Lately, all anyone can talk about is the tumultuous relationship between Keeping Up With the Kardashians star Kim Kardashian and rapper Kanye West. The pair, who have been together for more than eight years, have stood by each other through thick and thin. Until now. The pair has filed for divorce after rumours swirled around them for over a month.
It’s been a tough year for the couple. In July, West opened up in detail about his private life with Kardashian, leaving fans and his family worried about the Grammy winner.
Let’s revisit the Kardashian-West relationship, starting back in 2003, when it all began.
2003: Kardashian meets West for the first time on the set of singer Brandi’s music video. The reality star is dating Brandi’s brother, Ray J, who she made her infamous sex tape with. The couple later split in 2006.
“[Kanye] was recording a song with Brandy, and I was her friend. I vividly remember hanging out with him, and then they did a video together, so I’d see him a few times,” Kardashian later tells Ryan Seacrest during the Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ 10th anniversary special in 2007. “He was asking his friends: ‘Who is this Kim Kardajan?’ He didn’t know what my name was.”
2008: The pair remain friends over the years and appear on screen together for a Star Wars-themed TV pilot.
Kardashian later shares photos from the gig, which saw her dressed up as Princess Leia and West as a Stormtrooper.
“In honor of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ being released today, I wanted to share these old pics of Kanye and me from years ago!” she writes on her website in 2015. “We worked together on a pilot for a show called Alligator Boots back in 2008 and I played Princess Leia.
“We had met before this project (back in 2003), but I would say this is when we first really connected. These pics are SO funny!”
January 2011: West makes a cameo on the Keeping Up With The Kardashians spin-off, Kourtney & Kim Take New York.
The rapper, who is newly single following his split from Amber Rose, is filmed checking out the family’s now-closed clothing store DASH. The pair share a flirty exchange as the cameras roll inside the New York store, but they keep their distance as Kim is dating NBA star Kris Humphries.
May 2011: After just seven months of dating, Humphries proposes to the star with a 20.5-carat diamond ring worth a reported US$2 million (approx. $2.8 million).
The proposal is filmed on KUWTK, with the New Jersey Nets star writing out “Will You Marry Me?” in rose petals in Kardashian’s bedroom at her Beverly Hills home.
August 2011: Kardashian and Humphries marry in a star-studded wedding, which is turned into a two-part TV special, Kim’s Fairytale Wedding: A Kardashian Event. The extravaganza reportedly cost a whopping US$10 million (approx. $14 million).
October 2011: After just 72 days of marriage, Kardashian files for divorce from Humphries, citing “irreconcilable differences,” and lists their separation date as October 31.
“After careful consideration, I have decided to end my marriage. I hope everyone understands this was not an easy decision,” she writes in a statement at the time. “I had hoped this marriage was forever but sometimes things don’t work out as planned. We remain friends and wish each other the best.”
In a separate statement, Humphries says, “I love my wife and am devastated to learn she filed for divorce.”
April 2012: One month after dating rumours swirl around the couple, Kardashian and West make their romance public as they take a stroll in New York. West then releases his song ‘Cold’ featuring DJ Khaled and mentions being in love with Kardashian even when she was married to Humphries.
“And I’ll admit, I had fell in love with Kim / Around the same time she had fell in love with him,” West raps. “Well, that’s cool, baby girl, do ya thang / Lucky I ain’t had Jay drop him from the team.”
December 2012: News breaks that Kardashian is pregnant with her first child, and West confirms the news by referring to her as his “baby mama” during a concert in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Kim later makes an official announcement on her website.
“It’s true!! Kanye and I are expecting a baby. We feel so blessed and lucky and wish that in addition to both of our families, his mom and my dad could be here to celebrate this special time with us. Looking forward to great new beginnings in 2013 and to starting a family. Happy New Year!!!”
February 2013: The couple share a close-up look at their relationship in French luxury fashion and lifestyle magazine L’Officiel Hommes. Kardashian, who is five months pregnant at the time, and West get steamy on the cover.
April 2013: Kardashian and Humphries finalise their divorce, much to the pregnant star’s relief.
“I firmly believe that an immediate dissolution of our marriage will help create a new, full life for me,” she writes in court papers obtained by People at the time. “One chapter will be officially over, and a new one can begin. The same should hold true for [Humphries].”
“I do not want to be married to him when I have my baby,” she continues. “I am requesting the status of my marriage be determined for now for not only my health and welfare but also for the health and well-being of my unborn child.”
