- Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West met in 2003, almost a decade before they went public with their romance in 2012.
- The rapper and the reality star exchanged vows at their wedding in Italy in 2014 and share four young children together.
- In 2021, multiple outlets reported that Kim is preparing to file for divorce from Kanye.
- Insider created a timeline of their relationship, outlining major events from Kanye’s crush on Kim to their time in isolation together amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A source told Page Six, the outlet that first reported the news, that the SKIMS founder is preparing to file for divorce, which they said is “imminent.” The insider added that the couple is already in “settlement talks” and living their own “separate lives.”
The “Keeping Up With the Kardashian” star and the “Flashing Lights” rapper, who have been married since 2014 and share four children together, have waded through numerous challenges together in recent years.
Here’s a look back at the highs and lows of Kim and Kanye’s relationship.
Kristin Salaky contributed to an earlier version of this story.
2003: Kanye and Kim met through Brandy, and the rapper immediately formed a crush on her.
The pair met and became friends in 2003, when Kim was working as Brandy’s assistant.
“I met him I think in 2002 or 2003. He 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. He was asking his friends: ‘Who is this Kim Kardajan?’ He didn’t know what my name was,” she said during the “KUWTK” 10-year anniversary
Kim was still married to Damon Thomas at the time, but she remained friends with Kanye, who later revealed that he was drawn to Kim from the moment he saw her.
“I just knew I wanted her to be my girl for a long time,” he told Ryan Seacrest in 2013. “I remember I saw a picture of her and Paris Hilton, and I remember telling my boy, ‘Have you seen that girl Kim Kardijon?'”
2008: Kanye insisted that Kim was cast in his puppet comedy show.
Kanye insisted that Kim appeared on his hip-hop puppet show called “Alligator Boots” in 2008.
Director Tom Stern recalled writing the part of Princess Leia for another actress but told Wired that Kanye said they needed the reality star.
“We were talking about it, and Kanye was like, ‘Nah, nah, nah. Get Kim Kardashian!'” Stern said.
Though the show never took off, the rapper did end up getting Kim to play Princess Leia.
In 2018, Kim tweeted two old photos from the set of “Alligator Boots” and wrote, “awwww these memories.”
2009: Kanye reportedly referenced Kim for the first time in his music.
Kanye made his first appearance on the “KUWTK” spin-off in 2010, when he met up with Kim and her sister Kourtney Kardashian at their boutique in New York.
Kanye was shy on camera, but Kim spoke about how much she respected him and his style.
“Kanye and I have been good friends for a long time. He’s someone that we definitely respect his fashion taste and his style and so we wanted him to come check out the store,” Kim said during the episode.
Kim was dating NBA player Kris Humphries at the time.
2011: Kanye tried to convince Kim not to marry Humphries.
Kim married then-boyfriend Kris Humphries in a television special in 2011.
While Kanye wasn’t on the guest-list for the wedding, he later revealed that he got a cellphone to call Kim and dissuade her from going through with the marriage on an episode of “Kocktails with Khloe.”
“I got a phone because somebody decided they wanted to marry Kris Humphries,” he said. “I wasn’t up to anything, and I looked on the internet and there was Kim Kardija with some extremely tall person. I was like, ‘I need to call her or something.'”
Kanye said he even began sending her photos of former basketball players that haven’t aged well.
“I started sending her pictures of, like, certain basketball players that used to be cool that now they wear their pants all the way up to here,” he said. “Like, ‘This is your future.'”
His efforts didn’t convince her, though. Kim remained married to Humphries for 72 days.
April 2012: Kanye admitted he loved Kim in a rap verse.
By 2012, Kim and Humphries had begun divorce proceedings. Kanye may have seen it as an opening because he rapped about falling in love with Kim in the song “Cold.”
“And I’ll admit, I had fell in love with Kim / Around the same time she had fell in love with him / Well that’s cool, baby girl, do ya thang / Lucky I ain’t had Jay drop him from the team,” the lyrics read.
The last line in Kanye’s verse took a jab at Humphries, who was a player on the Brooklyn Nets in 2012. When he was on the team, Kanye’s friend Jay-Z was part-owner.
Kourtney later confirmed that her sister was seeing the rapper on an episode of “KUWTK.” She added that she wasn’t sure about how serious Kim and Kanye were at the time since they’ve been longtime friends.
