Kim Kardashian and Kanye West: Inside Hollywood’s most scandal-prone marriage
Saturday - 06/10/2018 17:55
THEY’RE two of the most scandal-prone people in show business — but throughout the storms they weather, Kim and Kanye’s marriage seems stronger than ever.
THINK what you want of Kim Kardashian and how she’s made her fortune, but when it comes to her marriage to Kanye West, she takes her vow of “for better or for worse” seriously.
Kanye revealed earlier this year that he suffers from Bipolar Affective Disorder, having been diagnosed at the age of 40 after a dramatic hospitalisation in 2016.
The pair continue to forcefully navigate their marriage in the blisteringly public eye, balancing a litany of seemingly conflicting businesses, Kanye’s continual courting of controversy, occasionally warring friends, cheating allegations, mental health issues and endless barrages of criticism.
Hints at divorce
Despite Kim’s public defence of their marriage, recent storylines on Keeping Up With The Kardashians seem familiar to long-time fans. In a recent episode, Kim took two separate scenes to vent to both Kourtney and Khloe about a pattern of bickering that had emerged between her and Kanye.
While the relationship is discussed at length, Kanye is mostly absent from the episode, apart from a brief appearance at a kid’s party. His appearances are few and far between, with Kardashian reportedly earning a US$5million dollar bonus for each single Kanye appearance in the series.
When he does appear on screen, it is often without wearing a microphone, his mostly inaudible phrases subtitled.
Kim recounted a fight between the couple over him wanting to take control of her Instagram feed. “I wanted it to be my fragrance,” she told Kourtney. “He was like, “f**k your fragrance for one day!,” describing his vision where Kim would post five racy Polaroid photographs from a motel in a row. “No one tells me what to post!,” Kim vented.
In the same episode Kim recounted another argument: “We had a fight because I wouldn’t get him a Band-Aid,” she begins. “He was like, ‘I’ve slaved around the world for you making clothes for you to make sure that you find the best outfit and you let me go out wearing a Jesus Band-Aid.’” She admitted balancing romance and three young children was difficult for her.
Kim Kardashian (along with her sisters Kourtney, Khloe, and her mother and manager Kris Jenner) act as Executive Producers on the long-running reality series, and fans have often offered conjecture that the Kardashians manufacture or manipulate storylines to “get ahead” of happenings in their personal life.
During Kim’s divorce from Kris Humphries she was accused of reshooting emotional scenes, months after they had occurred, to splice a breakup backstory into episodes where it had previously not existed. Critics argued a narrative had been created after the fact, making her divorce seem less sudden.
Ye goes off-meds
In a string of recent interviews Kanye has spoken openly about his diagnosis of Bipolar Affective Disorder. Reflexively, the rapper refers to difficult periods he has endured as “the sunken place,” but conversely refers to his illness as a “superpower.”
Kanye recently failed to deliver a promised album, telling TMZ that he “didn’t finish it.” He then confirmed that he was off his medication.
Sources close to Kim have reported that she remains unperturbed, saying, “this is who he is and she knew that when she married him.
”He’s always been controversial and can ruffle feathers. Kim’s not surprised in the least bit. Kanye loves to speak his mind and that’s not going to change.
“Whether or not Kim shares the same beliefs, she knows she’s never going to stop Kanye from expressing himself.”
Kim has a long history of publicly decrying the media for speculating about Kanye’s outbursts and linking them to “mental health issues”. This week she uploaded a photo to her Twitter and Instagram of the couple with the caption “We Got Love” — the title of an as-yet-unreleased song Kanye performed on SNL.
Kim and Kanye are negotiating a relationship with mental illness
Kanye’s breakdown in 2016 was addressed, if somewhat mysteriously, in the 13th season of KUWTK. In an episode, Kim is in New York, and takes a distressing phone call from one of Kanye’s friends, and breaks down into tears.
Kim weeps and says she doesn’t know what to do from New York; she quickly departs the next day and misses a charity ball to honour her late father Robert Kardashian.
