From Kimye to Skete: The Dissolution of the Kanye West, Kim Kardashian Empire
Kimye was once a powerhouse Hollywood couple. Kanye West, music mogul and genius, joined Kim Kardashian, the entrepreneurial queen of reality TV, to form one of America’s richest, most powerful families in entertainment.
Their relationship, however, has also been laced with fights with other artists, social media rants, and ultimately a very public divorce.
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Now, more than a year after Kardashian filed for divorce in 2021 — after a judge declared her legally single in 2022 — the term “Kimye” has become synonymous with public tumult as West uses social media videos, song lyrics, and claymation to attack Kardashian’s post-Ye life.
Here’s an abridged timeline of Kimye:
They start dating in 2012.
The pair first met in 2002 or 2003, when West was recording a song with Brandy, one of Kardashian’s friends. (“I vividly remember hanging out with him,” Kardashian said on her show Keeping Up With the Kardashians years later.)
AP Photo/Francois Mori, File
Fast-forward a decade and Kanye released his track “Cold,” a song featuring lyrics about the reality star: “And I’ll admit, I had fell in love with Kim/Around the same time she had fell in love with him/Well, that’s cool, baby girl, do ya thang.” The “him” in the lyric refers to Kim’s two-second-long marriage to Kris Humphries. (They were married for 72 days in 2011.)
Throughout 2012, Kardashian and West were often spotted on lavish vacations and on sets for photoshoots. The two even attended Paris Fashion Week together that fall.
By December, Kardashian was pregnant with the couple’s first daughter, North. “Kanye and I are expecting a baby. We feel so blessed and lucky and wish that in addition to both of our families, his mom and my dad could be here to celebrate this special time with us,” she wrote on her website at the time.
Kanye proposes to Kim, and they welcome North.
By the start of 2013, the couple had purchased an $11 million home (that they’ve now sold) as Kardashian showed off her baby bump; their first child, North, was finally born on June 15.
Three days after welcoming North, West released his beloved album Yeezus, which Rolling Stone named one of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
In October of that same year, their romance turned even more official when the couple got engaged. Kanye proposed to Kim at the San Francisco Giants’ stadium (which he rented out) by projecting the words “PLEEEASE MARRY MEEE!!!” on AT&T Park’s jumbotron on her birthday.
Kanye sealed the deal with a 15-caret diamond ring. “I’m not arrogant about love or feelings at all. I’m confident in the work I put so much work into, but this is someone else’s feelings,” he told Ryan Seacrest at the time. “You never know what someone else may feel at the time.”
Kanye and Kim tie the knot.
Kim and Kanye land the cover of Vogue in March, just months before tying the knot in May 2014 at an over-the-top ceremony in Florence, Italy. A snap from their wedding became the most-liked photo on Instagram of the year.
“It was the most amazing experience just to be able to share [the wedding] with so many family members and friends,” Kim said about their wedding at the time. “We wanted everyone to be on this love journey with us.”
Mike Coppola/Getty Images
In early 2015, the couple continued making public appearances at the Grammys, Met Gala, and other events. (At the Grammys, Kanye performed “Only One,” a track dedicated to their daughter, North.)
And in December 2015, Kim and Kanye welcomed their second child, Saint.
Kim and Kanye versus Taylor Swift.
And then “Famous” happened. In the summer of 2016, a public feud between Taylor Swift and Kardashian and West erupted after West rapped, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/Why? I made that bitch famous,” on his single featuring Rihanna. The lyric referred to his infamous interruption of her VMAs acceptance speech in 2009.
At the time, Swift described the lyric as “misogynistic,” before Kim posted video of Kanye and Swift speaking on the phone; the couple alleged that the 1989 singer had approved the reference. (Swift approved the sex line, but never the word “bitch.” The entire conversation leaked in 2020, proving exactly that.) Matters got even worse after he released the song’s video, which featured naked wax figures of the likes of Swift, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Donald Trump, and Caitlyn Jenner, among others.
The controversial track ended up being nominated for best rap performance and best rap song at the Grammys the following year.
Kim gets robbed in Paris; Kanye is hospitalized.
The couple went through a scary moment after Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint at a hotel in Paris in October 2016. West left the stage at the Meadows Music and Arts Festival in New York when he learned what happened and flew to France to be with his wife.
Just a month later, West went on to cancel his Saint Pablo tour after facing backlash for using the stage to go on political rants and ending shows early. Shortly before, West made controversial statements onstage about how he “would have voted for Donald Trump” in the presidential election.
In November 2016, he was hospitalized for psychiatric evaluation for exhaustion after “acting erratically.”