“I mean just ’cause I’m seen with someone, does that automatically mean that’s my boyfriend?” Kim said on the episode.
April 2012: They were spotted in public together for the first time in New York City.
Kim and Kanye were photographed during an outing in New York City.
Khloe Kardashian hinted that Kim and Kanye were an item on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” by saying that she thinks “they’re cute together.”
May 2012: Kanye attended several Kardashian family events.
Kanye and Kim started getting cozy as a couple as they were seen showing PDA at various events, including her Vogue Italia shoot. Kanye was also seen at Kourtney’s baby shower.
In June, Kim put a label on their relationship, calling herself a “proud girlfriend” on Twitter.
“#NoChurchInTheWild …. Proud girlfriend tweet,” Kardashian wrote.
August 2012: Kanye took over Kim’s closet on “KUWTK,” which didn’t sit well with many fans.
During an episode of “KUWTK,” Kanye and his stylist sorted through Kim’s closet to give her a “full makeover.” On the screen, Kim seemed excited about the changes.
“Kanye’s definitely inspired me to be a little bit more of an individual. I just think my style is just evolving and changing, and I think it should because that’s what life is about,” she said.
Some fans were a little turned off by the makeover and found it controlling.
Kim later admitted she cried when Kanye’s stylist insisted on tossing a pair of shoes she loved.
December 2012: They confirmed they were expecting their first baby together.
Kanye announced that Kim was pregnant with their first child during a New Year’s Eve performance in Atlantic City.
Kim then confirmed the news in a blog post on her website, according to People.
“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,” she wrote.
February 2013: Kim said Kanye has made her want to be more private.
Kim told DuJour that being with Kanye has made her want to keep certain parts of her life out of the spotlight.
“My boyfriend has taught me a lot about privacy,” she said. “I’m ready to be a little less open about some things, like my relationships. I’m realizing everyone doesn’t need to know everything. I’m shifting my priorities.”
She also opened up about her pregnancy and her cravings.
“I used to always say I can’t wait to get pregnant because I will just eat whatever I want, but it’s completely different,” she said.
“I’m like, OK, I want to eat as healthy as possible. Though lately I’ve been watching shows like ‘I’m Pregnant and Addicted to Meth.’ It definitely makes me feel better if I’m wanting one sip of Diet Coke or, you know, too much sugar.”
April 2013: Kim and Humphries’ divorce was finalized.
In court papers obtained by People, Kardashian admitted that it was a stress on her shoulders that Humphries was pushing for an annulment rather than signing divorce papers.
She worried the two might still be legally married by the time she gave birth to her child with Kanye.
By April, she and Humphries finalized their divorce after 536 days, according to Us Weekly.
May 2013: Kim and Kanye attended their first Met Gala as a couple.
The couple made their first appearance at the Met Gala together. By then, Kim, who came as Kanye’s guest, was eight months pregnant.
“Kanye was performing so I wasn’t actually invited. I was just Kanye’s plus one. And that was okay with me because I never really dreamed I would be at the Met Ball. I know no one really probably wanted me there at the time,” she told Vogue.
The reality star wore a floral print Givenchy gown designed by Riccardo Tisci, which was met with a storm of critiques and memes comparing Kim to a couch.
“I was crying the whole way home because I just couldn’t believe it,” she said. “I think Robin Williams even tweeted it and said I looked like Mrs. Doubtfire.”
May 2013: Kim had a baby shower, and Kanye responded to cheating rumors.
In May, Kim had a floral baby shower with her family and friends in anticipation of her first child.
The month wasn’t drama-free, however.
A Canadian woman named Leyla Ghobadi reportedly claimed that she had sex with Kanye twice, once when Kim was pregnant.
The rapper denied ever cheating on Kim.
“This most recent attack on Kanye West and his family is totally without merit. It’s a blatant attempt by a misguided individual who is clearly seeking publicity, and another in a series of malicious stories drummed up by non-credible ‘news’ sources,” Kanye’s representatives told TMZ.
June 2013: They welcomed their daughter North West.
On June 15, 2013, Kim gave birth to their daughter North West at the Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.
October 2013: Kanye proposed to Kim at the AT&T Stadium in San Francisco.
Kanye rented out San Francisco’s AT&T baseball stadium for the surprise proposal, which Kim thought was a birthday celebration.
Kim’s family and friends stayed hidden under a sign that said, “PLEEEASE MARRY MEEEE!!!”
