’s 100 most influential people, while Vogue described her in 2016 as a “pop culture phenomenon.”Critics and admirers have described her as exemplifying the notion of being famous for being famous. She was reported to be the highest-paid reality television personality of 2015, with her total earnings exceeding US$53 million.
2011–2015: Legal issues and focus on social media
In April 2011, Kardashian released her third fragrance “Gold”. Also in 2011, she filed a $20 million lawsuit against Old Navy and its parent company, Gap Inc. for right of publicity. Old Navy used actress/model Melissa Molinaro in their Old Navy commercial featuring the actress singing and dancing. Kim Kardashian claimed that Old Navy used Molinaro as a look alike to Kim in order to promote their brand. Kim Kardashian was also seeking order to have the actress/model Molinaro banned from Old Navy commercials. The lawsuit never went to trial but a settlement was reached by use of a mediator in 2012; the exact settlement is unknown.
In March 2012, Kardashian debuted her fourth fragrance, titled “True Reflection”, which she worked with the company Dress for Success to promote. That month, Kardashian and her sisters were named in a $5 million class action lawsuit against QuickTrim, the weight loss supplement they endorse. The complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, accuses the Kardashians (along with QuickTrim’s manufacturer, Windmill Health Products; the retailer GNC; and others in the sales and marketing chain) of false and deceptive marketing of the diet aid. The plaintiffs, hailing from several states, brought claims under their respective states’ consumer protection laws. In April, E! renewed Keeping Up with the Kardashians for two additional seasons, in a deal reported to be worth $50 million. In October 2012, Kardashian released her fifth fragrance, “Glam”, which “draws on the glamour of her Hollywood lifestyle”, and was made available through Debenhams. In summer of 2012, Kardashian and her family filmed a music video in the Dominican Republic to Notorious B.I.G’s song “Hypnotize”.
In 2000, 19-year-old Kardashian eloped with music producer Damon Thomas. Thomas filed for divorce in 2003. Kardashian later credited their separation to physical and emotional abuse on his part. Prior to the completion of her divorce, Kardashian began dating singer Ray J.
In May 2011, Kardashian became engaged to NBA player Kris Humphries, then of the New Jersey Nets, whom she had been dating since October 2010. They were married in a wedding ceremony on August 20 in Montecito, California. Earlier that month, she had released her “wedding fragrance” called “Kim Kardashian Love” which coincided with her own wedding. A two-part TV special showing the preparations and the wedding itself aired on E! in early October 2011, amidst what The Washington Post called a “media blitz” related to the wedding. After 72 days of marriage, she filed for divorce from Humphries on October 31, citing irreconcilable differences. Several news outlets surmised that Kardashian’s marriage to Humphries was merely a publicity stunt, to promote the Kardashian family’s brand and their subsequent television ventures. A man professing to be her former publicist, Jonathan Jaxson, also claimed that her short-lived marriage was indeed staged and a ploy to generate money. Kardashian filed suit against Jaxson, saying his claims were untrue, and subsequently settled the case which included an apology from Jaxson. A widely circulated petition asking to remove all Kardashian-related programming from the air followed the split. The divorce was subject to widespread media attention.
Kardashian began dating rapper and longtime friend Kanye West in April 2012, while still legally married to Humphries. Her divorce was finalized on June 3, 2013, Kardashian and West became engaged on October 21, Kardashian’s 33rd birthday, and married on May 24, 2014 at Fort di Belvedere in Florence, Italy. Her wedding dress was designed by Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy with some guests’ dresses designed by designer Michael Costello.
Kim Kardashian is a Christian and has described herself as “really religious”. Each morning, she and her family partake in a group chat in which they discuss a daily verse from the Christian Bible. She was educated in Christian schools of both the Presbyterian and Roman Catholic traditions.
In April 2015, Kardashian and West traveled to the Armenian Quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem to have their daughter, North, baptized in the Armenian Apostolic Church. The ceremony took place at the Cathedral of St. James. Khloe Kardashian was appointed the godmother of North.
Health and pregnancies
Kardashian gave birth to her first child with West, daughter North West, on June 15, 2013. She gave birth to her second child, son Saint West, on December 5, 2015. She has been very open about her difficult pregnancies. With her first pregnancy, she suffered preeclampsia, which forced her to deliver at 34 weeks. She also suffered placenta accreta after delivery, eventually having to have surgery to remove the placenta and subsequent scar tissue. After her second pregnancy, her doctors advised against trying to become pregnant again. The couple’s third child, a daughter, was born via surrogate on January 15, 2018. On January 19, 2018, her name was announced as Chicago West.
As of May 2014, Kardashian was estimated to be worth US$45 million. In 2015, Forbes reported she had “made more this year than ever as her earnings nearly doubled to $53 million from 2014’s $28 million”, and reported that she “has monetized fame better than any other”. Much of her income include wholesale earnings of the Sears line, the Kardashian Kollection, which raked in $600 million in 2013 and the Kardashian Beauty cosmetics line, Kardashian-branded tanning products, the boutique-line DASH, as well as sponsored Instagram and Twitter posts which are collectively worth $10,000–25,000 per post. As of July 2018, Kim is worth US$350 Million.
Kardashian has expressed pride in her Armenian and Scottish ancestry. She is not a citizen of either country and cannot speak Armenian. She has advocated for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide on numerous occasions, and encouraged President Barack Obama and the United States government to consider its acknowledgement.
In April 2015, she traveled to Armenia with her husband, her sister Khloé, and her daughter North and visited the Armenian Genodice memorial Tsitsernakaberd in Yerevan. In April 2016, Kardashian wrote an article on her website condemning The Wall Street Journal for running an advertisement denying the Armenian Genocide. During an interview with GQ for the July 2016 issue, Kardashian described herself as a Liberal Republican, fiscally conservative but socially progressive.