back to top

Those "Revelations" From That Kardashian Book Were Already Public Knowledge

You've probably heard about the Kardashian biography Kardashian Dynasty, which promises revelations about everything from Kris Jenner leaking Kim's sex tape to Keeping Up With the Kardashians being staged. The problem? Most of it was already in the public sphere. The rest is highly debatable.

Posted on

The book claims:

[Kim and Ray J.'s] romance was short-lived, but at some point in 2003 they found the time to record a raunchy sex tape. A source ... alleged that a mutual friend of Kim and Paris had advised her that if she wanted to achieve fame, a sex tape would be the way to go, and helped her put the video together. The source claimed that Kim had discussed the idea of producing a tape with her family long beforehand.

However, Kim and Ray J.'s relationship wasn't short-lived – they dated for three years and Kim once revealed that she "thought she would marry" him.

Furthermore, Kim made the sex tape in 2003 – over a year before the release of Paris's on 9 February 2004. While releasing the tape may have been used as leverage for achieving fame later, the timeline doesn't support the notion that the decision to have sex and film it was a preconceived plan for stardom.


The author, Ian Halperin, writes:

Kim's former friend Sheba – whom I was dating at the time – told me that it was Kris Jenner who engineered the deal behind the scenes and was responsible for the tape seeing the light of day, although it was unclear if Sheba was passing on firsthand knowledge or just repeating claims.

However, this revelation is nothing new. Rumours about Kris's involvement in the release of the sex tape first circulated in 2012. The reports then were almost identical to the revelations made in the book.

Frederic J. Brown / AFP / Getty Images

These reports were denied vehemently back then by both Kris Jenner and Steven Hirsch, founder and co-CEO of the adult entertainment company that distributed the tape, Vivid Entertainment. Hirsch said: "Let me be perfectly clear, Kris Jenner had absolutely nothing to do with the deal and ultimate distribution of Kim Kardashian, Superstar. To suggest anything different is both ridiculous and irresponsible, period."


3. Kim must have consented to the release of the tape.

Jeff Spicer / Getty Images

The book says: "Both parties would have consented to signing on the distribution deal with Vivid."

However, this interview with a celebrity sex tape broker proves that sometimes sex tapes are released without both parties having given consent – indeed, the broker's whole career has been made out of exploiting that fact.

As US attorney Larry Zerner said: “I am aware of cases where sex tapes were released even though neither party agreed. But the celebrity always has the right to have that footage withdrawn if they want.” Kim immediately filed an invasion of privacy lawsuit against the company, claiming the footage had been leaked without her consent.

John Shearer / WireImage

And when the author of the book posed as a "porn-peddler" to infiltrate the distribution company, he asked a publicist how Kim's tape would've come to be released.

The publicist said: “A third party brought it to Vivid. Vivid got in touch with the Kardashian family and explained the truth which is that if [their rep] doesn't buy it and pay for it, there's a good chance that other sites will put it up, portions of the tape, and not charge for it, and they'll never get anything."

Instagram: @kimkardashian

By this stage, though, portions of the tape had made their way online. And while Kim and Kris have denied being behind the leak, they've never commented on the notion that they entered into talks with Vivid in an attempt to exert agency over the consumption of the tape and win compensation after it was made public. It wasn't until five months after the release that Kim was paid $5 million to drop the lawsuit against Vivid.


The claim:

[In Season 1, Episode 5] Khloé ends up going to a club and getting drunk. On her way home, she is pulled over by the police and given a field sobriety test which she fails. It is entertaining and dramatic TV, except that Khloé was actually busted for a DUI in March, before KUWTK even got the green light."

However, the suggestion that the arrest was re-enacted to mislead viewers is somewhat inaccurate, as the episode begins with a disclaimer: "The following episode contains recreations of actual events." This is the only instance across all 12 seasons of KUWTK and its seven spinoffs where a disclaimer was used.


However, what's more interesting is that there's an actual revelation here that goes completely unnoticed.

Celebrity DUI arrests were rife in 2006-7, with the culprits – members of rich young Hollywood, such as Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, and Lindsay Lohan – publicly lambasted as a result. As Hollywood elite, Khloé was in danger of being lumped in that category. And, with the press attention around the family building, Khloé's arrest had to be referenced.


However, as the book says, the reason for the incident that led to Khloé's arrest was put down to the fact that she was struggling to deal with her grief as the family acknowledged the fourth anniversary of their father's death.


But this timeline just doesn’t stack up. Khloé was arrested on 7 March, but Robert Kardashian’s anniversary isn’t until 30 September. Even more interestingly, the episode aired in November – just after the anniversary, which would support the narrative.


