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Kim Kardashian is opening up like she never has before.
The billionaire and mother of four was featured on an ABC special Wednesday evening in a true Hollywood-style expose into the roller-coaster life she lived as a confidant to Paris Hilton before finally making her own foray into the world of entertainment and fashion with the help of estranged husband Kanye West.
Kardashian and West knew each other for a decade before they began dating in 2012 while the SKIMS creator was still married. The pair became engaged just months after her divorce was finalized.
They married May 24, 2014, in a ceremony at a Renaissance fortress in Florence, Italy. The union was West’s first, Kardashian’s third. She was first married to music producer Damon Thomas from 2000-2004, then to basketball player Chris Humphries from 2011-2013, though she filed for divorce just 72 days after their wedding.
Kardashian became Hollywood royalty alongside her mother Kris Jenner and sisters Kourtney, 42; Khloé, 37; Kendall Jenner, 26; and Kylie Jenner, 24, as well as her 35-year-old brother, Rob. Much of the family’s meteoric rise was due to the influence of fashion and coolness that West brought into the family.
“I think what my goal has always been my whole life is to raise my kids, and the dream would be to see each one of them find their passion,” Jenner told Robin Roberts when asked if she was the “mastermind” behind her family’s success.
Jenner said the pinnacle of her life was as a mother to six children.
“At one point, I think what happened was I really followed in my mom and my grandmother’s footsteps, and Kourtney and I ended up opening a children’s shop just like my mom had,” Jenner explained. “My grandmother had a candle store. And I just feel like there’s a reason for everything and that you just have to be open to following the plan.”
“I never know what I’m going to wake up to in the morning,” Jenner quipped in the sit-down. “I never know what’s going to happen.”
Throughout the last 15 years, the Kardashians have dominated pop culture on their way to building their collective brands into the billions.
Despite the hustle Jenner and her daughters would put forth to build their empire, much of their success has stemmed from scandal. And the Kardashian clan can thank West, 44, for his part in that.
Being one of the biggest names in music when he and Kardashian, 41, first became an item in 2012, West afforded Kardashian access to the upper echelons of the fashion world.
West invited Kardashian to attend one of his showcases at Paris Fashion Week, where Kardashian got a taste of what life with the enigmatic mogul could be. She wined and dined with many of the same designers who once eschewed her.
Six months later, the pair graced the carpet at the Met Gala. After a few clandestine meetings with editors, Kardashian secured her first-ever high-fashion cover.
“I used to dream about this night, I used to sit home in bed on my computer looking at all of the pictures of everyone dreaming one day that I can ever attend the Met Ball,” Kardashian says in footage during the special.
“If I don’t sit down for dinner, now you know why. I’ll be walking around mingling, talking, but I cannot hardly sit. I can only like half-sit,” she adds.
Kardashian was soon being dressed by the biggest designers in the business on her way to landing a wedding dress custom-made by Givenchy. By 2014, she had achieved her all-time dream of gracing the cover of US Vogue.
During the special, Roberts suggested to Kardashian that “Vogue probably did not want to put you on the cover,” to which the reality star agreed.
“Absolutely. I mean, I say all the time, ‘Oh my God, I didn’t even think Vogue was in my vocabulary,'” Kardashian said,” adding that she has “pinch me moments all the time – things that I never thought that would ever happen for me. And so I just want to motivate people. Not the opposite.”
As a pioneer of women’s fashion centered on body appreciation and inclusivity, Kardashian maintained that it was the constant rejection from the same fashion houses that ultimately came crawling back that inspired her to push forward with her SKIMS undergarments.
“I mean, I think even looking at my sisters, some are short, some are really tall – like we all have really different body types. I never felt the inclusivity growing up,” she explained to Roberts. “It was like in the ’90s waif era, and everyone was blond and tall and thin, and I never really connected to anyone.
“I remember at the beginning, when I would want to borrow clothes and have clothes lent from fashion houses, everyone would say no because they said it would never fit me because I’m just too curvy and it would never fit. And I think that’s why I was so inspired to start SKIMS because I wanted a line that just had no boundaries.”
News of a split between Kardashian and West first broke in January 2021 with the businesswoman officially filing for divorce a month later in February.
When the reports initially surfaced in January, E! News reported that Kardashian had not yet filed divorce paperwork because she wanted to ensure that she was “making the right decision for the kids,” according to an insider.
Trouble in paradise between the two was first reported over that summer when West announced his candidacy for president in the 2020 election.
Reports on reason for the divorce have varied, with sources previously claiming that their politics, lifestyle, Calabasas home and even the rapper’s surprisingly brief attendance at his wife’s lavish birthday party last year have all been points of contention.
Reports at the time suggested the two had been living separately for a few months and that their relationship was “in deep trouble for the last half of 2020” with the pair reportedly in marriage counseling.
During what Kardashian later implied was an episode brought on by his bipolar disorder, West brought up the possibility of divorcing his wife at a campaign event while claiming they considered aborting their first child.
In a since-deleted tweet, the “Power” rapper also claimed that he’d been “trying” to divorce Kardashian ever since she attended a prison reform event with Meek Mill in 2018.
In the same rant, he also shaded Kardashian’s past Playboy spread and claimed that the reality star’s mother, Kris Jenner, was no longer allowed to see his children
Meanwhile, a source told Page Six at the time that “Kim got Kanye to go up there [to Wyoming] so they could live separate lives and quietly get things sorted out to separate and divorce. She’s done.”
The social media maven and the Grammy winner were married for almost seven years and have both asked for joint legal and physical custody of their four children — North, 8, Saint, 6, Chicago, 4, and Psalm, 2.
Since announcing their impending split, the two have been locked in a contentious public back andforth with the Yeezy boss publicly addressing his divorce proceedings and co-parenting arrangement with Kardashian in interviews and on social media.
Last week, West reportedly told the mother of his children that he is “going away to get help” and even pulled out of his scheduled performance as a Sunday headliner at the Coachella music festival.
“For the sake of the kids, Kanye has told Kim he’s not making any public appearances or inflammatory social media statements, and he will go away somewhere to get better,” a source close to the Kardashians relayed to Page Six.
The insider said it remains to be seen whether West is planning to check into a treatment center or if he is simply removing himself from the public limelight and social channels.
Kardashian has since moved on in her dating life with comedian and “Saturday Night Live” star Pete Davidson, who is 13 years younger than her.
“I am a relationship kind of girl for sure, and I wouldn’t be with someone if I didn’t plan on spending a lot of my time with them,” Kardashian said of her relationship with Davidson and her vision for how far it can actually go. “Obviously, I want to take my time. But I’m very happy and very content, and it’s such a good feeling just to be at peace.”
The family’s new reality show, “The Kardashians,” premieres April 14 on Hulu.