Kimye has two more babies; Kanye drops two more albums.
In early 2018, the couple welcomed their son, Chicago, via surrogate. Later that year, West would go on to admit to The New York Times that he worried his comments on TMZ earlier that year — when he said that slavery “sounds like a choice” — would cause Kardashian to leave him.
Roy Rochlin/Getty Images
“There was a moment where I felt like after TMZ, maybe a week after that, I felt like the energy levels were low, and I called different family members and was asking, you know, ‘Was Kim thinking about leaving me after TMZ?’” he said. “So that was a real conversation.”
Kimye, nevertheless, persisted. The couple welcomed their fourth child, Psalm, in May 2019, around the same time they renewed their wedding vows to celebrate their fifth anniversary. That’s when Kardashian began pursuing a career in law.
Kardashian publicly addresses West’s mental health.
Kanye 2020: The pandemic — and its overlapping election cycle — was in full swing when West took to Twitter to announce his intention of “trusting God, unifying our vision, and building our future” as a candidate for president of the United States. (He’d go on to earn 60,000 total votes, as he missed ballot deadlines in several states.)
During West’s run, Kardashian posted a lengthy statement on Instagram addressing her then-husband’s erratic posts on social media and public speeches referring to their family life.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue
“Anyone who has [bipolar disorder] or has a loved one in their life who does, knows how incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand,” Kardashian wrote. “I’ve never spoken publicly about how this has affected us at home because I am very protective of our children and Kanye’s right to privacy when it comes to his health. But today, I feel like I should comment on it because of the stigma and misconceptions about mental health.”
West later publicly apologized on Twitter: “I did not cover her like she has covered me. To Kim I want to say I know I hurt you. Please forgive me,” he wrote. “Thank you for always being there for me.”
I would like to apologize to my wife Kim for going public with something that was a private matter.
I did not cover her like she has covered https://t.co/A2FwdMu0YU Kim I want to say I know I hurt you. Please forgive me. Thank you for always being there for me.
— ye (@kanyewest) July 25, 2020
Rumors about their relationship being on the rocks began circulating in tabloids, even after he gifted her with a hologram of her late father, Robert, for her birthday. (A source told People that December that the two were living “separate lives.”)
They split in February 2021, but Kardashian still supports Donda.
Kimye is kaput. After months of speculation, Kardashian filed for divorce from West in February 2021 with the help of celebrity divorce lawyer Laura Wasser. A source told several outlets that their separation was “amicable.”
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images For Roc Nation; Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Tiffany & Co.
Despite being months into their split, Kardashian supported West at live events promoting his 2021 album, Donda, that summer. At one listening party in Chicago, she even recreated her wedding day, wearing a white wedding gown. (She attended nearly all of the album’s listening parties.)
Accused rapist Marilyn Manson — who is featured on Donda — also appeared at West’s listening party; a source told People Kardashian was not told in advance. “She was seated inside a suite facing the back of the house on the stage so she would not have been able to see them at all from her vantage point,” the source told the magazine. “She was only aware of what Kanye had asked her to do, and she was willing to help him.”
Pete Davidson and Kardashian start dating.
Kardashian seemed to be inching away from West toward the end of 2021, as she was spotted with comedian Pete Davidson during a trip to Knott’s Scary Farm in late fall. A source told People they were “just friends,” though they were seen holding hands during a roller-coaster ride.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images; Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for ABA
That fall, the couple were spotted having dinner together, publicly holding hands, and Kardashian even threw the comedian a birthday party in November.
West begs Kardashian to come back to him during a charity concert.
In December 2021, Kanye put a halt to his years-long feud with Drake by hosting a joint charity show in honor of Larry Hoover, who is serving a life sentence in prison.
Timothy Norris/Getty Images for Coachella
While singing his track “Runaway” — Kardashian and their daughter North in attendance — he tweaked to his lyrics to call for the return of his estranged wife. “I need you to run right back, baby, more specifically, Kimberly,” he sang onstage.
Just a few days later, Kardashian petitioned the court to be declared legally single, saying their “marriage has irremediably broken down.”
West and Julia Fox start dating; West shares a violent video about Davidson.
To kick off 2022, West and Julia Fox got together for a whirlwind romance — complete with interviews and photoshoots.
“Everything with us has been so organic. I don’t know where things are headed, but if this is any indication of the future, I’m loving the ride,” Fox told Interview magazine. The couple’s relationship lasted two months.
Victor Boyko/Getty Images For Kenzo
It was also during this time that West started a public tirade against Davidson. On the song “Eazy,” he rapped, “God saved me from that crash/Just so I can beat Pete Davidson’s ass.” West would go on to release a video where a claymation West kidnaps and kills Davidson. In another video, an animated Davidson gets beat up by a monkey.