So perhaps the revelation here isn’t the fact that the scenes were set up for explosive, dramatic effect. Rather, the family may have felt that they needed to address her arrest, and, conscious of the potential backlash, perhaps attempted to manipulate a more emotional, appealing, and acceptable storyline to explain it. But I guess we'll never know for sure.

5. Kim’s relationship with Kris Humphries was fake.

Jamie Mccarthy / Getty Images

This claim that Kim and Humphries' relationship was set up stems from the events of the first season of Kourtney and Kim Take New York. In it, Kim dates her former bodyguard, Shengo Deane, before getting together with Kris. The accusation is that her manufactured relationship with Humphries was being conducted while she was supposedly dating Deane on screen.


The book says:

We see Kim end the relationship with Shengo on air, even though it's unclear from the time line and the show's shooting schedule how she could have still been dating the Australian when in real life, Kris Humphries was already in the picture. Certainly, as her and Shengo's relationship was unfolding on air, she was already publicly dating Humphries, with whom she had been photographed leaving a Prince concert in February. Only a few weeks after the first season ended, fans were stunned to pick up the May 25th edition of People and learn the news of [Kris and Kim's] engagement.

However, examining the timeline suggests it is possible for Kim to have been dating Deane before she met Humphries. Paparazzi photos reveal that Kim began dating Deane around 25 October, but her relationship with Humphries didn't begin until 12 November. While there may not have been much time between the two, her relationship with Deane was never serious and he only appeared in three episodes.

Furthermore, KKTNY began filming in September but didn't air until January, which accounts for why Kim and Humphries would've made a public appearance together in February as her relationship with Deane played out on screen.


And while their relationship was undoubtedly a whirlwind, the People magazine cover announcing their engagement in May wouldn't have come entirely out of the blue as Kris Humphries was referenced in the final episode of KKTNY, which aired on 3 April.

6. Kim’s wedding to and divorce from Kris Humphries were both a sham.


The validity of Kim and Humphries' 72-day marriage has been subject to much speculation, but this book is the first attempt to really prove it was a stunt.

The evidence used to do so is an interview with Kim's former publicist, conducted just after the split, which says:

"She knew weeks before getting married she didn't want to do it. She's never gotten over [ex Reggie Bush]."

Chris Graythen / Getty Images

However, later in the book it's revealed that Kris Jenner gets on with and approves of Kanye West infinitely more than Humphries. But it can't be ignored that, if the wedding really was a cold money-spinning stunt, surely Kris's opinion of Humphries and Kim's sadness over her residual feelings for Reggie Bush would be irrelevant.

The book continues: "Kim was forced to go through with the wedding because of the endorsement deals that her mother had negotiated."

There's no way of knowing whether the pressure Kim felt to honour endorsement deals was as a result of being in a fake relationship or because she knew her genuine relationship wasn't right. Either way, the information is nothing new.

Kim wrote about this pressure in a blog post after the split: "I felt like I was on a fast roller coaster and couldn't get off when now I know I probably should have. I got caught up with the hoopla and the filming of the TV show that when I probably should have ended my relationship, I didn't know how to and didn't want to disappoint a lot of people."

And in the episode of KKTNY in which Kim admits she's having serious doubts about her marriage, she cries to Kourtney: "I fell in love with him and he fell in love with me and I got caught up in the fairy tale. I flew everyone out to this huge wedding, I wasted everyone's time, everyone's money, and you don't think I feel bad?"


The book uses the legal deposition of Russell Jay, a former executive producer of KUWTK, to provide "incontrovertible evidence" that the show is staged, saying:

[Kim] created scenes for the show entirely from scratch. During one memorable moment, Kim shares with her mother that she is having a hard time being married to Kris and is struggling in the marriage. In his deposition, Jay admitted that this scene was actually shot after the breakup and made to appear as if it took place while the couple was still together.


These comments are unequivocally damning towards the show's authenticity but, again, aren't new information.

The scene mentioned in this deposition is from an episode of KKTNY, and was allegedly shot in Dubai. However, back in 2012 Reality Tea obtained paparazzi photos of Kim and Kris leaving a studio in LA in which Kim's outfit and hair is identical to the scene in the show and an assistant is carrying the top that Kris wore in the sequence. The scene was purported to have been shot in October, but the photographs were taken in December.

Reality Tea / Splash News

This information was well-publicised at the time, but it's always been clear that footage from KUWTK is shot over the course of a several months and then pieced together. It's this that creates the structure of each episode – one main storyline and a few sub-plots, selected from months of filming.

It seems that certain scenes may be shot or reshot in order to ensure cohesion within each episode, depending on the chosen theme.

The simplest way of telling is through repeated outfits – like this mesh dress worn by Kim in Season 10, Episodes 9 and 10.


