As of late, Kanye West seems to have one mission and one mission only: to get a reaction out of his estranged wife, Kim Kardashian. And on Friday morning, he finally got his wish from him.
The rapper went on an early morning tirade about his 8-year-old daughter North being on TikTok–conveniently skipping over the fact that North shares the account with Kardashian, who seems to be heavily involved in what she posts.
“Since this is my first divorce,” West began his post, a not-so-subtle dig at Kardashian, who had been married twice prior to their nuptials, “I need to know what I should do about my daughter being put on TikTok against my will?”
The offending TikTok had been posted three days earlier—a silly video of Kardashian and North lip-syncing to a high-pitched remix of a Rae Sremmurd track. And just to make sure Kardashian had seen his directive from her, he made sure to tag her in the post.
It’s undoubtedly low for West to publicly drag his young daughter into a contentious family matter. But sadly, it’s just another example on West’s long list of recent antics, each one pointedly aimed to get a rise out of his ex from him.
The former couple, who share four young children, had presented a united front following their shocking divorce announcement in early 2021. They both largely stayed quiet on what caused the split, but footage from Keeping Up with the Kardashians over the summer indicated there was no real bad blood, with Kardashian primarily painting their troubles as two people simply growing apart.
“I just think he deserves someone who will support his every move and go follow him all over the place and move to Wyoming. I ca n’t do that, ”she told her sisters de ella through tears. “He should have a wife that supports his every move of him and travels with him and does everything, and I ca n’t. I feel like a fucking failure. It’s my third fucking marriage. Yeah, I feel like a fucking loser. But I can’t even think about that. I want to be happy.”
While West poured his emotions about the separation into his album donda, Kardashian was by his side, even walking out onto the stage during a listening event in Chicago in August, donning a wedding dress and recreating their wedding vows as a form of performance art. There was even hope of a reconciliation, as they walked out of the arena hand in hand.
When Kardashian Hosted Saturday night Live in October, West sat in the front row for her opening monologue, even turning up to the studio with her for dress rehearsals.
But things took a decisively sour turn shortly after, not so coincidentally when Kardashian was linked to SNL comedian Pete Davidson, with whom she had shared a quick kiss during a comedy sketch.
Of course, anyone who Kardashian might have been linked to after her separation from West was sure to cause a media storm. But Kardashian setting her eyes on Davidson was enough to collectively melt people’s minds, with every sighting of the new couple dominating pop culture headlines.
Their blossoming romance seemed to irk West, who in a rare two-hour interview with Revolt TV’s program Drink Champs in November, said he was still trying to work their relationship out.
“SNL making my wife say, ‘I divorced him’ on TV because they just wanted to get that bar off, and I ain’t never even seen the papers,” he scoffed. “We’re not even divorced… that ain’t no joke to me. My kids want their parents to stay together. I want us to be together.”
Later that month, he spoke again about wanting to call off the divorce, going on a bizarre tangent about “the enemy separating Kimye,” and how staying together would influence “millions of families” to “overcome the work of the separation, of trauma the devil has used to capitalize to keep people in misery while people step over homeless people to go to the Gucci store.”
And when his December concert plea—where he changed the lyrics to his song “Runaway” to “I need you to run right back, baby, more specifically, Kimberly”—failed to work, West embarked on a publicity blitz campaign with Uncut Gems actress Julia Fox.
West and Fox had met by chance on New Year’s Eve in Miami, where they had announced a surprise concert hours beforehand (which just so happened to be the same night and the same city that Davidson was live-hosting a TV special for NBC).
A few days later, West and Fox were papped together all around New York City, with Fox later writing a first-person essay for Interview in which she gushed about their whirlwind time together.
“It was every girl’s dream come true,” she wrote about West surprising her with an entire wardrobe of designer outfits. “It felt like a real Cinderella moment. I don’t know how he did it, or how he got all of it there in time. But I was so surprised. Like, who does things like this on a second date? Or any date!”
The showmance continued when they jetted off to Paris Fashion Week and shared a look and French-kiss. This week, for Fox’s 32nd birthday, West gifted his new fling to her and her closest friends to her some very expensive Birkin bags—accompanied by dozens of PDA-filled photos.
All the while, Kardashian has bitten her lip. She’s never addressed West’s publicity stunts, nor responded when he rapped about wanting to beat Davidson’s ass de ella, when he allegedly started a vile rumor that Davidson was battling AIDS, or when he accused her of not letting him see their children de ella.
“All the while, Kardashian has bitten her lip. She’s never addressed West’s publicity stunts, nor responded when he rapped about wanting to beat Davidson’s ass de ella, when he allegedly started a vile rumor that Davidson was battling AIDS, or when he accused her of not letting him see their children de ella.”
But Friday was the final straw. In a rare move by Kardashian, who hardly ever publicly comments on personal matters, she tore into West.
“Kanye’s constant attacks on me in interviews and on social media is actually more hurtful than any TikTok North might create,” she wrote on Instagram. “As the parent who is the main provider and caregiver for our children, I am doing my best to protect our daughter while also allowing her to express her creativity de ella in the medium that she wishes with adult supervision—because it brings her happiness de her.”
She continued: “Divorce is difficult enough on our children and Kanye’s obsession with trying to control and manipulate our situation so negatively and publicly is only causing further pain for all. From the beginning I have wanted nothing but a healthy and supportive co-parenting relationship because it is what is best for our children, and it saddens me that Kanye continues to make it impossible every step of the way.”
Throwing some shade herself, Kardashian added, “Hopefully he can finally respond to the third attorney he has had in the last year to resolve any issues amicably.”
If Kardashian hoped her statement would be enough to quiet West, she was sorely mistaken. He quickly hit back from her, accusing her of trying to “kidnap” their 4-year-old daughter from her Chicago from her on her birthday from her for “not providing the address” of where her party was being held.
“You put security on me inside the house to play with my son then accused me of stealing. I had to take a drug test after Chicago’s party cause you accused me of being on drugs, ”he wrote, before accusing Kardashian’s close friend and publicist Tracy Romulus of“ manipulating ”her of her.
He then uploaded a screenshot of TikTok’s terms and conditions, which states users under the age of 13 would be placed on the company’s “younger users” experience, and those who post content outside of those parameters would be removed from the app.
It’s deeply sad to watch estranged/former spouses publicly take swipes at each other, especially when one is begging the other to handle their issues privately, instead of having the world watch them fight publicly, as if it was some spectator sport.
But West seems intent on getting a rise out of Kardashian by any means necessary, not only revealing in the spotlight he commands, but taking it to the extreme with his jabs at Davidson, airing family business on social media, and now parading his new beau around with any chance he gets.
This time, he’s finally succeeded. But at what cost?