After Kim agreed to marry Kanye, fireworks went off her family stormed the field to congratulate them.
November 2013: Kim was featured in Kanye’s steamy video for his song “Bound 2.”
Kanye released a music video for his song “Bound 2,” featuring his nude wife riding with him on a motorcycle.
The video went viral, and actors Seth Rogen and James Franco even made their own version of the video.
March 2014: They were the first biracial couple to be featured on the cover of Vogue.
The pair graced the cover of Vogue magazine in April 2014, becoming the first biracial couple to land the coveted spot.
Annie Leibovitz shot the cover at Kris Jenner’s home, and Kim recalled her mother growing emotional at the end of the photo shoot.
Though Kim called it the “best day ever” on Instagram, some people took issue with having a reality star and outspoken, opinionated rapper on the cover of the fashion magazine.
May 2014: They got married in an extravagant ceremony in Italy.
Kim and Kanye hosted a weekend full of events around Europe for their wedding, according to Vogue.
The celebration began in Paris, where Kim held her bachelorette party for her sisters and friends. They then enjoyed a luncheon hosted by Valentino Garavani at Château de Wideville, which is slightly outside of the French capital.
To close out the bride and groom’s time in Paris, the rehearsal dinner took place at the Palace of Versailles’s Hall of Mirrors.
Kim and Kanye then flew their guests out to Florence for a 200-person ceremony, during which the bride wore Maison Margiela, and the groom wore Givenchy.
A photo of them kissing against a backdrop of gorgeous flowers became the most-liked Instagram photo of that year.
February 2015: Kanye performed “Only One,” a tribute to his family, at the Grammy Awards.
Kanye performed a song called “Only One,” which he originally recorded with Paul McCartney, at the Grammy Awards.
The track takes the perspective of his late mother, Donda West, and is directed toward his family.
May 2015: They announced they were expecting a second baby together.
Just after celebrating their one-year wedding anniversary, Kim announced she was pregnant with the couple’s second child in a teaser for a new season of “KUWTK.”
She also confirmed the news to Glamour and opened up about the ways that both North and Kanye have changed her life.
“North has taught me patience. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for her. And nothing I wouldn’t do for my husband. She’s empowered us to want to be the best parents and the best spouses,” Kim said.
December 2015: Kim gave birth to her first son, Saint West.
Kim gave birth to her second baby, Saint West, on December 5, 2015.
The birth was featured on an episode of “KUWTK,” and Kim shared an Instagram photo of the newborn.
April 2016: Kim cleared the air after reports claimed that the couple was having marital issues.
After reports surfaced that Kim and Kanye had hit a rough patch, the reality star released a video on her app to clear up any misconceptions and assure fans that the couple was going strong.
“I’ve definitely had my fair share of, like, dramatic relationships. Honestly, this is like the most calm and it’s like, nope, we’re still together,” she said, according to Us Weekly.
“We’re happy. There’s just nothing to really report on.”
July 2016: Kim supported Kanye during his feud with Taylor Swift.
From the time that Kanye interrupted Taylor Swift at the MTV VMAs in 2009, the artists have never quite seen eye-to-eye.
When Kanye released his song “Famous” with the lines “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that b—- famous” in 2016, Swift was outraged.
Kanye claimed that she’d given him permission to use the lyrics, which she then denied.
Kim teased that she had a recording of the conversation during an interview with GQ. A few weeks later, she referenced the tape on an episode of “KUWTK” and released a Snapchat story featuring videos of that conversation.
Swift later explained that she actually took issue with the line “I made that b—- famous,” a lyric that Kanye didn’t mention in Kim’s video.
In March 2020, Kanye and Swift’s full conversation was anonymously leaked to YouTube, revealing that the “Fearless” singer never gave him permission to call her a “b—-.”
Kim stood by her husband, responding on Twitter to say that the new tape “doesn’t change the narrative.”
October 2016: Kim was robbed in Paris, and Kanye left his show to check on her.
On October 2, Kanye was performing at the Meadows Music and Arts Festival in New York when he abruptly stopped the show and said he had a family emergency.
It was later reported that Kim had been held at gunpoint in her Paris hotel.
She was robbed of a diamond ring worth an estimated $4.9 million as well as two diamond Cartier bracelets, a gold and diamond Jacob necklace, Lorraine Schwartz diamond earrings, a gold Rolex, and other items, according to a police report.