June 2013: West and Kardashian welcome their first child, a baby girl named North.
It is speculated that the couple will sell the first photos of North to a magazine, but instead they choose to share the first snap on Kris Jenner’s now-axed chat show, Kris, two months after the birth.
October 2013: West proposes to Kardashian at the San Francisco Giants baseball stadium with a 20-carat diamond ring worth a reported US$4 million (approx. $5.6 million). The rapper had the words ”PLEEEASE MARRY MEEE” written on the jumbotron.
To her surprise, West flew in their friends and her family for the occasion, with the group running onto the pitch after Kardashian says yes.
November 2013: Kardashian plays West’s love interest in his music video for ‘Bound 2’.
In the risqué clip, the seemingly naked star sits on his lap as he rides his motorcycle down a high way in the desert.
The rapper premieres the clip during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
March 2014: With their wedding looming, the couple play dress-up on the cover of Vogue. The intimate shoot also features their nine-month-old daughter North.
“I know we’re — it’s the first of a lot. They were telling us Kanye’s the first rapper to be on [the cover] and I’m the first reality person to be on and the first interracial couple, so all of these just mean so much to Kanye and I.”
May 2014: The couple make it official as they tie the knot at a 16th century fortress in Florence, Italy. It’s believed they chose Italy because it’s the city where they conceived North.
The ceremony is attended by family and close friends, who all had to abide by the no-phones policy. So hush-hush is the wedding, that guests are also asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
A host of celebrities attend the ceremony as well, with Andrea Bocelli singing as Kardashian walked down the aisle.
May 2015: The couple announce that they are expecting their second child, but they struggled to conceive this time around. Kardashian says they have even “been having sex 500 times a day”.
December 2015: Kardashian gives birth to the couple’s second child, their first son named Saint.
“Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West welcomed the arrival of their son this morning,” a statement read at the time. “Mother and son are doing well.”
December 2016: According to reports, West, who suffers from bipolar disorder, is hospitalised and Kardashian remains firmly by his side although it’s believed they are having marital issue.
“She’s being a supportive wife,” an insider tells Us Weekly, adding that the star did not want to make any decisions until West has fully recovered.
January 2018: The couple welcome their third child, a baby girl named Chicago. Given Kardashian suffered pre-eclampsia during her first two pregnancies, they turned to a surrogate this time around.
“We are incredibly grateful to our surrogate who made our dreams come true with the greatest gift one could give and to our wonderful doctors and nurses for their special care,” she says.
August 2018: The couple’s marriage is tested again after West goes off in a Twitter tirade. Just weeks earlier, he also raises eyebrows after telling TMZ that slavery is “a choice” during an interview.
But Kris Jenner assures Us Weekly that the couple are “solid” despite the “hiccups”.
“They’re so connected, and they love each other very much, and they have a family that they’re committed to. They’re committed to one another, and people, you’re not always going to agree with each other forever,” Jenner says. “You’re going to have differences. You’re going to have things that pop up.”
May 2019: Kardashian and West welcome their fourth child, a baby boy named Psalm.
“He’s here and he’s perfect!” the makeup mogul announced on Twitter after Psalm is born via surrogacy.
October 2019: West gushes about his wife during E! True Hollywood Story special about the famous family.
“Anytime I was around her or I saw her, it was a magnetic attraction to this force of energy,” he tells the cameras. “She was good, pure, happy, loving, brave, courageous, strong.”
That same month, the couple renewed their vows in the backyard of their Hidden Hills home in LA.
“I just want to plan something special and take charge of this. So, I thought let’s just do something fun and sweet in our backyard and just make more of a memory,” she says in a confessional on KUWTK. “Kanye always talks about how, at our wedding, we had really traditional vows. At that time in front of all those people, I didn’t even think I could get it together to say original vows.”
Kardashian shares herself planning the event on her show, but she stops short of allowing cameras to film the vow renewal.
She did, however, read part of her vows to their son Saint on the show, saying, “You are my husband. You are my best friend. My biggest believer and my one true love.”
April 2020: Despite reports the couple have been “arguing a lot” as they continue to quarantine during the coronavirus lockdown, West showers his wife with love after Forbes magazine reports her KKW Beauty line is a billion-dollar business.
“You’ve weathered the craziest storms and now God is shining on you and our family,” he tweets along with a picture of fresh produce and flowers. “So blessed this is still life. So I made you this still life. We love you so much.”
