At what point is it acceptable to doubt a Kardashian?
As celebrity peers took to Twitter to criticize anyone who made light of the situation, conflicting details continued to emerge about Kim Kardashian’s reported robbery in Paris.
First, Kim had been asleep, alone, in a posh, super-secret, no-address building favored by celebrities. Then her stylist was in the unit, but not on the same floor. Two armed men broke in. Within hours, it was five.
The robbers spoke English until they only spoke French. Her stylist called 911, except in Paris there is no 911 — you dial 112. But she may have just texted her bodyguard because cell service was bad.
The intruders gagged and bound Kim and tossed her in a marble tub while they robbed her of $11 million worth of jewelry and escaped on bicycles, which she may or may not have seen from her balcony, where she ran screaming after freeing herself in an ordeal lasting six minutes.
Skepticism spread online.
“It’s all bogus. I hope she goes to jail,” said one commenter.
“Their dumb show is about to be cancelled for low ratings,” said another. “No act or stunt is too vile.”
Given the Kardashians’ history of manipulating people and truth for profit and fame, it’s a karmic reaction.
Since “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” premiered in 2007, the family’s hunger for fame has been insatiable; it’s long rumored that Kim Kardashian’s sex tape, leaked that same year, was a publicity stunt orchestrated by momager Kris.
In 2012, TMZ reported that Kris Humphries, Kim’s husband of 72 days, told an ex-girlfriend that Kris Jenner told Kim to make a sex tape, and upon viewing it, told Kim it wasn’t “pretty enough” and ordered a reshoot.
Humphries is just one of many churned and burned through Kardashian contrivances. Last October, I wrote about this (sorry to say) extensively. In addition to Humphries, an NBA player who married Kim in a two-part E! special — only to learn about his impending divorce on the news — Khloe Kardashian’s estranged husband, Lamar Odom, has had similar experiences.
“He kept saying he was better than the Kardashians and f—k them,” a friend told the Daily Mail after Odom’s near-fatal overdose last October. “He said all they had ever done for him was exploit him for the show. He went through every one of them — Kim, Kris, Caitlyn . . . He felt chewed up and spat out.”
Humphries felt the same way. Producer Russell Jay testified in divorce proceedings that a scene in which Kim expressed doubts about the marriage was filmed after Kim had filed. Humphries, a source told Radar Online, watched in “utter horror” as he was portrayed as a bully and, hilariously, someone interested only in fame.
“They set Kris up to look like a jerk,” a source told Radar Online.
In August 2015, months before his overdose, Odom complained that Khloe had told him to meet her at a local SoulCycle at 6:45 a.m., then called paparazzi and reacted as if he were stalking her.
“I am not, not, not the person they’re making me out to be,” Odom said at the time.
While most viewers understand that much of reality TV is, in fact, scripted, the off-screen Kardashians seem mere avatars of their television personas, willing to manipulate anyone, contrive anything, to advance a narrative they can bounce back to the show.
In a feature called “Keeping Up with Kontinuity Errors,” the Web site Jezebel regularly tracks what’s happened in real time versus when it’s happened on air. It requires an almost talmudic knowledge of the show and concurrent tabloid coverage, along with each Kardashian’s social-media activity and forensic data on their real-world locations, but it’s safe to say their lives became fictions long, long ago.
“Kris’ Fakery Fail: KUWTK Has Lowest Numbers Ever,” Radar Online reported last May. Season 12’s season premiere grabbed a little more than 2 million viewers, and Episode 2 shed more than 500,000 of those. Kim herself has been eclipsed by younger sisters Kendall and Kylie. Most upsettingly, the entire Western world has trained its klieg lights on a divorcing Brad and Angelina.
Up until 48 hours ago, that is.
Of course, Kim’s robbery could very well be true, and, if so, the details are horrifying. But as the biggest “reality” star of the past two decades, Kim Kardashian has become famous for her ability to control her own reality and to define it for us, to control her own narrative. The very notion of some aspect of her story being out of her control seems, ironically, unreal.
The whole debate may seem silly, but there are serious ramifications: France has suffered three terrorist attacks in less than two years. Tourism is down. France has long been in a state of emergency.
“What happened to [Kim Kardashian] is running nonstop on every channel,” French National Assembly member Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet told Europe1. “Do you realize the kind of anti-commercial this is for Paris?”
Finally, and most curiously of all: The Selfie Queen of the Free World took no photos of her bruises or lacerations, no video of her ransacked room. What kind of reality star is that?