In case you missed it, Khloe Kardashian – a 33-year-old woman who is days, if not hours away from giving birth to her first child – orchestrated the release of the cheating scandal that is now encircling her, her unborn baby, and disgraced partner Tristan Thompson.
Well, that’s the conspiracy theory some journalists and publications are pushing, anyway.
It took precisely 24 hours before videos of Thompson – one part pro basketballer, one part disgusting douchelord – kissing other women were contorted into something else: A PR exercise! A desperate publicity grab! A carefully-timed chess move from the world’s most famous reality TV family!
The value of this story is at its peak right now, cynics say. Some of these videos are months old, so the Kardashians must have their hands all over it, and its timing.
There was this, according to The Cut‘s Allie Jones:
The seemingly coordinated evidence-drop on TMZ and the other sites suggests to me, however, that the Kardashians arranged for the story to go public.
This, from Brooke Marine at W Magazine:
While there is technically no way of knowing for sure who leaked the security footage of Thompson making out with three women in a Washington, D.C., hookah lounge to TMZ, it is suspicious that the footage was held by the site and released almost exactly six months later, perfectly timed to the leadup to the birth of Kardashian’s first child.
With the articles have come ruthless memes, telling us this story and its desperately unfortunate timing simply must be a stunt, because “the devil works hard but not harder than Kris Jenner.”
Speculation that the Kardashians will go to incredible lengths to put their family in their limelight has been rife for years. That speculation, in almost every other instance, has fallen firmly in the bounds of critical and clever. After all, one family does not maintain their relevancy without meticulously oiling the invisible cogs of their PR machinery. Analysis of celebrity culture and the machinations of fame is important. Analysis of the Kardashians is like a much-needed splash of cold water to the face: This family is clever. And they are strategic. It’s good for us to be reminded of that.
LISTEN: Someone needs to tell Khloe Kardashian that her type isn’t working for her.
Only today’s theory no longer dips a toe into being critical or clever. Instead, it leaps into the realm of cruel.
Rumours that Khloe Kardashian intentionally put herself, and her unborn baby, in front of a roaring blaze of heartache and betrayal and emotional trauma are vile. No sane woman – let alone a woman who has a history that spans years of fertility struggles – would risk the safe and gentle arrival of her first child into the world for a few days of extra spotlight.
To publish such unfounded speculation is deeply insensitive.
To insinuate that the Kardashians leaked this story in the days before Khloe’s labour is to say they value attention over the health of their loved one and her unborn child. Birth is no straight-forward, uncomplicated process. In the wake of Kim’s traumatic labours, which were so damaging she couldn’t carry her third child and was forced to elect a surrogate, the Kardashians of all people know that.
We have become so cynical of what it means to be a celebrity, and have overanalysed this family so much, we have forgotten that the people at the crux of these headlines hold any shred of human decency.
The worst part is that these theories aren’t even well thought out.
Firstly, the relationship between Khloe and TMZ – the tabloid that played the pivotal role in breaking the cheating story – is not a good one. The reality star has been vocal about her distaste for TMZ this year, and was quoted on television expressing her dismay at the publication for sharing her pregnancy news in the first 12 weeks, when doctors said she was at high risk of miscarrying.
“If the doctor is telling me not to announce anything until a specific time, I am respecting that. And I just hate that [TMZ] is prying… This is why you don’t announce early. There are a lot of complications … I could have had the potential to miscarry.”
Secondly, given the influencer and entrepreneur has been contracted to rival network E! for over a decade, it’s unusual to think she’d leak a story to a direct competitor, is it not?
TMZ has a vested interest in publishing the story this week, when chatter about Khloe is at its highest, and the clicks are guaranteed to cascade in. Khloe Kardashian has no vested interest in inviting prying eyes into her delivery room and fractured relationship. Not when a tiny child is involved.
While people bizarrely choose to point the finger at Khloe, it seems these rumours stem from an ugly truth:
People hate the Kardashians so viscerally, they choose to believe Khloe Kardashian values her celebrity over the wellbeing of her baby.
That’s a very dark, very unfair view of a woman whose worst crime might be appearing in your feed a little too often.