Pretty much the entire Kardashian-Jenner clan, plus E! Network executives involved with ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians‘, sat down with The Hollywood Reporter for a round table, and in doing so addressed pretty much every scandal that’s every clobbered most famous family in America.
Next to nothing was off limits for the fam that already shares more of their lives with the public than anyone in history.
THE SEX TAPE
Can you even discuss KUWTK without mentioning up Kim’s sex tape with Ray J? Errr… probably not, which is why then-CEO of E! Ted Harbert brings it up, twice. The Kardashian-Jenners have always maintained that they didn’t leak the tape for publicity, but there’s no denying that it made Kim Kardashian a talking point before she was famous.
Ted: “Just like anybody else, I knew of the family through [O.J. Simpson attorney] Robert Kardashian. There was a bit of the stuff with Kim hanging around Paris Hilton and, of course, the fun with Ray J [who made a sex tape with Kim]. That was sort of world news.”
Ted: “Internally, everybody had an opinion [about the show before it launched]. It was, who are these people and why do they get a TV show? Ad sales departments don’t tend to jump up and down about shows that feature people that have been in sex tapes. They’re usually going to worry about advertiser resistance, but I don’t remember there being much.”
KIM’S 72 DAY MARRIAGE TO KRIS HUMPHRIES
In 2011, Kim married NBA player Kris Humphries, and the two episodes it took to air the wedding remain the most watched episodes of KUWTK to date. And then – DRAMAAA! – it all came crashing down, with the couple separating 72 days later. At the time, people accused Kim of entering the marriage purely for the show, but everything she’s said since then seem to point to real feelings being involved. It’s the same here.
Kim: “There was all this attention on the wedding, and I thought maybe it was just the pressure of the show giving me this anxiety. My friends told me I just had cold feet, but even the producers said, “You don’t seem happy. You don’t have to go through with this.” The night before, my mom pulled me aside, off camera, and was like, “This isn’t it for you. Why don’t you go away and I’ll handle it?” I felt like, if I pulled out now, everyone’s going to think I just did it for the show. Then afterwards, people were saying, “You have to stay married for a year,” but I physically couldn’t do it. When I made the decision [to divorce], everyone said it was made up for the show. Everyone really wanted to take me down.”
KENDALL’S INFAMOUS PEPSI AD
Earlier this year, Pepsi sent a strong message to brands trying to dip their toes into social justice: don’t. At least, not without making some real, positive change. At the time, Kendall’s Pepsi ad was basically off-limits in all interviews, but now the fam finally gives a glimpse into what was happening on their side of things.
Kendall: “I’m the most private one. If there’s a moment I don’t want anyone to hear, I talk to myself or talk to someone in another room.”
Kim: “We’re not perfect, but you see these things in the media, like Kendall and [her Pepsi ad that was accused of trivialising Black Lives Matter], where I see her at home crying, but in the media she looks another way because she’s not addressing it. I’m just like, “This is wrong. You need to speak up.” She was like, “I don’t ever want to show that footage of me crying.” She was trying to not make excuses or be dramatic, but that was what she was going through at the time.”
THE PARIS ROBBERY
In 2016, masked attackers stormed Kim’s Paris hotel room, tied her up, and robbed her of $11 million worth of jewellery. They addressed it in KUWTK, but here speak about the decisions to talk about it on the show in the first place.
Kris: Every time I tried to watch the episode when Kim shares her experience getting robbed in Paris, I couldn’t even get through it to give my notes. I was crying so hard. I would watch it and then cry, cry, cry and then start over. It was very difficult for me to watch my daughter in that kind of pain.
Kim: I was OK to show my struggles, because there was no way that I was going to allow it to damage me and make me a different person for my kids. I wasn’t going to allow it to debilitate me from being be the mom that I need to be.
Kendall: Your situation was a scare for all of us.
Kim: It really changed our lives. This extra layer of security needed to happen. On social media, I’ll never post something where I’m at home unless I know there’s four to six security. We know when we’re filming it doesn’t air until months later, so we can share that and be free and always be who we are.
Kris: It always occurs to me maybe this should be left out. Maybe this is too much. Every time I catch myself and I say no, this is what everyone who’s watched since day one deserves to see for one reason or another. We signed up for this.
Kim: Everyone was calling for a sit-down interview and I was like why would I do an interview about something I was just traumatised from? But I felt really comfortable to tell my story on my show, because it wasn’t going to get twisted. I needed time off, but I was going to talk about it. I’m very aware of what fans want to see.
LAMAR ODOM’S HOSPITALISATION
In 2015, Khloe’s ex Lamar Odom was found unconscious at a Las Vegas brothel, and the fam dropped everything to be by his side. It ended up being one of the few things KUWTK didn’t film, despite Lamar and Khloe having their own spin-off show at one point.
Khloe I never wanted to do Khloe & Lamar [which ran for two seasons in 2011 and 2012]; my ex-husband did. He sold it to E!, and I let it happen because I wanted him to be happy. I was the one who canceled it. It was way too much.
Jeff Jenkins (co-president of entertainment & development, Bunim Murray productions): We deferred to Khloe on what she was comfortable with, because someone’s life was hanging in the balance and that someone is a hero to a lot of young people. It wasn’t necessary to go stick a camera in Lamar’s face while he’s on death’s door in the hospital. It’s just too much, so I guess, in a way, there is a line.
Have a read of the full interview here.