Although the news was devastating for pop culture enthusiasts, it was hardly surprising, as Kanye had largely been living in an entirely different state from Kim and their four children for months.
Kanye had begun splitting his time between California and Wyoming in 2019, and Kim acknowledged that this was a reason for their split during an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
“I just honestly can’t do this anymore,” she said at the time. “Why am I still in this place where I’m stuck for years? Like, he goes and moves to a different state every year. I have to be, like, together so I can raise the kids.”
However, tensions began to rise in October, when Kim was romantically linked to Saturday Night Live comic Pete Davidson following her guest appearance on the show. Things have only escalated since.
In fact, Kanye's eruption on social media over the weekend — which saw him publicly blasting Kim and Pete in a series of scathing posts — has now led to fans heaping praise on Kim for how she's handled the last few months. Here's how we reached this point.
Kim and Pete were first spotted holding hands on a roller coaster on Oct. 29 and have since enjoyed a series of low-key dates at local restaurants and outlet malls as well as an extravagant holiday to the Bahamas last month.
Soon after Kim and Pete were linked, Kanye started to speak out on their separation for the first time, and during an appearance on the Drink Champs podcast, he insisted that he’d “never seen the divorce papers.”
In the weeks that followed, Kanye repeatedly hinted that he and Kim were going to reunite and also admitted that he had done things that were “not acceptable” during their marriage.
He shared his belief that God would bring him and his wife back together, and in an Instagram post on Thanksgiving, he said that all he could think about was reuniting with Kim.
In December, Kanye begged Kim to give their marriage another chance as he reworked the lyrics of his 2010 hit “Runaway” during a concert in LA, rapping: “I need you to run right back to me, baby,” before adding, “more specifically, Kimberly.”
But the day after the performance, Kim filed to be “legally single” as she told the courts that Kanye had failed to respond to several requests to officially “terminate” their relationship. The papers said “no counseling or reconciliation effort” would fix their marriage.
This petition appeared to be Kanye’s turning point, and he was quickly spotted with multiple different women over the festive season before publicizing his romance with new girlfriend Julia Fox in January.
Less than a week after their first meeting at a New Year’s Eve party, Julia and Kanye confirmed their relationship with a series of extremely intimate photographs and a blog post for Interview magazine.
Just days later, Kanye took a swipe at Kim’s new man in his single “Eazy,” which included the lyrics: “God saved me from the crash, just so I can beat Pete Davidson's ass."
In the same track, Kanye lashed out at Kim’s parenting style, rapping: “I got love for the nannies, but real family is better / The cameras watch the kids, y'all stop takin' the credit.”
The very next day, Kanye publicly accused Kim and her family of banning him from their daughter Chicago’s birthday party, insisting that he wasn’t given the location before attending the event at her sister Kylie Jenner’s house.
At the time, a source said that Kim was “shocked” by Kanye’s claims and denied that he was refused the information. The insider added in Us Weekly: “There were always two parties planned for Chicago, which was Kanye’s idea. He was scheduled to celebrate with her at 4 p.m.”
Kanye went on to make a series of accusations about Kim not letting him see their children and him being refused access to her home, and he even suggested that she had a second unreleased sex tape with ex Ray J that he’d got ridden of. A rep for Kim swiftly denied the existence of a second sex tape.
Kim remained silent on Kanye's various claims until earlier this month, when she finally hit back at his "constant attacks" in her only public grievance so far. In a statement posted to Instagram, she said that Kanye was making coparenting their children “impossible” as she shared her hurt at how he was behaving.
The post came after Kanye had taken to his social media page to address their oldest daughter, North, being on TikTok. He’d previously accused Kim of “poking the bear” by setting up a shared account with North without his permission.
The profile is “managed by an adult” and has all comments from followers switched off, with Kim appearing alongside North in many of the light-hearted uploads.
Kanye initially said of North’s TikTok videos: “I don’t approve that. I said it after it was done without me knowing. And then it happened again. So I feel like it’s poking the bear or trying to antagonize me or create this crazy narrative.”
Soon after Kanye’s comments, Kim and North uploaded a new video together, and days later Kanye began to lash out on Instagram, posting: “SINCE THIS IS MY FIRST DIVORCE I NEED TO KNOW WHAT I SHOULD DO ABOUT MY DAUGHTER BEING PUT ON TIKTOK AGAINST MY WILL ?”
At this point, Kim took to her Instagram story to open up about the “hurtful” comments that Kanye had been making about her and accused him of being obsessed with “trying to control and manipulate” their separation.
"Kanye's constant attacks on me in interviews and on social media is actually more hurtful than any TikTok North might create,” she wrote. “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 in the medium that she wishes with adult supervision — because it brings her happiness.”
Kim went on: “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.”
But Kanye continued to make allegations on his Instagram page, including a post that said “Kim accused me of putting a hit out on her.” He went on: “These ideas can actually get someone locked up. They play like that with Black men's lives, whether it's getting them free or getting them locked up. I'm not playing about my Black children anymore."
