Celebrity power couple Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are no strangers to the paparazzi. Both have a love/hate relationship with the notoriously aggressive photographers, and media of any kind, for that matter. On the one hand, media attention is at the root of their stardom, and on the other hand, it infringes on every aspect of their everyday lives and the life of their young daughter, North.
Kanye in particular has had a turbulent relationship with the paparazzi. He has had allegedly violent altercations with aggressive photographers; following one incident in 2013, he was ordered to do community service. And it’s not just the paps that get under his skin: West also had a public feud with late night comedian Jimmy Kimmel earlier this year after Kimmel poked fun of a highly-publicized interview with the BBC.
Kim tends to keep a cooler head with the media, but she has had a number of confrontations with aggressive photographers, especially in this past year leading up to her wedding with West and then again at Paris Fashion Week a few months ago. However, she has also generated waves of her own by appearing in shocking states of undress on magazine covers and in music videos.
Here are 16 of the most shocking and dramatic moments that Kim and Kanye have had with both the paparazzi and in the media.
16 Kanye’s 2008 confrontation with a photographer at LAX
In 2008, West was involved in a confrontation with a photographer at LAX. He smashed the photographer’s camera and was arrested on charges of vandalism, then later charged with battery and grand theft. The charges were thrown out, but he was ordered to do 50 hours of community service.
15 Kimye’s early days in 2013
In 2013, Kim and Kanye made headlines when they first began appearing together as a couple. The media coverage on the power duo exploded when they announced that they were expecting a child. Kanye announced the happy news to a crowd gathered for a New Year’s concert in Atlantic City in late 2012, so by January 1, 2013, the couple were all over the news.
14 Pregnant Kim’s maternity wardrobe missteps
Nothing seemed to make more headlines and earn a spot in fashion columns than Kim’s pregnant body in 2013. No one could get enough of her unique maternity wardrobe when she was expecting her first child with West. The Givenchy gown she wore to the 2013 Met Gala was one of the most-talked-about of her maternity gowns, although for all the wrong reasons: most critics agreed that the dress was not at all flattering to her figure.
13 Kim lashing out at the press on Twitter
Kim lashed out at the paparazzi on Twitter in 2013 after she was confronted in real life by aggressive paparazzi. She accused them of threatening her life and the life of her unborn child. She claimed that she had been “gracious” to the paparazzi before, but ranted about their threats and stalking, mentioning that there should be laws against their aggressive behaviour.
12 Birth of North West in June 2013
As soon as Kim and Kanye welcomed their daughter in June of 2013, North was one of the most-talked about topics in the headlines. Although the public (and paparazzi) demanded baby photos and offered lots of money for them, the couple did not release any until August of that year. North will surely continue to be among the most famous and sought after celeb children for the years to come.
11 Kanye’s July 2013 confrontation with a photographer in LAX
It seems that Kanye didn’t learn his lesson from the 2008 incident with a photographer at LAX: in July 2013, police officers were flagged down by a photographer who said he was battered by Kanye. A police report was filed following the incident, and in 2014 West was sentenced to two years of probation. The rapper initially pleaded not guilty to misdemeanour battery and attempted theft, but pleaded no contest to misdemeanour battery charge. In addition to probation, he was told to undergo 250 hours of community service and 30 days of anger management.
10 Kanye’s marriage proposal to Kim
Kanye West decided to propose to Kim in October 2013, a few months after the birth of their daughter. He asked her to marry him in a very public and elaborate way: he popped the question with the help of the Jumbotron at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Their engagement became just as closely covered as their relationship, Kim's pregnancy and the birth of their daughter.
9 Kanye’s “Bound 2” video featuring a topless Kim
In November 2013, Kanye West released a music video for his song “Bound 2” which starred none other than a topless Kim. Kardashian posted an uncensored version of the video on her YouTube channel for all to see. She was featured perched on Kanye's lap as he rode a motorcycle across backgrounds of American landscapes.
8 Kanye’s “feud” with Jimmy Kimmel
Late last year, West and Kimmel found themselves in a feud when West expressed anger over a Jimmy Kimmel Live skit that mocked him after he called himself a “creative genius.” West immediately expressed anger towards Kimmel about the skit. However, West later appeared on Kimmel’s show and the two, although they had a terse conversation on the show, seemed to put the feud behind them.
7 Vogue Magazine Cover
In March, Kim and Kanye appeared together on the cover of Vogue magazine. Putting Kim on the cover was a controversial choice for the prestigious fashion magazine, but a choice that its editors defended nonetheless. The photo spread in the magazine also featured their daughter, North.
6 Kimye’s Pre-Wedding Trip to Paris
In the spring of 2014, Kim and Kanye made tons of headlines and were the subject of endless attention leading up to their very highly anticipated wedding in Europe. The couple was photographed days before their wedding in Paris and were trailed by hoards of paparazzi and fans during their entire stay in the city. Both were photographed shopping around town, and later Kim was photographed going out for her bachelorette party with friends.
After weeks of speculation as to where the highly anticipated wedding ceremony of the couple would take place, in May of 2014, Kim and Kanye tied the knot in a lavish ceremony in Florence, Italy. Everything from the outfits to the entertainment was subject to endless attention: Kim wore a stunning lace Givenchy gown and the ceremony took place overlooking the city of Florence at the 16th century Forte di Belvedere, with a wall of roses and peonies. The food featured classic Italian dishes with a pink colour scheme. Their guest list was also subject to endless scrutiny, and entertainment included Italian singer Andrea Bocelli, who serenaded Kim and Kanye and their guests. The entire wedding cost millions of dollars.
4 Kanye compares paparazzi to civil rights activists’ struggles
In his July 2014 disposition following the altercation with a photographer, Kanye made headlines when he compared celebrities who fight against the constant attention from the paparazzi with the struggle that activists faced in the civil rights movement. The comments instantly earned him attention and criticism in the press. It wasn’t the first time that Kanye has said controversial things about celebrities who struggle with paparazzi attention; he has also compared their attention to his life to being raped.
3 Mobbed in Paris
While attending Paris Fashion Week in September 2014, Kardashian was nearly trampled by a Ukrainian journalist, who nearly knocked her over in front of Kanye and her mother, Kris Jenner, as they were stepping out of a car to attend an event. She was also surrounded by fans and photographers at the time, adding to the mayhem and confusion. Her security pulled the journalist to the ground, and although Kim may have momentarily lost her balance, she was unharmed and quickly ushered safely into a building. Kim continued to make waves throughout Paris Fashion Week, especially when she was photographed with daughter North West at the front row of the elite fashion shows, including Balenciaga.
2 Kim Kardashian teaches North how to have a paparazzi face
Although not exactly a paparazzi moment, Kim let the world know that she was teaching her young daughter how to deal with the constant onslaught of attention when they step out in public. In November 2014, Kim tweeted out a selfie she took of herself and her daughter as they practiced their serious paparazzi faces. Then she tweeted another photo of how the two of them normally are at home, laughing and much happier and clearly more relaxed.
1 Kim’s Paper Magazine Cover
Kim made headlines everywhere when she appeared nearly-nude, with her derriere on full display (oiled up, no less) on the cover of Paper Magazine in November 2014. The magazine cover promised to “break the internet” and subsequently the hashtag #breaktheinternet instantly started trending on social media. The now-famous cover photo has been posted everywhere, with other celebrities satirically photoshopping themselves into the cover. The photo also inspired an internet meme.