What went wrong for Kim Kardashian and Kanye West?

Katie Strick
·6-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

After six years of marriage and four children, Kimye’s modern fairytale is coming to an end.

Kim Kardashian filed for divorce at Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday. According to TMZ, Kardashian is seeking joint legal and physical custody of their four children, North, 7, Saint, 5 Chicago, 2, and Psalm, 19 months.

According to insiders, the reality star is “done” with her rapper husband Kanye West, and the couple have been living “separate lives.”

The superstar couple have been married since 2014, having started dating in 2012 when Kardashian was still legally married to her second husband Kris Humphries. They tied the knot in a star-studded wedding in Italy.

The relationship has attracted many a titillating headline over the years, from Kardashian appearing naked in her husband’s music video to her traumatic robbery at gunpoint in Paris in 2016.

But happenings over recent months have suggested the beginnings of a marriage in meltdown, with West accusing his wife of cheating during a campaign rally last summer to alleged “crisis” talks over the following months. They haven’t been pictured together since Kardashian’s controversial 40th birthday bash in October.

West wasn’t pictured in the Kardashian family Christmas photos, and the reality star has not been seen wearing her engagement ring in recent weeks as she stays with their four children in LA, more than 1,000 miles away from her husband.

So what went wrong? From the debate over another baby to West’s bipolar breakdown, these are the rumoured flash-points that reportedly led to the Kimye collapse.

Love in lockdown

According to insiders, the obvious fractures in the superstar’s marriage began in spring last year. The superstars’ 2020 began like that of many couples: in lockdown.

Quarantine forced the pair to stay together in their £16 million mansion in Los Angeles and Kardashian was reportedly frustrated that all parenting duties, including homeschooling their daughter North, had fallen to her while her husband was being “creative”.

Insiders say they were constantly "at each other's throats", while a source told The Sun they were “staying at opposite ends of the house to keep things civil”.

A question of kids

In April, Kardashian told a chat show she had no plans for baby number five after juggling four kids through lockdown. Just months previously, RadarOnline reported West had been pushing his wife for more “blood heirs”.

West once told TV host James Corden he wanted seven children, insisting: "The richest thing that you can have is as many children as possible." Did the clash over kids tip Kimye over the edge?

With divorce papers filed, Kimye will need to decide who gets their $60 million California mansion. They renovated it together, transforming it into a minimalist all-white haven in LA’s Hidden Hills.

Page Six reports that Kardashian will want West to let her keep the home as it's where their children are being raised and according to TMZ reports, the couple have a prenuptial agreement with discussions about how to split the property in advanced stages.

West gets political

On July 4 2020, West announced he was entering the 2020 presidential race. Elon Musk was among his backers, as was Kardashian.

Later that month, West held a campaign rally in South Carolina, wearing a bullet-proof jacket and with 2020 shaved into his head. In his speech he tearfully revealed details of their personal lives, discussing how he and his wife considered aborting their daughter, North, and how he himself was apparently nearly aborted.

AP
AP

He said he believed the decision to be the result of a divine intervention: “I was having the rapper’s lifestyle. I was sitting up in Paris, and I had my leather pants on … and I had my laptop up and I got all of my creative ideas … And the screen went black and white and God said, ‘if you f**k with my vision I’m going to f**k with yours’.

“And I called my wife and she said: ‘we’re gonna have this baby’. I said ‘we’re gonna have this child’ … So even if my wife were to divorce me after this speech, she brought North into the world when I didn’t want to. She stood up and she protected that child.”

West later publicly apologised to his wife for the comments, saying the abortion story was a “private matter”. “To Kim I want to say I know I hurt you. Please forgive me. Thank you for always being there for me," he wrote on Twitter.

The Twitter meltdown

The campaign speech was just the beginning. Shortly after, West went on a Twitter rampage, claiming Kardashian was trying to have him locked up on medical grounds and that he had been “trying to get divorced” since Kardashian allegedly met rapper Meek Mill at the Waldorf Hotel.

He also called his mother-in-law “Kris Jong-Un”, before quickly deleting the series of tweets.

His wife responded supportively on Instagram, writing in a statement: “As many of you know, Kanye has bipolar disorder. Anyone who has this or has a loved one in their life who does, knows how incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand.”

She said her husband was a “brilliant but complicated person” and said “his words sometimes do not align with his intentions.

“Living with bipolar disorder does not diminish or invalidate his dreams or creative ideas."

West reaches crisis point

Despite her supportive Instagram post, Kimye’s marriage was clearly on the rocks. The pair were spotted having tearful “crisis” talks inside a vehicle in a car park in Wyoming just days after he claimed he wanted a divorce, with sources saying Kardashian told her husband “not to come home until he is better”.

Insiders claimed: "Kim knows he feels Wyoming calms him, and LA can be stressful. She’s told him not to come back until he feels ready.

"In truth, I think she’s trying to shelter their children from what’s going on until he’s better - she’s super-protective of them. The children come first."

A Christmas apart

It has been months since the couple have been seen together - the last time they were pictured as a couple was at Kardashian’s controversial 40th birthday bash on a private island.

Since then, it is believed West has continued spending time at his Wyoming ranch working on music. In December, it was reported that the couple were “still together” but “living separate lives” and he was not seen in any of the Kardashian family Christmas photos.

While West has not been active on Twitter since November, Kardashian has continued to share regular posts on her 198 million-strong Instagram page, with a series of snapshots of her and the children dressed up for “Christmas at Kourtney’s”.

Her mother and sisters appear in the images, but West does not, and Kardashian is seen dressed up as The Grinch.

Kardashian’s last post featuring West was in November, where she posted a 10-year anniversary tribute to her husband’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album alongside a black and white picture of the two of them together.

The hot-shot Hollywood lawyer

ABC via Getty Images
ABC via Getty Images

Kardashian has reportedly hired Hollywood lawyer Laura Wasser to assist with divorce proceedings.

Wasser has been dubbed “disso queen” (referring to marriage dissolution) by US news network TMZ as she has a history of specialising in the break-up of A-listers 'marriages.

Her famous clients have included Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. She also represented Kardashian in her last divorce from her second husband Kris Humphries.

It’s the end of an era.