“Art is not a proxy for any ill or harm,” West said about the initial video following backlash. “Any suggestion otherwise about my art is false and mal intended.”
In February, West made public pleas to Kardashian to rekindle their romance, writing on Instagram, “God please bring our family back together.” The post came days after West claimed Kardashian accused him of “putting a hit on her.” It was also during this time that West shared his discontent about their daughter North using TikTok.
“I do this for every parent on either side [whose] kids futures are being one-sidedly controlled I don’t even have the right to get angry as a father without being called [erratic],” West wrote. “A father should never have to beg for the location of their children.”
Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis/Getty Images
Kardashian addressed his remarks, posting a statement on Instagram Stories. “Kanye’s constant attacks on me in interviews and on social media is actually more hurtful than any TikTok North might create,” she wrote. “As the parent who is the main provider and caregiver for our children, I am doing my best to protect our daughter while also allowing her to express her creativity in the medium that she wishes with adult supervision — because it brings her happiness.”
West also debuted the song “True Love” from Donda 2 about the experience of being estranged from his wife and kids. On the track, he sings, “Wait, when you see the kids?/I’ll see y’all tomorrow/Wait, when the sun set? I see y’all tomorrow/Wait, whеn I pick ’em up, I feel like they borrowed/When I gotta return them, scan ’em like a bar code.”
West is declared legally single; texts between Davidson and West hit social media.
In early March, Kardashian was declared legally single by a judge after saying “I very much desire to be divorced” in an earlier court statement, obtained by Rolling Stone. “I have asked Kanye to keep our divorce private, but he has not done so … Kanye has been putting a lot of misinformation regarding our private family matters and co-parenting on social media which has created emotional distress.”
Arnold Jerocki/Getty Images
As Davidson officially appeared on Kardashian’s Instagram, West accused his ex-wife of withholding custody of their kids. (Something Kardashian has denied.)
West — who nicknamed Davidson “Skete” — claimed that the comedian was “antagonizing” him and “bragging about being in bed with my wife.” Dave Sirus, a friend of Davidson, would go on to post what appeared to be a screenshot of a conversation between the two, where Davidson indeed writes “in bed with your wife.” (The posts were then deleted.)
Pete Davidson’s friend, Dave Sirus, shares text conversation between between Pete and Kanye West. pic.twitter.com/lxAf4xhyd0
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) March 13, 2022
“It don’t gotta be like this,” Davidson allegedly wrote. “What she does for those kids is amazing and you are so fucking lucky that she’s your kids’ mom… It’s wonders what [rehab centers] do when you go get help. You should try it. I’m in La for the day if you wanna stop being a little internet bitch boy and talk.”
On March 14, West shared a photo of North’s backpack, which featured pins emblazoned with the faces of her mother and father. “This was on my daughter’s backpack when I was ‘allowed’ to see her last week. This is why I go so hard for my family I am wired to protect my family at all cost,” he wrote. “As the priest of my home Don’t worry Northy God is still alive.” (Kardashian commented on the post, “Please stop with this narrative, you were just here this morning picking up the kids for school.”)
The posting continues…
Two days after the leaked text, West went back to slamming Davidson on Instagram. In one post from March 16, he claimed he was “concerned” that Davidson would get Kardashian “hooked on drugs” because “He is in rehab every 2 months.” He also dug up an old article about Davidson making a raunchy joke in a stand-up set and said, “Yet another reason why SKETE gotta stay away from my children.” On top of making fun of Davidson’s HIllary Clinton tattoo, West also claimed Davidson’s recent absences from Saturday Night Live at the time were because the comedian “had a mental breakdown after we ran him off the internet”; in reality, Davidson was filming a new movie, The Home, as had been widely reported.
Later that evening, Instagram restricted West’s account for posting hate speech, bullying and harassment. West won’t be able to post, comment, or send DMs on Instagram for 24 hours.
Pete gets ‘Kim’ branded on his chest
On March 16, Kardashian went on The Ellen Show and revealed that Pete Davidson got her first name branded on his chest. “I think he was like, ‘I want something that’s there that I can’t get rid of.’ He’s in the process of getting rid of his arm tats and neck tats so he’s like, ‘I don’t want to be able to get rid of it or cover it up. I just wanted it there as a scar on me…’ ” Kardashian explained. “It’s so cute, guys.” Looks like Davidson also has the phrase, “My girl is a lawyer,” tattooed on himself, along with several other “cutesy” inked displays of love on his body.
This story is developing…
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