In the wake of a leaked tape reigniting public fascination with the 2016 feud between Taylor Swift and Kanye West, Kim Kardashian West has taken to Twitter to lay into Taylor Swift, writing Monday night that the singer “has chosen to reignite an old exchange” that “feels very self-serving given the suffering millions of real victims are facing right now.”
Her tweets followed by a few hours remarks Swift made on her Instagram page Monday afternoon declaring that she was finally vindicated by a full leak of the famous 2016 phone call between herself and West “that somebody edited and manipulated in order to frame me and put me, my family and fans through hell for four years.”
In her tweets, Kardashian West resists the contention that she “edited” the original video, suggesting that everyone understood that the few minutes of snippets she released on Snapchat were not the entirety of the conversation. She concedes that her husband did not read Swift the “that bitch” language ultimately used to describe Swift in his song “Famous,” but suggests that was never at the crux of the dispute.
Kanye has documented the making of all of his albums for his personal archive, however has never released any of it for public consumption & the call between the two of them would have remained private or would have gone in the trash had she not lied & forced me to defend him.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) March 24, 2020
That was not the end of it Monday. Swift’s publicist, Tree Paine, responded later Monday night with a tweet of her own that included a screen shot of a statement she released in 2016, which had been quoted in part by Kardashian West.
“I’m Taylor’s publicist,” wrote Paine, “and this is my UNEDITED original statement. Btw, when you take parts out, that’s editing. P.S. Who did you guys piss off to leak that video?”
I’m Taylor’s publicist and this is my UNEDITED original statement. Btw, when you take parts out, that’s editing.
— Tree Paine (@treepaine) March 24, 2020
Kardashian West did not address the subject of who might have leaked the video in her tweets.
Her messages, in full:
“.@taylorswift13 has chosen to reignite an old exchange – that at this point in time feels very self-serving given the suffering millions of real victims are facing right now.
“I didn’t feel the need to comment a few days ago, and I’m actually really embarrassed and mortified to be doing it right now, but because she continues to speak on it, I feel I’m left without a choice but to respond because she is actually lying.
“To be clear, the only issue I ever had around the situation was that Taylor lied through her publicist who stated that “Kanye never called to ask for permission…’ They clearly spoke so I let you all see that. Nobody ever denied the word ‘bitch’ was used without her permission.
“At the time when they spoke the song had not been fully written yet, but as everyone can see in the video, she manipulated the truth of their actual conversation in her statement when her team said she ‘declined and cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message.’ The lie was never about the word bitch, It was always whether there was a call or not and the tone of the conversation.
“I never edited the footage (another lie) – I only posted a few clips on Snapchat to make my point and the full video that recently leaked doesn’t change the narrative.
“To add, Kanye as an artist has every right to document his musical journey and process, just like she recently did through her documentary.
“Kanye has documented the making of all of his albums for his personal archive, however has never released any of it for public consumption & the call between the two of them would have remained private or would have gone in the trash had she not lied & forced me to defend him.
This will be the last time I speak on this because honestly, nobody cares. Sorry to bore you all with this. I know you are all dealing with more serious and important matters.”
The recurring brouhaha follows the online leak Friday of a video of a 25-minute phone call that transpired in 2016 between West and Swift, in which he described some of the derogatory lyrics he planned to include about her in his song “Famous,” shy of including the “bitch” language.
The call has West first asking Swift if she would be willing to “release” the song on her own social media accounts, before he describes the content to her. She chuckles when he tells her the “might have sex” line and says she understands it to be tongue-in-cheek, but seems to bristle when he brings up an alternate line he is considering, “still owes me sex,” as they discuss which version Kardashian West favors or is offended by. Swift is heard saying that she is glad he did not call her a bitch in the lyrics.
He then gives her a version of the “I made that bitch famous” line that reads more mildly as “I made her famous,” which makes her slightly bristle, as she reminds him she sold 7 million copies of the album that had won the VMA when he interrupted her speech back in 2009, later claiming to be unaware who she was. The call ends on an agreeable note, with West telling her that he plans to immediately record his vocal and send her the track, which he then called “Hood Famous,” and Swift says she’s “excited” for him to send it.
Kardashian West doesn’t address whether her husband forwarded Swift the track, as promised in the recording, although her acknowledgement that “nobody ever denied the word ‘bitch’ was used without her permission” would indicate it was not sent.
In her Instagram message Friday, Swift wrote, “Instead of answering those who are asking how I feel about the video footage that leaked, proving that I was telling the truth the whole time about *that call* (you know, the one that was illegally recorded, that somebody edited and manipulated in order to frame me and put me, my family, and fans through hell for 4 years)… SWIPE up to see what really matters.”
Swift fans are celebrating what they see as a moment of belated vindication in the video’s leak, after the singer was widely disparaged as a liar in the blogosphere and even some mainstream media in 2016 after Kardashian West’s own abridged leaks from the surreptitious recording. (Swift’s retreat from public view for a year and subsequent dark “Reputation” album were largely a reaction to the attacks at the time.) Fans of the Wests, meanwhile, have taken to social media themselves to assert that the full video does not include any fresh revelations.
Variety published a transcript of the full recording here.