In the next few scenes, references are made to Kanye being in the hospital and him needing to take “time off”. When Khloe asks Kim how she is going, Kim says she “doesn’t want to get into it right now.”
In October he rescheduled several of the tour dates, but by November, West failed to show up to a run of gigs. After a bizarre and lengthy outburst on stage, where he ranted about Jay-Z and Beyoncé failing to support him and Kardashian following a much-publicised robbery, where Kim was held at gunpoint, he cancelled the remaining 21 dates.
Sources reported “some kind of breakdown” related to “exhaustion”. West had been hospitalised in 2016 for a psychiatric evaluation after “behaving erratically” at his trainer’s house. He was restrained in the ambulance as he was transported to UCLA Medical Centre, where he went on to receive treatment, and would be diagnosed with bipolar.
A recent theory went viral that Kim had an affair with rapper Drake. A Twitter user, Tyler Morrison posted a lengthy thread positing the theory that Drake had been “leaving clues” in his lyrics about an affair.
Kim’s ex-boyfriend Nick Cannon weighed in on the far-fetched Twitter-based theory, saying, “that ain’t that far off of a concept,” prompting Kanye to post a string of emotional videos to his Instagram which he categorised as addressing some things that “weren’t sitting right with his spirit.”
Kanye then told off Nick Cannon: “Don’t be making no suggestions like nobody f**ked my wife,” before addressing.”
Kanye then addressed Drake, taking shots at the rapper about accountability. “The fact that people thinking you f**ked my wife and you not saying nothing and you carrying it like that, that don’t sit well with my spirit.”
Kim also commented on a post on Instagram, forcefully putting a stop to the rumours, “Never happened. End of story.”
During the lead up to Kanye’s five album releases earlier this year, he courted controversy on Twitter and in the media. The rapper threw support behind Donald Trump, telling off People Magazine after a series of article alleged he was fighting with Kris Jenner (“Watch how you speak my name”) and began tweeting “self-help” style phrases to his followers, urging them to “decentralise” and “spread love”.
He likened his tweets to a self-help manual which he titled “Break the Simulation”, which he claimed to be releasing in real time on Twitter.
During this period, Kanye’s statements were widely reported on and mocked by various outlets. Kim’s lighthearted replies on Twitter were reported as her “scolding” him, and as the media hype escalated, Kardashian took to Twitter to tell off various outlets for the way they discussed mental illness.
“So quick to label him as having mental health issues for just being himself when he has always been expressive is not fair,” she tweeted.
“Because some of his ideas differ from yours you have to throw in the mental health card?” she continued, “That’s just not fair.”
She further explained that she respected Kanye’s ability to express his political views, although they differed from her own, and she had no expectations of her husband to “run in the race of popular opinion.”
She concluded: “Mental Health is no joke and the media needs to stop spitting that out so casually. Bottom line.”
Living with bipolar
Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel this month, West spoke about how his upbringing informed his personality and lack of diagnosis. “We never had mental health therapists in the black community. We never approached taking medication,” he said.
Kanye has said he does not experience depressive episodes, but is prone to going “high”.
“By the time I got to TMZ I was ramped up, so what was awesome is that the world got to experience someone in a ramped up state,” Kanye told Kimmel. “So that’s when you get these comments that just shoot out like someone with Tourette’s.”
Symptoms vary but often include disordered moods, cycling energy, accelerated speech patterns, disturbed sleep, impulsive behaviour and drug use. Depression, mania and hypomania can be experienced at different times. Delusions of grandeur can be one symptom, as can paranoia. Treatment outcomes are good for sufferers of bipolar.
On being bipolar, Kanye said, “It drives me more. It drives more of how you really feel so I think it’s important for us to have … open conversations about mental health. Especially with me being black.
“I think it’s good when I had my first blackout at age five my mum didn’t fully medicate me, because I might have never fully been Ye.”