Kim Kardashian’s Paris Nightmare

 

On October 3rd in the early hours of the morning, five men dressed as policemen buzzed the Hotel de Pourtales intercom (Us Weekly). They asked “Where is the wife of the rapper?” (WUSA). They were asking for Kim Kardashian, who was staying in the hotel during the Paris fashion week. The men held a gun to the concierge’s head and forced him to open the door to Kardashian’s room (Us Weekly). The reality star was robbed at gunpoint, bound and gagged in the bathroom of her luxury apartment. According to TMZ, the attackers used plastic handcuffs with duct tape and grabbed her ankles. This was when she told police she thought was about to be raped. They then put her in the bathtub after duct taping her ankles. The thieves got away with 10 million dollars’ worth of jewelry including borrowed jewelry and an “upgraded” engagement ring from husband Kanye West (People Style). There were no signs of forced entry, so police told US Weekly that they think the robbery was an inside job. Authorities said the crime was likely to have been committed by a “highly organized” gang. Us Weekly’s law enforcement sources said it is one of the strangest cases they have dealt with because the Selfish author was sleeping alone with so much jewelry and did not have a personal body guard with her. Kardashian’s body guard was accompanying her sisters Kourtney Kardashian and Kendall Jenner.

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French police officers stand in front of Kim Kardashian’s luxury apartment in Paris’ 8th arrondissement. Credit: Marc Piasecki/Getty Images

According to People Style, there are people in the media that are holding Kim Kardashian West accountable for flaunting her jewelry and wealth on social media. Security experts and Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld say she shouldn’t have flaunted the jewelry. Sources also say that Kardashian blames herself for the scary event. The Telegraph reported that Kardashian’s sister Kylie Jenner, along with former step father Caitlyn Jenner were ridiculed for sharing joyful photos on social media too soon after the incident. Kylie’s post included a beach photo captioned “Looking back at Turks.” Caitlyns read “Had so much fun with Kylie at Sunday’s car show. Here we are with my friend Jeff Dunham’s original #Batmobile.” One angry commenter had something to say about it, “I’m sorry but what the hell is with you and Kylie…you sound like you don’t care about Kim, I’m sure you didn’t mean it but it’s insensitive and Kim was tied up and had a gun to her head but Kylie can’t stay off social media for more than one day?” After the comment, Kardashian’s former step father posted another comment with an image of Kim. “Love my girl!” wrote Jenner. “After hearing the full story, I’m so thankful she’s okay. It’s a reminder for us all to be careful in the uncertainty of this world.” Many spoke up in response to some of the awful things many have said about Kim Kardashian on social media (E News). “People making jokes about @KimKardashian tonight would do well to remember that she’s a mother,a daughter,a wife,a friend.Be nice or shut up,” wrote Late Late Show host James Corden.

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Kim Kardashian West Flaunting her 20 karat engagement ring upgrade via Instagram

According to Perez Hilton, Kim Kardashian West was not the only celebrity to have a scary robbery story. Included in the site’s gallery of Celebs with Scary Stories of Being Robbed are: Tay Diggs, Kate Moss, Matthew McConaughey, Rod Stewart, Keri Russell, Simon Cowell and LL Cool J. Though none listed came close to what Kardashian experienced, Simon Cowell’s experience was similar. His house was raided at two in the morning and the robbers stole cash and jewelry from his mansion. Cowell, his girlfriend Lauren Silverman and their son Eric were sleeping. Unlike Kardashian’s situation, a security guard was able to spot the intruder, tackle him and recover the possessions worth $600,000. Both Cowell and Kardashian were left traumatized. When Tay Diggs and LL Cool J were being targeted, both of them were able to detain their attackers on their own until police arrived.

