Taylor Swift, who was just named Time’s Person of the Year, has finally shared her side of the long-running drama involving rapper Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, West’s ex-wife, and herself.
In conversation with TIME magazine, she said, “You have a fully manufactured frame job, in an illegally recorded phone call, which Kim Kardashian edited and then put out to say to everyone that I was a liar. That took me down psychologically to a place I’ve never been before. I moved to a foreign country. I didn’t leave a rental house for a year. I was afraid to get on phone calls. I pushed away most people in my life because I didn’t trust anyone anymore. I went down really, really hard.”
“Make no mistake — my career was taken away from me. I thought that moment of backlash was going to define me negatively for the rest of my life,” she further added.
A brief: Feud between the artists
Rewind to 2009, when Beyoncé was supposed to win, and Kanye famously cut off Swift’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video at the MTV Video Music Awards.
It became one of the most notorious moments in pop culture as public opinion erupted. A sliver of peace appeared in 2015 when Swift gave West the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award with grace. The quiet, though, was short-lived as West’s “Famous,” a song with explicit lyrics directed at Swift, was released in 2016.
When Kanye said, “I made that bitch famous.”
When Kim Kardashian released brief audio clips from a phone conversation, the narrative took a shocking turn and it appeared that Swift approved of the controversial lyrics. Swift became synonymous with dishonesty and a “snake” in the public’s eyes over night. But when a 25-minute phone call from 2016 was leaked in 2020, things were completely flipped around
Swift was forced into unexplored psychological territory by the fallout, which struck a deep chord. She moved to a foreign nation, retreated from public life, and grew apart from those she had once trusted.
In 2020, Kim Kardashian responded on Twitter, accusing Swift of bringing up an old argument for her own gain. Kardashian made it clear that Kanye never meant for the call to be made public and that he simply stood up for himself in reaction to Swift’s purported fabrications. Kardashian stated that the main problem stemmed from Swift’s publicist’s bogus allegation that Kanye hadn’t asked for permission when, in fact, they had conversed.
“Kanye has documented the making of all of his albums for his personal archive; however, he has never released any of it for public consumption, and the call between the two of them would have remained private or would have gone in the trash had she not lied and forced me to defend him. To be clear, the only issue I ever had around the situation was that Taylor lied through her publicist who stated that ‘Kanye never called to ask for permission…‘’ They clearly spoke, so I let you all see that. Nobody ever denied the word ‘bitch’ was used without her permission,” she added.”