Shaken up by the incident, Kim stopped doing appearances and stayed off social media for a while while she recovered.
October 2016: Kanye released a tribute to Kim for her birthday.
Though she was taking a social media break, Kanye still released a sweet birthday video for the reality star’s 36th birthday.
The montage of at-home videos featured most of the Kardashian-Jenner family, including Kim’s late father, Robert Kardashian.
November 2016: Kanye was reportedly hospitalized for exhaustion, and Kim flew to the hospital.
Kanye was hospitalized for exhaustion shortly after canceling his “Saint Pablo” tour, according to The New York Times.
Several days prior, the rapper went on a rant about politics during his show in Sacramento and abruptly left the concert.
A source told Us Weekly that Kim’s robbery put a strain on their marriage, though the reality star promptly flew home to be by her husband’s side at the hospital.
West was released from the hospital over a week later, and sources told People that the health crisis had taken a toll on their relationship.
“Kanye and Kim had a stressful few months,” the source said. “It’s been a tense time. But Kim is happy he’s getting help.”
June 2017: Outlets reported that the couple hired a surrogate to carry their third child.
Kanye and Kim hired a surrogate to carry their third child, a source confirmed to People.
Because the reality star had been diagnosed with a condition called placenta accreta, doctors warned Kim about the risks involved with carrying another child.
And though Kim often spoke about her desire to grow her family, she shied away from the reports in an interview with “The Hollywood Reporter” for the 10-year anniversary of “KUWTK.”
“I hope so,” she said after being asked if she and West will have a third child. “There have been a lot of things said and Kanye and I have not confirmed anything. We’re definitely trying. We are hoping so.”
January 2018: Kim and Kanye had their second daughter, Chicago West, via surrogate.
Kim eventually confirmed that she had hired a surrogate to carry her third child during an episode of “KUWTK.”
On January 15, they welcomed their second daughter, Chicago West.
During a visit to “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” Kim confirmed that her child’s name is a nod to the city where Kanye grew up.
May 2018: Kanye said he was worried Kim would leave him after he said slavery was a choice.
On an episode of “TMZ Live,” Kanye made controversial statements asserting that slavery is a choice.
“When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years? That sounds like a choice,” he said.
The comment led to a flood of criticism, and the rapper addressed Kim’s reaction in his song “Wouldn’t Leave.”
The lyrics read: “‘Slavery a choice, ‘ they said, ‘How, Ye?’ / Just imagine if they caught me on a wild day / Now I’m on fifty blogs gettin’ fifty calls / My wife callin’, screamin’, say, ‘We ’bout to lose it all!’ / Had to calm her down ’cause she couldn’t breathe / Told her she could leave me now / But she wouldn’t leave.”
He later revealed that he was concerned Kim would leave him after his comments to TMZ.
“There was a moment where I felt like after TMZ, maybe a week after that, I felt like the energy levels were low, and I called different family members and was asking, you know, ‘Was Kim thinking about leaving me after TMZ?'” he told The New York Times. “So that was a real conversation.”
May 2019: Kim and Kanye welcomed their fourth child, Psalm West, via surrogate.
Kanye and Kim welcomed their fourth child via surrogate and named him Psalm West.
The SKIMS founder confirmed the news on Twitter and wrote, “He’s here and he’s perfect!”
She added that Psalm is “Chicago’s twin.”
“I’m sure he will change a lot but now he looks just like her,” Kim tweeted.
May 2019: The couple renewed their wedding vows in a small ceremony.
The couple celebrated their five-year anniversary with a private ceremony after Psalm was born, Kim revealed during an October 2019 episode of “KUWTK.”
The actual vow renewal ceremony wasn’t filmed, but the series did show the preparation leading up to the occasion.
Kim also shared the opening lines of her vows, which read, “You are my husband. You are my best friend. My biggest believer and my one true love.”
Their four children attended the ceremony along with Kim and Kanye’s families.
January 2020: Kanye bought Kim a personalized necklace to celebrate her success.
Kim shared a photo of the vintage Cartier necklace Kanye gave her via Twitter, pointing out that the piece was engraved with a personal message.
“If you look closely at my necklace, you can see it’s from a text Kanye sent me. He took an amazing vintage Cartier gold plaque necklace and had it sketched out,” the reality star wrote.