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Kim Kardashian out with her daughter North for the first time since the robbery. Credit: Elder Ordonez/INFphoto.com

Kim Kardashian West’s experience was very unfortunate and unusual. If her body guard had been there the situation may have been prevented. If she was not flaunting her jewelry on social media, it’s likely that she wouldn’t have been targeted by the gang. Social media and Kardashian’s use of the sites such as Instagram, Snap Chat and Twitter, are important factors to the robbery case. Many see the impact social media had on the situation, leading to Caitlyn and Kylie Jenner being attacked by commenters for posting on social media soon after the incident. Though some people were being cruel on social media, making fun of the E! star for “getting what she deserved.” It’s wonderful that Kardashian has great friends and other celebrities standing up for her in her time of need. Keeping Up with the Kardashians has been put on an indefinite hold and all of her appearances have been canceled for the time being as she recovers from the traumatic experience (WUSA). Most of the media is understanding of this and is just glad the reality star is okay.

Brock Turner & The Media

In January of this year Brock Turner was discovered publically sexually assaulting a woman at a Stanford University undergraduate party (Buzzfeed News). Once found, Turner attempted to run but was chased, tackled and restrained by two witnesses. Initially there were five charges, two charges of rape, one for attempted rape and two for sexual assault (Atlanta Journal Constitution). The charges of rape were dropped after reviewing DNA test results between the rape kit and Tuner. In March, Tuner was found guilty of three felony offenses: sexually penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object, sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object and sexual assault with intent to rape an intoxicated person. He was sentenced to six months in jail out of the minimum of two years and maximum of fourteen years. He only served half of his sentence (three months). Though convicted of sexual assault charges and an attempted rape charge, the media continuously uses the now registered sex offender’s previous title of being a Stanford swimmer in headlines. This case is the perfect example of white and male privilege playing a major role within the judicial system and in the media.

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Brock Turner Trial Photo via Us Weekly. Photo Credit: None

 

The media continuously downplays Turner’s actions because of his status, athleticism, race and gender. According to the Intercept, “Associated Press, USA TodayTIME, CNN, Sports Illustrated, MSNBC, and the BBC were criticized by readers for failing to immediately identify Turner as someone who had committed sexual assault.” The article also shared that TIME referred to Turner as “former Stanford swimmer and star swimmer” and did not acknowledge his crimes of sexual assault until the story’s third line. Many took to twitter in response to the articles. One tweet by freelance writer and author, Danielle Campoamor, read “Dear @TIME & @SInow, you spelled “convicted rapist” wrong. Brock Turner THE CONVICTED RAPIST, not Stanford Swimmer,” and has received over 3,600 retweets and likes combined. One explanation of why media outlets never used the words “convicted rapist” was because Turner was only convicted of attempted rape and rape-related charges. Using “convicted rapists” would be legally incorrect but using statuses that formally applied to the convicted felon is downplaying his crimes. Media sources continuously used the sex offender’s most professional looking photo displayed on the internet. Tuner’s official mugshots were not released by Stanford or by the Santa Clara County’s Sheriff’s Office for 16 months, noted by NBC News. Many commented that if he was a person of color or lower status that the mug shots would have been released immediately, much more accessible and present in the media. The mug shot images were not released to the media until journalists badgered both the sheriff’s office and Stanford.

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Photo Credit: Stanford
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Initial Booking. Photo Credit: None

Discrimination based on race affects the judicial system and the way the media portrays the sentences. Because Turner is white, his mugshots were hidden for many months while in cases where black men were killed, mugshots were used to let the public know about their tragic deaths. Black and other minority victims are not only victims in the way that they were killed, they’re victims of the media when it comes to the use of their images. According to the Denver Post, a White Aurora officer shot and killed an unarmed Black male during a traffic stop. On the Denver Post’s twitter, the officer’s photo was an official police photo in uniform and an American flag behind him, while the man he killed had a mugshot to honor him. Another example of racial discrimination in the media was a Texas State student was killed during a home invasion and the photo used was also a mugshot. Corey Batey’s case was very similar to Turner’s. New York Daily News stated that Batey, an African-American, 19-year-old football player at Vanderbilt, also sexually assaulted an unconscious woman and was found guilty on three felony counts. He was charged with aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. “He was immediately remanded into custody and must serve a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 to 25 years in prison.” Turner only served three of his six months in a local jail out of the two-year minimum for the crimes he committed.