Whether or not it's right to set up or reshoot scenes is of course much debated. But it's not new information – in fact, continuity errors like this are so prevalent in KUWTK that there's an entire Tumblr dedicated to the subject.

8. Kanye West was introduced to "rebrand" Kim.

Instagram: @kimkardashian

The book makes comparisons between Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian’s career paths, many of which are arguably correct. There is, however, a slightly uncomfortable reasoning for Kanye West being Kim's next choice of relationship after her split from Kris Humphries:


When the first signs of a Paris Hilton backlash had appeared ... her handlers had worked furiously to rebrand her by bathing her in what they called the "hip hop ethos." If small-town young women were beginning to tire of her, it was time to build up her appeal in a new urban market. Whether or not it was a coincidence, Kim suddenly re-emerged from her self-imposed exile in the spring of 2012 with reports that she was dating the hip hop megastar Kanye West.

But the notion that Kim began dating Kanye in order to appeal to an "urban market" (if we're taking this as a clunky reference to people of colour) is confusing, given that she'd married or publicly dated four men of colour prior to Kanye. The start of the book even references Kim's "penchant for dating African Americans" from the age of 14.

Furthermore, it's suggested that the relationship wasn't believed at first: "It seemed like an unlikely pairing. The media were evidently not buying it."


However, this is forgetting his appearance in episodes of KKTNY years before their relationship, as well as song lyrics that reference her. The media may have been unaware of their friendship, but fans certainly weren't.


The book deals with the subject of O.J. Simpson potentially being Khloé's real dad as though it's new information:

While I was on a media tour ... I found myself appearing on a radio show hosted by [an] old friend ... When I happened to mention ... that I was working on a new book about the Kardashians, he asked me whether I planned to reveal who Khloé's real father was. "Who's that?" I asked. With a straight face, he answered: "OJ."


This is the most staggering revelation of all – and one that was used to publicise Kardashian Dynasty. Halperin writes (pronouns used as they appear in the book):

A longtime friend of Jenner's accused him of misdirecting the serious offense by promoting his transition. Before Bruce got into the accident, he gave the world hints about his true sexuality. After the accident he went full steam ahead. I truly believe he was trying to misdirect the negative publicity he received after the car crash. I don't think he would have gone so fast if he hadn't been in an accident. ... The Diane Sawyer interview was a great way to derail the whole thing and to turn the attention to his transgender. To this day I remain skeptical about Bruce's true motives.

However, this assertion is categorically impossible.


The Diane Sawyer interview, in which Caitlyn confirmed not only her transition, but that she'd never again appear publicly as a man, was actually filmed days before the crash, which occurred in February. Furthermore, the "About Bruce" KUWTK specials were filmed before both the Diane Sawyer interview and the crash, and Caitlyn confirmed in the specials that she would come out during Sawyer's upcoming interview.


There’s also the fact that Caitlyn had already confided in one of Kris’s old friends, Ronda Kamihira, about her desire to transition. This confession would have come some time in 2014, after Caitlyn’s split from Kris, because the Season 10 KUWTK premiere, which aired in March 2015, addressed the family’s misplaced suspicions that Caitlyn was actually dating Ronda.


But perhaps the most important piece of evidence is the timing of the Vanity Fair profile, in which Caitlyn came out to the public for the first time. The lengths the magazine went to in order to preserve their exclusive have been well-documented – but the most important part is that it was in conversation with Caitlyn about her surgeries, her transition, and how the feature would run from as far back as January. The assertion that Caitlyn decided to transition to get out of charges following the accident are therefore simply untrue.

Halperin writes:

KUTWK ratings for season 10 had ... plummeted, with the series dropping viewers in droves. The premiere of season 10 had drawn only 2.54 million viewers ... Meanwhile, Caitlyn had announced that she would be participating in a new reality series of her own ... When the new show premiered in July 2015, its debut episode drew a healthy 4.7 million viewers over three showings. It appeared that while Caitlyn was indeed on her way up, the Kardashians might have been heading in the opposite direction.

The narrative that ratings for KUWTK are sliding and interest in the family is waning is repeated constantly, but it's simply not true. While ratings are down in comparison with the show's peak in 2010-11, ratings have been consistently between somewhere between 1 and 3 million for the past five seasons.


And while Caitlyn's show was incredibly important, the first season debuted with 2.73 million viewers but ended with 1.26 million – less than the average number of viewers for an episode of KUWTK.


Furthermore, after the debut episode (which featured Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian, and Kanye West), the two highest-rated episodes in the season featured Kardashians – one with Kim and Khloé, and one with Kris Jenner.

The second season of the show has yet to break 1 million viewers.