In her newly released E! True Hollywood Story episode, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star recalled meeting West in 2002 — 12 years before the couple tied the knot.
“I met Kanye in 2002,” said Kardashian West, 38. “He would ask everyone like who I was, and they always said like, ‘Oh she, you know, has a boyfriend.’ “
Although the timing wasn’t right for the pair, that wasn’t the last time they ran into each other: “We just always kept on connecting and coming into each other’s lives.”
While the two had been friends for years, it wasn’t until years — and a high-profile divorce from Kris Humphries — later during a trip to the City of Light that things turned romantic.
“And then he invited me to Paris to his fashion show and then that’s when it like happened. That’s when we started our relationship,” she said.
“Then I was like, ‘S—, why didn’t this happen sooner?’ ” she said. “It was just right.”
But some people in West’s inner circle were concerned about how the reality star’s image could impact his own reputation in the music industry.
“Everyone would tell him, ‘You can’t be with her. She’s a reality star. She’s going to sink your career,’ ” Kardashian West said of the naysayers. “And he was just like, ‘But I love her. Like, I don’t care.’ “
Recalling how he felt about Kardashian West early on, the musician said that “anytime I was around her or I saw her, it was a magnetic attraction to this force of energy.”
“She was good, pure, happy, loving, brave, courageous, strong,” West, 42, said of his wife.
Following her 72-day marriage to basketball player Humphries, Kardashian West and West began dating back in 2012 — while still fighting to legally end her prior union.
“They have been close friends for years and decided to give it a try [with dating],” a source close to the couple told PEOPLE at the time.
Unsurprisingly, the rapper made his feelings for Kardashian West known. In his song “Theraflu,” West sings, “I admit I fell in love with Kim … ‘Round the same time she fell in love with him … That’s cool, babygirl, do your thing … Lucky I ain’t had Jay drop him from the team.” (West was referring to his pal Jay Z, who then owned the New Jersey Nets, the team Humphries played for at the time.)
The couple eventually wed in 2014 in Florence, Italy, and have welcomed four children together over the course of their relationship: daughters Chicago, 20 months, and North, 6, and sons Saint, 3, and Psalm, 4 months.
Last October, Kardashian West opened up about her relationship with her husband during an interview with Van Jones on Be Woke Vote, admitting, “We’ve been through a lot together.”
“I’ve known him for 15 years now. Became friends with him maybe in like 2006, 2007. Met him in like [2002 or 2003]. I’ve known him forever. He’s put himself up against the world for me when everyone told him, ‘You cannot date a girl with a sex tape. You cannot date a reality show girl. This is going to ruin your career.’ Everyone told him that,’ ” Kardashian West said.
Luckily, the rapper didn’t listen.
“To me, he was like, ‘Oh, you’re not going to tell me what to do. I’ll let you know that it’s going to be okay.’ And he always was that strength for me. So I’ll always love and appreciate him for always standing up for me,” she said.
“Even in like fashion. ‘You’ll never be on the cover of a magazine.’ And you know, amazing things have happened in that world or anyone that’s ever doubted us or me, he’s always been there to hold my hand and lift me up higher and give me the confidence. And so I’ll always do the same for him,” the KUWTK star continued.
Earlier this year, the couple celebrated five years of marriage together, and Kardashian West dedicated a sweet post to the musician ahead of their special day.
“5 years and 4 kids,” Kardashian West captioned a photo from their photo from their stunning May 24, 2014, wedding. “Life couldn’t be better!”