Why You Shouldn’t Fall for Kanye West’s Julia Fox PR Blitz
It’s a shameless attempt to distract from his 2020 election controversy.
Over the past week, Kanye West has flooded the tabloids with breathless reports of his newfound romance with actress Julia Fox.
The two first became entangled on New Year’s Eve, with the billionaire artist and entrepreneur inviting the Uncut Gems star to his last-minute bash that night in Miami, followed by a New Year’s Day dinner at hotspot Carbone. Then West invited Fox to see Jeremy O. Harris’ acclaimed Slave Play in New York City, along with another stop at Carbone, wherein West—who brought a photographer along to document all their dates—staged an impromptu photo shoot of his 31-year-old paramour, much to other restaurant-goers’ amusement. They continued the fun at West’s hotel, the Pendry Manhattan West, where the 44-year-old multi-hyphenate had “a surprise” in store for his latest fixation.
“I mean, I’m still in shock. Ye had an entire hotel suite full of clothes. It was every girl’s dream come true. It felt like a real Cinderella moment,” Fox wrote in an Interview magazine piece recounting their fling, replete with photos of them amorously cuddling. “I don’t know how he did it, or how he got all of it there in time. But I was so surprised. Like, who does things like this on a second date? Or any date!”
She concluded: “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.”
For his part, West, who uses social media sparingly these days, has taken to posting an odd series of videos of Fox walking on his Instagram Stories:
The common refrain when it comes to West and Fox’s very public dalliance is that these are the machinations of a lover scorned. West was recently dumped by his wife of seven years, Kim Kardashian, and proclaimed on a podcast in November that he wished they were still together. Kardashian has apparently moved on from West with SNL’s Pete Davidson, frequenting amusement parks, the Bahamas, and even the comic’s local Staten Island haunts. Every move West had made—scheduling a last-minute NYE party in the same city as Davidson’s NBC soiree, hiring a photographer to document his dates, and choosing a woman who once modeled with Davidson for a Barbie and Ken-inspired PAPER magazine editorial—could be seen as petty ripostes to Kardashian, whom he recently purchased a home across the street from.
But it’s also rather cleverly distracting from a larger controversy that’s ensnared West: alleged meddling in the 2020 presidential election.
Yes, just as the Kardashian-Davidson courtship successfully kicked Travis Scott’s Astroworld tragedy—which also implicated his partner, Kylie Jenner—off the front pages, West’s recent headline-grabbing antics have all but erased the memory of a major story that broke just last month involving his publicist, Trevian Kutti, getting caught on video pressuring a Georgia election official to lie about the result of the 2020 presidential election (West, of course, is a vocal proponent of Donald Trump). The Kardashians, you see, have long practiced a tactic made infamous by Trump right-hand man Steve Bannon: “The real opposition is the media,” Bannon is reported to have said in 2018. “And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with shit.”
But back to Kutti and Kanye. On Dec. 10 of last year, Reuters published a deeply reported investigation revealing that in the weeks after the 2020 election, which saw decisive loser Trump levy baseless voter-fraud claims in a number of battleground states, Kutti paid a visit to the home of Ruby Freeman, a 62-year-old Georgia election official who had faced a deluge of harassment—including death threats—after Trump had falsely accused her of manipulating votes.
Kutti, who was caught on police body-cam footage, proceeded to say she was sent by an unidentified “high-profile individual” to deliver Freeman a warning: “Confess to Trump’s voter-fraud allegations, or people would come to her home in 48 hours, and she’d go to jail,” reported Reuters. (Kutti did not issue a statement to Reuters and hasn’t spoken publicly since the story ran; West’s spokesperson, Pierre Rougier, claimed to Reuters that “Kutti was not associated with Kanye West or any of his enterprises at the times of the facts that are reported in these articles or since these facts occurred,” but refused to answer any questions regarding the matter.)
There was more, of course. One week after the election bombshell, The Daily Beast broke the news that West’s entire “independent” third-party presidential run was actually run by a covert team of elite Republican operatives.
“New documents show Kanye West’s doomed White House campaign—styled as an ‘independent’ third-party effort—appears to have disguised potentially millions of dollars in services it received from a secretive network of Republican Party operatives, including advisers to the GOP elite and a managing partner at one of the top conservative political firms in the country,” reported The Daily Beast. “Potentially even more alarming? The Kanye 2020 campaign committee did not even report paying some of these advisers, and used an odd abbreviation for another—moves which campaign finance experts say appear designed to mask the association between known GOP operatives and the campaign, and could constitute a violation of federal laws.”
On Thursday night, two days after his love-bombing date with Fox, West was spotted back at the Miami outpost of Carbone dining with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner. The tete-a-tete attracted little attention.