Kim Kardashian is part of one of the biggest reality TV empires in the world (for which she was the main draw for many years). She also has a makeup line and a shapewear line, plus mega-influencer status on Instagram thanks to her nearly 200 million followers. So she can easily agree to sponsor a post if she needs some extra cash. Plus, her mom Kris Jenner is her manager, so while family dinners might get tense sometimes, she definitely has people around she can trust to help her make decisions.
Her family is unbelievably close, as is evidenced by pretty much every episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians or one of its many spinoffs. She has four beautiful kids with husband Kanye West, who admitted he was in love with her since her brief, ill-fated marriage to Kris Humpries. You might think that someone with as much fame and fortune as Kardashian can only have a happy life. But if you do, you’re wrong. It doesn’t take much digging to find all of the difficult obstacles she’s overcome to get to where she is today. So, let’s take a look at the tragic life of Kim Kardashian.
Kim Kardashian’s parents’ dramatic divorce
Kim Kardashian’s mother and father, Kris and Robert Kardshian, were happily married for 12 years until Kris had an affair and Robert filed for divorce in 1991. “I think I have one regret, and that was getting divorced,” Kris told Oprah Winfrey in 2012. “I thought I knew it all, I was young and you know, you think you’re smarter than everybody else. And I had been with Robert since I was 17 years old,” she explained.
In an interview for OBJECTified six years later, Kris revealed that she had an affair, because although her life was perfect, she still had adopted a “grass is always greener” mentality. But she was wrong. Robert cut Kris off financially. “I went to the market one day and my credit card didn’t work,” she said on the show. “And I’m like, ‘I can’t even buy a tomato!'” She regrets how it affected her kids, especially Kourney and Kim, who knew the reason their parents’ marriage ended.
“We always protected our dad because we felt bad for him because he didn’t want the divorce,” Kim told Winfrey in 2012. “We knew it was my mom’s fault, we were really well aware.” But as she’s gotten older, Kim said she’s grown to understand her mom’s behavior. “I’ve been in those situations where I feel like I want to get out, I can’t breathe.”
The trial that divided the Kardashians
How do you add more stress to a relationship that’s ended because of adultery? Kris Jenner found out when her ex-husband joined the team representing O.J. Simpson in Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman’s murder case. Brown was one of Jenner’s best friends, and Jenner stood by the prosecution. She’s mum about verbalizing her feelings in the press these days, but has made comments like this on The Hollywood Reporter’s “Awards Chatter” podcast: “After that initial shock of, ‘What’s going on,’ I just felt like I knew, probably, what had happened.” She only alludes to her belief that Simpson killed Brown.
Her kids called Simpson and Brown “Uncle O.J” and “Auntie Nicole.” They are Kim and Kourtney’s godparents. When Jenner and Robert Kardashian were on opposite sides of the trial, things were stressful in the family. “There was a line drawn in the sand,” Jenner told Oprah Winfrey in 2012. “There was a lot of tension and the kids probably suffered as a result of it.”
Simpson was infamously acquitted of Brown and Goldman’s murders. Kim usually takes a cue from her mom and doesn’t speak about her godfather out of respect for his kids. But in 2019, she did recall the last time she saw him. “We all, I think, all started crying, and it was emotional, I think,” the mogul said on the Foodgod: OMFG podcast of the reunion, which took place at a club in Miami.
Kim Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint in Paris
Perhaps the most traumatic moment of Kim Kardashian’s life occurred in Paris on Oct. 3, 2016 when she was robbed at gunpoint and tied up by a gang of men dressed in police uniforms and masks, the Daily Mail originally reported. The thieves stole an estimated $5.6 million in jewels, including Kim’s engagement ring, in what Vanity Fair learned is called a “home-jacking.” The term simply means that robbers target victims inside their residences. Kim was staying at Hôtel de Pourtalès, or the “no address hotel” for Paris Fashion Week.
Kim detailed the incident on The Ellen Degeneres Show, saying that it changed her life and that she doesn’t put as much value on material possessions anymore. “I knew that was it for me,” she said, admitting she “100 percent” thought she was going to die. “I said a prayer, I’m like, ‘I know I’m going to heaven. I hope my kids are okay, my husband.'” Kim called it “seven or eight minutes of torture” but said that she’s grateful to be home safe. “I know this sounds crazy, but I know that was meant to happen to me,” she told Degeneres. She’s truly thankful to have learned not to flaunt her possessions anymore.
Daily Mail reported that 17 suspects were arrested in connection with the heist in January 2017. Suspects arrested included Kim’s chauffeur and two middle-aged brothers arrested for “disposing” of Kim’s engagement ring.
Kim Kardashian’s road to motherhood was rough
By 2012, Kim Kardashian was in a relationship with Kanye West. The rapper confirmed that Kim was pregnant with their first child in December of that year. The couple is now married with four children — North, Saint, Chicago, and Psalm — but their journey through pregnancy has not been easy. Kim gave birth to her eldest children, North and Saint herself, but Chicago and Psalm were born through a surrogate.
North was conceived naturally, but Kim has been open about life-threatening conditions she had during her first pregnancy. In a December 2019 Instagram post, Kim shared that she had preeclampsia, meaning that her organs started to shut down. In the post, Kim said that she went into “emergency labor” to deliver her daughter who was nearly six weeks early. She also shared that she had a life-threatening condition called placenta accreta, meaning that her placenta never delivered and continued to grow inside of her body after she gave birth.
Kim’s son Saint was conceived via IVF, but in the post Kim shared that she “had to have five different operations … to fix the damage” that both pregnancies did to her body. She wanted to get pregnant one more time, but said her doctors told her “‘We don’t even put an embryo in you, that would be like malpractice.'” That seems like so much trauma. But Kim said, “I am just so thankful for my beautiful kids.” So are we, Kim!
Kanye West and Kim Kardashiain battle constant divorce rumors
Divorce rumors come with the territory of being a couple with star power like Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. West’s bipolar disorder undoubtedly adds pressure to the marriage and intensifies rumors. Those got intense in 2016 after Kardashian’s Paris incident, when West was hospitalized for exhaustion. A source told Us Weekly then, “It will take some time before she can do anything, but she doesn’t want to stay married.” They’ve had another child since the story broke so it’s safe to say these reports were false.
But in January 2021 Page Six reported that “divorce is imminent” for Kardashian and West, who have reportedly been living separate lives and focusing on personal projects. Kardashian live in Calabasas, Calif. with the kids and West in Wyoming. A source told Page Six that Kim has hired divorce attorney Laura Wasser and “they are in settlement talks” with their home in Calabasas being the biggest point of contention. Kim wants to keep it and raise the kids there, but West “masterminded” its redesign.
As for the last straw in the marriage, a source told Page Six, “[Kim] is serious about taking the bar exam and becoming a lawyer, she is serious about her prison reform campaign.” West’s antics, like Twitter outbursts, make that hard. Meanwhile, another source said West “is completely over the entire family.” TMZ reported that the couple has been in counseling and Kim hesitates to file papers because of the kids.