The rapper also wrote: “America saw you try to kidnap my daughter on her birthday by not providing the address” in reference to Chicago’s birthday party.
Meanwhile, Kim has been keeping her new romance with Pete incredibly low-key, and despite being spotted together on various occasions she has never spoken publicly about their relationship status.
Last week, however, Pete confirmed that they are officially together when he referred to Kim as his “girlfriend” during an interview. He said in passing: “If I'm off [work], I just either hang with my friends or chill with my girlfriend inside. So I don't do much.”
“Never too big of a price / After I buy the Chicago Bulls, I'ma go link with Mike / And if I let 'em have my wife, n***** should thank me,” he raps in “City of Gods.”
And over the weekend, Kanye repeatedly took aim at Pete on Instagram, where he called him a “dickhead,” crossed him out of a group photo, and referred to him as “Skete” before sharing a screenshot of a text message that Pete had apparently sent him.
Claiming that Pete is “Hillary Clinton’s ex boyfriend,” Kanye wrote: “When a garbage man goes to work, he gonna smell like trash. But it's time to take the trash out the house.”
Appearing to try and diffuse the situation, Pete’s alleged text to Kanye appeared to read: “As a man, I’d never get in the way of your children. It’s a promise.”
“How you guys go about raising your kids is your business and not mine,” it went on. “I do hope one day I can meet them and we can all be friends.”
Kanye captioned the screenshot: “NO YOU WILL NEVER MEET MY CHILDREN.”
Alongside a cropped photo of Kim and Pete holding hands, Kanye wrote: “LOOK AT THIS DICKHEAD I WONDER IF INSTAGRAM GONNA SHUT DOWN MY PAGE FOR DISSING HILARY CLINTON’S EX BOYFRIEND.”
And when he saw that he was trending above the Super Bowl on Twitter, Kanye shared a screenshot and wrote: “I DIDN’T WAKE UP AND FIGHT FOR MY FAMILY TO TREND OVER THE SUPER BOWL BUT IT HAPPENED. THE SUPER BOWL BRINGS FAMILIES TOGETHER FOR EVERYONE MARRIED HOLD YOUR SPOUSE CLOSE MAKE SURE THEY KNOW HOW MUCH YOU LOVE AND APPRECIATE THEM BECAUSE THERE’S A SKETE LURKING IN EVERY DIRTY ASS ALLEY WAITING TO HELP DESTROY YOUR FAMILY AND WALK AROUND IN CALVIN KLEINS AROUND YOUR CHILDREN.”
He added: “I WISH MY WIFE WAS WITH ME AND OUR CHILDREN SITTING AT THE 50 YARD LINE @KimKardashian ALWAYS REMEMBER WEST WAS YOUR BIGGEST W [win].”
Kanye was later pictured at the Super Bowl with the kids, while Kim ignored all of his social media posts and continued to post to her own Instagram account as usual.
She shared a selection of photos of herself posing in an all-black outfit, adding a simple black heart emoji as the caption.
And over on her Instagram story, Kim posted a photo supporting the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl, adding: “LA all day baby!!!”
She and Pete also stepped out in New York for an intimate dinner date, appearing to be happy and relaxed in each other’s company.
Kim’s lack of reaction to Kanye’s repeated posts has won her admiration from many of those who have been watching the messy split unfold, with several admitting that her “dignified” response has given them a newfound respect for her.
Taking to social media, one person wrote: “I hate that Kanye is making me have mad respect for Kim Kardashian. Don’t make me feel these feelings!” Another admitted: “I gotta give Kim mad respect for staying quiet this whole time pretty much because if my ex was doing this I would have THE worst time staying quiet. Kanye West is a whole ass mess.”
A third said: “Say what you want about Kim Kardashian, but she has been an actual saint for not clapping back at Kanye out of respect for her kids.” One more agreed: “I hope Kim and Pete Davidson continue to keep a dignified silence.”
Others are thrilled to see her enjoying her time with Pete, admitting that the relationship appears to be worlds away from the years she spent with Kanye.
One wrote: “Pete and Kim are happy living their best life and Kanye is punching a wall somewhere making diss tracks and terrible edits about him.” And a second echoed: “He [Kanye] made EVERY bad decision possible and is now crying over the consequences?? Kim and the kids look happy and thriving. Kanye can choke at this point ❤️”
Some also accused Kanye of having “double standards” by expecting his ex to stay single despite him moving on with other women.
“So Kanye can have multiple girlfriends dress them up and give them expensive gifts, but Kim can’t have one boyfriend who treats her with respect,” a Twitter user wrote. One more asked: “Are people choosing to forget that Kanye started dating other people first? Kim is allowed to move on as well. There’s such a double standard against women tf.”
Kim’s own family, as well as her fans, have often commented on the star’s ability to remain calm in a crisis, with her mom Kris Jenner previously acknowledging: “You’re a very strong girl and you seem to handle everything really calmly.”
Responding at the time, Kim admitted: “Calmness is my superpower,” and if the past few months have proven anything, it’s that she certainly wasn’t lying.