Born: Kimberly Noel Kardashian October 21, 1980 (age 37)
Occupation: Television personality socialite actress businesswoman model
Years active: 2007–present
Salary: US$52.5 million (2015)
Television: Keeping Up with the Kardashians
Spouse(s): Damon Thomas (m. 2000–2004), Kris Humphries (m. 2011–2013), Kanye West (m. 2014)
Parent(s): Robert Kardashian (father) Kris Jenner (mother)
Kimberly Kardashian West (born October 21, 1980) is an American reality television personality. Kardashian first gained media attention as a friend and stylist of Paris Hilton, but received wider notice after a 2003 sex tape with her former boyfriend Ray J was leaked in 2007. Later that year, she and her family began to appear in the E! reality television series Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Its success soon led to the creation of spin-offs including Kourtney and Kim Take New York and Kourtney and Khloé Take Miami. Kardashian’s personal life soon became subject to widespread media attention.
In recent years, Kardashian has grown an influential online and social media presence, including tens of millions of followers on Twitter and Instagram. She has released a variety of products tied to her name, including the successful 2014 mobile game Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, a variety of clothing and products, and the 2015 photo book Selfish. Her relationship with rapper Kanye West has also received significant media coverage; the couple married in 2014 and they have three children together.
Time magazine included Kardashian on their list of 2015’s 100 most influential people,while Vogue described her in 2016 as a “pop culture phenomenon.”Critics and admirers have described her as exemplifying the notion of being famous for being famous. She was reported to be the highest-paid reality television personality of 2015, with her total earnings exceeding US$53 million.
Kardashian was born on October 21, 1980 in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Robert and Kris (née Houghton). She has an older sister, Kourtney, a younger sister, Khloé, and a younger brother, Rob. Their mother is of Dutch, English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry, while their father was a third-generation Armenian-American. After their parents divorced in 1991, her mother married again that year, to Caitlyn Jenner (then Bruce), the 1976 Summer Olympics decathlon winner. Through their marriage, Kardashian gained step-brothers Burton “Burt”, Brandon, and Brody; step-sister Casey; and half-sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner.
She attended Marymount High School, a Roman Catholic all-girls school in Los Angeles. In 1994, her father represented football player O. J. Simpson during his murder trial. Simpson is Kardashian’s godfather. Kardashian’s father died in 2003 of cancer. In her 20s, Kardashian was the close friend and stylist of socialite Paris Hilton, through whom she first garnered media attention.
2007–2009: Breakthrough with reality television
In February 2007, a sex tape made by Kardashian and Ray J in 2003 was leaked. Kardashian filed a lawsuit against Vivid Entertainment, who distributed the film as Kim K Superstar. She later dropped the suit and settled for a reported US$5 million. In October 2007 Kardashian, in addition to her mother Kris Jenner, her step-parent Caitlyn Jenner (Bruce), her siblings Kourtney, Khloé, and Rob Kardashian, and half-sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner, began to appear in the reality television series Keeping Up with the Kardashians. The series proved successful for E!, and has led to the creations of spin-offs including Kourtney and Kim Take New York and Kourtney and Kim Take Miami. In one of the episodes, Kim discussed an offer from Playboy to appear nude in the magazine. That December, Kardashian posed for a nude pictorial for Playboy.
In 2008, she made her feature film debut in the disaster film spoof Disaster Movie, in which she appeared as a character named Lisa. That same year, she was a participant on season seven of Dancing with the Stars, where she was partnered with Mark Ballas. Kardashian was the third contestant to be eliminated. In January 2009, Kardashian made a cameo appearance during an episode of the sitcom How I Met Your Mother, in the episode “Benefits”. In April, she released a workout DVD series through her television production company Kimsaprincess Productions, LLC which has seen the release of three successful workout videos, Fit in Your Jeans by Friday, with trainers Jennifer Galardi and Patrick Goudeau. Kardashian played Elle in four episodes of the television series Beyond the Break.
Kardashian become a guest host of WrestleMania XXIV and guest judge on America’s Next Top Model in August of that year. In September, Fusion Beauty and Seven Bar Foundation launched “Kiss Away Poverty”, with Kardashian as the face of the campaign. For every LipFusion lipgloss sold, US$1 went to the Foundation to fund women entrepreneurs in the US. The following month, she released her first fragrance self-titled “Kim Kardashian”. In December 2009, Kardashian made a guest star appearance on CBS’s CSI: NY with Vanessa Minnillo.
2010: Early endorsements and retail ventures
2010 saw Kardashian venture into several new endorsement deals, including endorsing various food products for Carl’s Jr. In January 2010, she starred as Summa Eve in the film Deep in the Valley. In April, Kardashian sparked controversy over the way she held a kitten for a photograph, holding it by the scruff of its neck. With sisters Kourtney and Khloé, Kardashian is involved in the retail and fashion industries. They have launched several clothing collections and fragrances. Animal rights organization PETA criticized Kardashian for repeatedly wearing fur coats, and named her as one of the five worst people or organizations of 2010 when it came to animal welfare. June saw Kardashian guest star with Khloé and Kourtney as themselves on the season three premiere episode of the series 90210.
That same month, Kardashian was involved in a lawsuit against one of her endorsements. Sanford Siegal, the creator of the Cookie Diet, sued Kardashian, claiming she defamed him on Twitter. According to Siegal, Kardashian tweeted in October 2009 that he was “falsely promoting” that she was on the cookie diet. Siegal filed a claim in a Florida state court charging that her statements were false and defamatory. He also alleged that Kardashian was on QuickTrim’s payroll when she posted the tweet. Kardashian’s tweet appears to stem from an article on CookieDiet.com, that named Kardashian as one of many celebrities who saw positive results on the diet. Kardashian sent a cease-and-desist order to Siegal, demanding the link be removed.