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Photo Credit: @sonnyt on Twitter

The media creates and enforces stereotypes that affect judicial outcomes in which the media continues to encourage after the verdicts. Turners case is a great example of this. The media continuously called and continues to call him “Stanford simmer, All-American swimmer, Stanford student, star athlete and more,” before and after he was convicted of three felony counts of rape related charges. Black men or other minority men and women do not have this luxury or privilege of being looked at differently by the judicial system. This is also the case for the media related to and surrounding their cases and images to display the crimes committed. Minorities do not even get the privilege of being honored after being killed. The photographs used for minorities continue to be mug shots even when they have done nothing wrong other than being a victim in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is a sad reflection of how the media portrays race and encourages stereotyping.

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Photo Credit: Veronica Weber/PaloAltoOnline.com

Ariana Grande’s Donut Licking Adventure

On the Fourth of July in 2015, Ariana Grande and her boyfriend at the time, Ricky Alvarez, were caught on camera licking donuts they did not pay for at Wolfee Donuts in Lake Elsinore (Huffington Post). When the employees were not looking, the couple took turns licking the donuts on display and available to purchase. Once the employee brought a new sheet of sweets out, Grande asked “What the fuck is that?” before stating that she hates Americans and America. The singer posted an apology statement to twitter saying, “need to clean up this mouth of mine & set a better example for my babes. i apologize and i love you. always learning,” along with screenshots of notes on her phone with the official statement. In July of this year when thousands of Democratic National Convention emails were posted by WikiLeaks, it was discovered that there was an exchange of emails about the artist being vetted to perform (The Guardian).  The DNC finance chair, Zachary Allen, made this request that was denied by Bobby Schmuck with a simple “Nope, sorry,” after the vetting brought her donut past to haunt her.

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Still from security footage, provided by TMZ. Photo Credit: none

Grande and her PR team were very quick with the damage control of the situation. Her official statement was shared to her Twitter the day the videos were released by the media. The statement was very professional, apologetic and explanatory of her actions while the tweet it was attached to was somewhat playful as she said she needed to “clean up this mouth of mine,” recognizing her mistake while keeping it real and relatable for her fans. Huffington Post also announced that they were directly sent the statement in an update of the article: “Ariana Grande released a statement concerning her comments about hating America to The Huffington Post on Wednesday.” This past March, the singer was on double duty as the host and musical guest for NBC’s Saturday Night Live. This was where she made fun of her donut scandal by singing a song titled “What Will My Scandal Be” for her monologue, claiming she wanted a more adult scandal such as getting kicked off a plane for smoking, pimp slapping Adele, or having photos leaked from her phone.

 

During this SNL monologue, the former Nickelodeon star compared herself to other stars such a Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus because the scandal she was involved in was not nearly as “adult” as theirs. She jokingly adds licking a donut to the list of scandals someone her age in Hollywood might worry about getting involved in. The list included getting pregnant as Jaime Lynn Spears did at the age of 16, leading to the cancelation of her show, also on Nickelodeon, Zoey 101 (Daily Mail). Of course, she should not have licked a donut without paying for it and it was in poor taste for her to say she hated America because she thinks people aren’t as educated about the health risks of eating poorly as they should be. With this being true, Bieber’s downfall in 2014 including drugs and his arrest, two things also listed by the singer, were a lot more serious than a 22-year-old licking a donut to be funny for her friends.

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Ariana Grande during her SNL monologue Photo Credit: Dana Edelson/NBC

The situation Grande found herself in after licking donuts with her boyfriend was unfortunate as it was meant to be a private moment in public. She did not realize she was being recorded and believed she was not being watched. The singer saying that she hated America and Americans, though meant to be a harmless statement, was enough cause for the White House to prevent her from performing. It’s clear she means the best for Americans because what she meant (as stated in her statement) was that she hated the way Americans shamelessly eat junk food and wished there was more resources available for the country to be educated about these issues. Overall, Ariana Grande licking a donut has to be one of the most hilarious PR crises in existence. Who knew a cheeky trip to the donut shop would give a singer a bad reputation to which she can’t seem to shake.