May 2020: Kardashian marks their sixth wedding anniversary by posting a sweet message on Instagram.
“6 years down; forever to go. Until the end,” she writes.
June 2020: She again pays tribute to West on US Father’s Day. The star posts a series of snaps of the pair with their four children at their ranch in Wyoming, along with the caption, “Happy Fathers Day to the best dad!!!! Thank you for making life so much fun! You give our kids the most awesome life! I love you so much!!!”
July 19, 2020: Days after confirming his bid for the US presidency, West holds his first campaign rally in South Carolina. During an anti-abortion discussion on stage, the rapper gets emotional as he discusses how his father never wanted him and how he and Kardashian almost terminated her pregnancy with North in 2013.
“My dad wanted to abort me. My mom saved my life. There would have been no Kanye West, because my dad was too busy,” he tells the crowd. “I almost killed my daughter… So even if my wife were to divorce me after this speech, she brought North into the world, even when I didn’t want to. She stood up, and she protected that child.”
July 21, 2020: West, who is holed up at his ranch in Wyoming, fires off a series of tweets on Twitter revealing that Kardashian wanted to fly down with a doctor to lock him up following his erratic behaviour at the political rally.
“Kim tried to bring a doctor to lock me up with a doctor. If I get locked up like Mandela. Ya’ll will know why,” he tweets. “Kim was trying to fly to Wyoming with a doctor to lock me up like on the movie Get Out because I cried about saving my daughters life yesterday.”
July 22, 2020: He takes to Twitter again to criticise his wife and mother-in-law Kris Jenner, who he calls Kris Jong-Un”.
He claims that he has been trying to divorce Kardashian for one year after she met up with fellow rapper Meek Mill in 2019 to discuss prison reform.
“I been trying to get divorced since Kim met with Meek [Mill] at the Warldolf for ‘prison reform,'” he tweets. “Meek is my man and was respectful. That’s my dog. Kim was out of line.”
July 23, 2020: Kardashian releases a statement on Instagram Stories asking for compassion and empathy for her husband as he struggles with bipolar disorder.
“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 writes. “I’ve never spoken publicly about how this has affected us at home because I am very protective of our children and Kanye’s right to privacy when it comes to his health. But today, I feel like I should comment on it because of the stigma and misconceptions about mental health.
“Those that understand mental illness or even compulsive behavior know that the family is powerless unless the member is a minor. People who are unaware or far removed from this experience can be judgmental and not understand that the individual themselves have to engage in the process of getting help no matter how hard family and friends try.”
She continued, “I kindly ask that the media and public give us the compassion and empathy that is needed so that we can get through this. Thank you for those who have expressed concern for Kanye’s well-being and for your understanding.”
July 26, 2020: West issues a public apology to Kardashian, asking for her forgiveness after he shared intimate details about their family during his rants both onstage and on Twitter.
“I would like to apologise to my wife Kim for going public with something that was a private matter,” he tweets. “I did not cover her like she has covered me. To Kim I want to say I know I hurt you. Please forgive me. Thank you for always being there for me.”
July 28, 2020: Kardashian travels to Wyoming to visit West and they appear to be in crisis talks.
In photographs obtained by TMZ, the couple are seen inside their vehicle staring blankly outside the car window as they make a pit stop at fast-food haunt Wendy’s. Another photo shows Kardashian visibly distraught and crying.
It is noted that the reality star is not wearing her wedding ring in the pics.
July 31, 2020: Kardashian is back in LA with the couple’s kids as whispers of divorce get louder.
According to People, the mum-of-four “feels that she has tried everything” and is “torn” over whether to end her marriage for good.
“She isn’t getting back what she needs from Kanye,” said the source. “She was at the point that she flew to Cody to basically tell him their marriage is over and to say goodbye.
“He doesn’t seem to get what she is saying. He hasn’t changed anything that she told him needs to change. Kim is very torn. The last thing she wants is to be divorced with four kids.”
August 2020: In a last-ditch attempt to save their marriage, the couple embark on a series of family holidays.
Early in the month, the family of six escape to an undisclosed island for a private getaway before flying to the Dominican Republic and then later to Colorado.
“They had a good family week in the Dominican Republic,” a source told People. “Kim and Kanye are getting along. They both seem much happier. They decided to travel together so they can be away in private. Between the kids, work and dealing with Kanye’s bipolar episodes, it’s been hard for her to think clearly.”
