The Curious Timing of Kim Kardashian’s Divorce From Kanye West
The family has long utilized their popular reality show to address situations they wouldn’t elaborate on in real time, instead waiting for the dust to settle to have the final say.
On early Friday afternoon, it was shaping up to be an average day for Kim Kardashian West. She had uploaded videos to her Instagram Story showing off the newest designs from her SKIMS shapewear line and posted photos of herself lounging in her living room, with a thin gold band still on her ring finger.
But just a few hours later, it was announced that Kim had filed for divorce from her husband Kanye West after almost seven years of marriage.
The Kardashians are notorious for their business acumen. Beyond just appearing in their reality series Keeping Up With the Kardashians, each of the sisters run their own business.
Kylie Jenner helms a billion-dollar makeup empire, Kim has both a beauty and shapewear line, Khloe owns the clothing brand Good American, and Kourtney developed a Goop-inspired blog called Poosh.
And perhaps the most recent example of the family’s knack for creating profitable companies is Kendall Jenner launching a tequila brand. But not wanting to be deemed just another celebrity-endorsed liquor, Kendall entered her 818 tequila anonymously into a handful of competitions and won quite a few awards. In doing so, she proved it was a quality product on its own merit.
By these measures, it should come as no surprise that after months of speculation Kim and Kanye were headed for divorce, the long-awaited confirmation of the rumor was part of a larger game plan.
According to TMZ, which first announced the news, the divorce is moving smoothly, with both parties already in agreement on joint custody for their four children North, 7; Saint, 5; Chicago, 3; and Psalm, 1. The outlet also reported that Kim and Kayne are fine with the terms of their prenup and are “far along” in reaching a settlement over their various properties.
With such an amicable divorce, it raises the question: Why did Kim file now?
Kim is being repped by powerhouse divorce attorney Laura Wasser (the basis for Laura Dern’s character in Marriage Story), who previously said she liked to file her celebrity client’s divorce on a quiet Friday, ideally before a holiday weekend, in hopes it would slip by the press.
It seemed that the prior weekend would have been the perfect opportunity to file, if there ever was one for arguably one of the most famous women in the world, with the news being dominated by former President Donald Trump’s impeachment and the distraction of the long weekend and Valentine’s Day.
So, it can’t be coincidental that the filing comes just under a month before the final season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians airs on March 18.
The Kardashian-Jenner family has long utilized their show to address situations they wouldn’t elaborate on in real time, instead waiting for the dust to settle to have the final say, often enabling them to control the narrative.
When it was rumored for months that Kylie Jenner was pregnant, there was no comment from her team until she dropped a video that showed her pregnancy journey. A few months later, her pregnancy was her plotline for the season.
For the most part, Khloe Kardashian let the drama between her partner Tristan Thompson cheating on her—once when she was nine months pregnant, and then again when he was accused of hooking up with family friend Jordyn Woods—play out on screen.
In similar fashion, Kim has kept quiet since it was first reported her marriage was on the brink, keeping up appearances by occasionally wearing her ring and posting on social media as normal.
The past year had been extremely rocky for the couple, seemingly sparked by West announcing that he was running for president. While on the campaign trail, he went on a bizarre rant and said Kim had considered aborting their daughter North. The result was catastrophic, and Kim was seen flying out to West in Wyoming and having a tearful breakdown in his car.
One of the last times Kim publicly addressed her marriage with West was in July of 2020, when she came out with a statement that discussed his bipolar diagnosis, writing she “kindly ask[s] that the media and public give us the compassion and empathy that is needed so that we can get through this.”
It should only be expected for Kim to use the final season of the show to tell her side of the story, without social media and the news media weighing in on every development.
In a way, it’s a beautiful character arc for herself. The first season was about her struggling to achieve and deal with fame, even its uncharted territories, and now, 14 years down the line, Kim is fully in control of her life and choices, but as always, surrounded by family.