The text message read: “This your life; Married with four kids; Get people out of jail; Cover of Vogue; Go to church every week with your family; Dreams come true.”
June 2020: Kanye claimed that Kim was a billionaire and shared a strange tribute.
Kanye congratulated his wife on “officially becoming a billionaire” via Twitter and included a strange vegetable tribute.
“I am so proud of my beautiful wife Kim Kardashian West for officially becoming a billionaire,” he wrote. “You’ve weathered the craziest storms and now God is shining on you and our family. So blessed this is still life. So I made you this still life. We love you so much.”
He included a photo of flowers and vegetables along with the tweet.
However, Forbes estimated that Kim was worth $900 million rather than a billion.
July 2020: Kanye announced he was entering the 2020 presidential race, and Kim appeared to support him.
The rapper announced that he was running for president on Twitter on July 4.
“We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States,” he wrote.
Kim responded to the tweet by sharing an emoji of an American flag, appearing to support his decision to enter the race.
Shortly after announcing that he was running, Kanye outlined his platform during an interview with Forbes.
Though Kanye declared that he was campaigning on a pro-life and anti-vaccine platform, Kim has publicly spoken about the importance of vaccines.
“Kanye’s family will always support him in his endeavors but they also worry for him,” a source told Entertainment Tonight. “The family is supportive of Kanye’s plan to run for president but they don’t agree with his recent interview.”
July 2020: Kanye said that he and Kim considered aborting their daughter North during a political rally.
While discussing his pro-life platform at his first political rally in South Carolina, Kanye said that he and his wife discussed abortion when Kim was pregnant with their daughter North.
“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,” he said before telling the crowd that his father, Ray West, wanted to abort him.
After the rally, a source told People that Kim was “furious” that Kanye mentioned their child.
“Kim is shocked that Kanye spoke about North at the rally,” the source said. “She is furious that he shared something so private.”
July 2020: Kim released a statement addressing Kanye’s mental health after he tweeted about her and her family.
After Kanye mentioned North at his political rally and published a series of since-deleted tweets about the Kardashian family, Kim broke her silence about her husband’s mental health on her Instagram story.
“As many of you know, Kanye has bi-polar disorder,” Kim wrote. “Anyone who has this or has a loved one in their life who does, knows how incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand.”
The KKW Beauty founder explained that the pressures of being a Black artist, the loss of his mother, and isolation during the pandemic affected his mental health.
She added that her family is “powerless” in getting Kanye help since he’s an adult.
Kim finished her statement by asking for “compassion and empathy” from the public.
West later apologized via Twitter, saying he “did not cover her like she has covered me.”
“I would like to apologize to my wife Kim for going public with something that was a private matter,” the Yeezy designer wrote. “To Kim I want to say I know I hurt you. Please forgive me. Thank you for always being there for me.”
December 2020: A source told E! News that Kanye and Kim “spend a lot of time apart.”
Toward the end of 2020, the couple was reportedly focusing on their own individual endeavors.
“Kim and Kanye are doing their own thing. They spend a lot of time apart,” a source told E! News, noting that they’re both “focused on the things that are important to them.”
The SKIMS founder has been pursuing a career in law and advocating for criminal justice reform, while the rapper set his sights on running in the 2020 presidential election.
The source added: “[Kim] is doing her thing and [Kanye] is doing his. She doesn’t micromanage it or worry about it too much. She lets him go off and be who he is. It is what it is.”
The insider explained that they’re still a “family” and “come together for the kids.”
January 2021: Multiple outlets reported that Kim is preparing to file for divorce.
After six years of marriage, the couple reportedly decided to part ways, according to multiple outlets.
Page Six broke the news that Kim is preparing to file for divorce, noting that their split is “imminent.”
The outlet also reported that the reality star hired high-profile divorce attorney Laura Wasser, who has previously worked with Hilary Duff, Christina Aguilera, and Angelina Jolie.
“They are keeping it low-key but they are done,” a source told the outlet, adding that the couple is in “settlement talks.”
The insider explained that Kanye is currently in Wyoming so that the couple can “live separate lives.”
People also reported that Kim is “done” with the marriage.
“She has had enough, and she told him that she wants some space to figure out her future,” a source told the outlet, adding, “He’s okay. He’s sad, but okay. He knows the inevitable will happen, and he knows that it’s coming soon.”
Credit: Yahoo News