August 18, 2020: Although their marriage appears to be back on track, it’s reported that the couple are happily leading separate lives with West based in Wyoming and Kardashian in LA with their children.
“[It] is where he wants to live,” the source told People. “Kim still seems focused on making her marriage work. She is pretty quiet about her exact plans for the future, but for now she seems OK with Kanye living in Wyoming.”
But Kardashian and the kids will fly in and out to visit the rapper, like they did in late August to support West’s revived Sunday Service.
West then shares a video of the couple kissing during Kardashian’s visit, while seemingly announcing he has “faith” in their marriage.
“We’re stepping out on faith,” he captioned the clip.
He also appears on Kardashian’s Instagram for the first time since North’s birthday in June.
The reality star shared photos of their lakeside adventure, where they were joined by North, Kim’s sister Kourtney Kardashian, and family friend and singer Harry Hudson.
September 28, 2020: The couple reunite in LA for a friend’s wedding — an intimate event held in a garden in LA.
“Date night,” Kardashian wrote alongside a series of snaps, one of which featured the rapper’s shoes.
“Guess I need it!” she captions another photo of herself drinking wine. “It’s a rare night that I have a drink!”
October 30, 2020: Kardashian celebrates her 40th birthday with family friends at an undisclosed island location. West flies in at a later date but, in the meantime, surprises her from afar with a hologram of her father.
“For my birthday, Kanye got me the most thoughtful gift of a lifetime. A special surprise from heaven. A hologram of my dad,” she tweets. “It is so lifelike! We watched it over and over, filled with emotion.
“I can’t even describe what this meant to me and my sisters, my brother, my mom and closest friends to experience together. Thank you so much Kanye for this memory that will last a lifetime.”
West is able to see his wife’s reaction via FaceTime.
“Thank you for that,” she tells him on the phone. “Seriously, thank you.”
November 23, 2020: In a reflective mood, Kardashian shares a poem that West had given her back in 2010 for her 30th birthday, when they were simply friends and he had just released his album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
“Happy 10 year anniversary to Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album,” Kardashian tweets. “For those that don’t know the story behind [single] ‘Lost In The World’ … Kanye couldn’t come up with some of the lyrics but then realised he had them in a poem he had written me that was my birthday card he gave me for my 30th birthday.”
“He took the poem he wrote me and made it the song. I keep everything,” she adds while sharing a photo of the card.
“You’re my devil, you’re my angel / You’re my Heaven, you’re my Hell,” West had written on the card, which he then raps in ‘Lost In The World’. “You’re my now, you’re my forever / You’re my freedom, you’re my jail / You’re my lies, you’re my truth / You’re my war, you’re my truce.”
December 13, 2020: Despite their recent displays of affection and extravagant gifts, the couple continue to lead separate lives.
“Kim has work and projects that are important to her, and Kanye has his,” a source tells People. “Their lives don’t overlap much. Kim seems happy [and is] very focused on work and causes.”
E! News notes that “they are still a family” and will “come together for the kids” for Christmas but festivities will not be like last year.
“They will be spending Christmas Eve with the family having a low-key get-together,” the source says. “It won’t be like years past, but they will do something as a family and all be together.”
January 5, 2021: Kardashian and West are reportedly getting a divorce.
Multiple sources tell Page Six that “divorce is imminent” for the A-list couple, with Kardashian already hiring high-profile divorce lawyer Laura Wasser.
“They are keeping it low-key but they are done,” a source told the outlet. “Kim has hired Laura Wasser and they are in settlement talks.
“Kim got Kanye to go up there [Wyoming] so they could live separate lives and quietly get things sorted out to separate and divorce. She’s done.”
February 19, 2021: The couple have officially filed for divorce. TMZ reported that Kim and Kanye, after almost seven years of marriage, are officially over. Kardashian is asking for joint legal and physical custody of the couple’s four kids, which West is reportedly “fine” with.
“Now this divorce is happening because Kim has grown up a lot,” a source told Page Six. “She is serious about taking the bar exam and becoming a lawyer, she is serious about her prison reform campaign. Meanwhile Kanye is talking about running for president and saying other crazy shit, and she’s just had enough of it.”
Meanwhile, another source said West, who became exhausted by the Kardashians’ lifestyle, “is completely over the entire family…He wants nothing to do with them,” adding that he found their reality TV show to be “unbearable.” The family will wrap the 20th and final season of their E! hit Keeping Up With the Kardashians in 2021.