On July 1, 2010, the New York City branch of Madame Tussauds revealed a wax figure of Kardashian. In November, Kardashian served as producer for The Spin Crowd, a reality television show about Command PR, a New York City public relations firm, run by Jonathan Cheban and Simon Huck. The show followed them as they settle into their new offices in Los Angeles. That month, she also appeared on season ten of The Apprentice. Kim, Kourtney, and Khloé wrote an autobiography titled Kardashian Konfidential, which was released in stores on November 23, and appeared on New York Times’s Best Seller List.
In December 2010, Kardashian filmed a music video for a song titled “Jam (Turn It Up)”. The video was directed by Hype Williams; Kanye West makes a cameo in the video. Kardashian premiered the song during a New Year’s Eve party at TAO Las Vegas on December 31, 2010. The song was produced by The-Dream and Tricky Stewart. When asked if an album was in the works, Kardashian replied, “There’s no album in the works or anything—just one song we did for Kourtney and Kim Take New York, and a video Hype Williams directed, half of the proceeds we’re giving away to a cancer foundation, because The-Dream’s and one of my parents passed away from cancer. It’s just all having fun—with a good cause”. Jim Farber, writing for the Daily News, called the song a “dead-brained piece of generic dance music, without a single distinguishing feature,” and suggested that the single made Kardashian the “worst singer in the reality TV universe.
That month, the International Business Times reported that Kardashian’s 2010 earnings were the highest among Hollywood-based reality stars, estimating them at $6 million.
As of November 2016, as per CBC Marketplace and interviews with celebrity endorsement experts, Kim Kardashian was paid between $75,000 and $300,000 for each post that she posted on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter endorsing beauty products like waist trainers, teeth whiteners as well as Coca-Cola and well known charities. Experts think that celebrities offer fake glimpses into their lives to make viewers fall for their advertising pitches, curated to look as though the viewer is catching them in a spontaneous moment when they are mostly staged.
2011–2015: Legal issues and focus on social media
In April 2011, Kardashian released her third fragrance “Gold”. Also in 2011, she filed a $20 million lawsuit against Old Navy and its parent company, Gap Inc. for right of publicity. Old Navy used actress/model Melissa Molinaro in their Old Navy commercial featuring the actress singing and dancing. Kim Kardashian claimed that Old Navy used Molinaro as a look alike to Kim in order to promote their brand. Kim Kardashian was also seeking order to have the actress/model Molinaro banned from Old Navy commercials. The lawsuit never went to trial but a settlement was reached by use of a mediator in 2012; the exact settlement is unknown.
In March 2012, Kardashian debuted her fourth fragrance, titled “True Reflection”, which she worked with the company Dress for Success to promote. That month, Kardashian and her sisters were named in a $5 million class action lawsuit against QuickTrim, the weight loss supplement they endorse. The complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, accuses the Kardashians (along with QuickTrim’s manufacturer, Windmill Health Products; the retailer GNC; and others in the sales and marketing chain) of false and deceptive marketing of the diet aid. The plaintiffs, hailing from several states, brought claims under their respective states’ consumer protection laws. In April, E! renewed Keeping Up with the Kardashians for two additional seasons, in a deal reported to be worth $50 million. In October 2012, Kardashian released her fifth fragrance, “Glam”, which “draws on the glamour of her Hollywood lifestyle”, and was made available through Debenhams. In summer of 2012, Kardashian and her family filmed a music video in the Dominican Republic to Notorious B.I.G’s song “Hypnotize”.
Kardashian appeared on the cover, and in a pictorial in Paper’s winter issue in 2014 photographed by Jean-Paul Goude. On the cover, her nude buttocks are featured above the caption: “Break the Internet”, which generated considerable comment in both social and traditional media. The photos show Kardashian with her hair tied up in a bun, wearing only a pearl necklace, a pair of earrings and black satin gloves, and, on the cover, with her bare back facing the camera, holding a sequined gown below her bare, oiled-up buttocks, while smiling broadly at the camera. A Time magazine writer commented that, unlike previous celebrities’ nudes that represented the women’s rebellion against repressed society and “trying to tear down” barriers, Kardashian’s exhibition was “just provocation and bluster, repeated images that seem to offer us some sort of truth or insight but are really just self serving. We want there to be something more, some reason or context, some great explanation that tells us what it is like to live in this very day and age, but there is not. Kim Kardashian’s ass is nothing but an empty promise.” However, the stunt “set a new benchmark” in social media response, and Paper’s website received 15.9 million views in one day, compared with 25,000 views on an average day.
Kardashian voiced the role of an alien in an episode of the adult animated series American Dad!, in season 11 (2014–15) in the episode titled “Blagsnarst, A Love Story” on September 21, 2014. In the episode, her character crash-lands in the town of Langley Falls. The alien then develops an attraction to her fellow alien Roger.
In June 2014, Kardashian released a mobile game for iPhone and Android called Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. The objective of the game is to become a Hollywood star or starlet. The game supports a free to play model, meaning the game is free to download, but charges for in-game items. The game was a hit, earning US$1.6 million in its first five days of release. In July, the game’s developer Glu Mobile announced that the game was the fifth highest earning game in Apple’s App Store. In May 2015, Kardashian released a portfolio book called Selfish, a 325-page collection of self-taken photos of herself. In December 2015, Kardashian released an emoji pack for iOS devices called Kimoji. The app was a best-seller, becoming one of the top 5 most bought apps that week. In August 2015, Kardashian was the cover model for Vogue Spain.