You know something’s gone wrong when you’re sending your partner’s ex a selfie of you in their bed.
Hardly the stuff of #CoupleGoals. And yet this is just the latest development in a series of vindictive, bizarre theatrics involving Kim Kardashian, her new boyfriend Pete Davidson, and her ex-husband, Kanye West, who now goes by “Ye”.
The relationship between Kardashian, a ferociously driven billionaire reality TV mogul famed for her figure, and Davidson, a slovenly stoner comedian who once likened himself to an “anorexic panda”, has seemed unlikely since the start. When rumours of their love affair surfaced in October, the internet went wild in the way it always does when Davidson is seen on the arm of yet another beautiful, successful woman – his exes include Kaia Gerber, Phoebe Dynevor, and Ariana Grande. But Kardasian was different.
For starters, she was in the midst of a very public, and allegedly very messy, divorce from West. To make matters more complex, the former couple, who were together for eight years, also share four children together: North, eight, Saint, six, Chicago, four, and Psalm, two. It didn’t help, either, that Kardashian happened to be one of the most famous women in the world, her personal life having served as reality TV fodder for 14 years on E!’s Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
But what started as an entertaining rivalry, the kind that is expected between a person’s ex and their current partner, has turned ugly. In January, West released the song “Eazy”, which featured lyrics naming Davidson: "God saved me from the crash, just so I can beat Pete Davidson’s a**." The rapper seemingly alluded to the Saturday Night Live (SNL) star again in the Fivio Foreign single, “City of Gods” in which he features with the lyric: "This afternoon, a hundred goons pullin’ up to SNL, when I pull up, it’s dead on arrival."
Matters escalated further, though, on 12 February, when West posted a handwritten note on Instagram informing fans that Kid Cudi would not be featuring on his album, Donda, “because he’s friends with you know who”, which fans took to mean Davidson, as he is friendly with the rapper. West proceeded to share an image of himself with Kid Cudi and Davidson at dinner, only the comedian’s face was crossed out with a giant red “X”.
A series of now-deleted Instagram posts followed, including one calling on fans not to “do anything physical” to Davidson alongside a screenshot of text messages allegedly between West and Kardashian. There were memes, too, some of which featured Kid Cudi, while others featured Davidson and Kardashian. In one, it appeared as if West had superimposed his face onto a Marvel superhero alongside the likes of Julia Fox, Drake, Travis Scott and Future. Meanwhile, on his “enemy” side, was Davidson, Kardashian, and Taylor Swift in reference to the rapper’s famous feud with the pop star.
There have been countless other jibes – some of which West has apologised for – but none quite compare to those made in West’s music video for “Eazy,” in which the rapper is seen burying a cartoon figure of Davidson alive. Yes, really. As if that wasn’t alarming enough, West followed this up with a second video that showed an animated version of Davidson being beaten up by a skinned monkey.
All things considered, perhaps it’s no wonder that Davidson has finally stepped into the ring, having remained tight-lipped about everything thus far. If the leaked texts between him and West are anything to go by, it seems as if Davidson is nearing the end of his tether after spending weeks trying to placate West’s public attacks. Screengrabs of their reported conversation show Davidson calling West’s actions “embarrassing” and claims that he has prevented SNL “from talking about or making fun of” West, “which they’ve wanted to do for months”.
This would all be fairly admirable had it not been for the fact that, after West asked where he was, Davidson replied with that selfie.
It’s easy to dismiss all of this as just another Hollywood drama unfolding behind our screens. But there are very real concerns emerging in the wake of this ongoing saga. If not around mental health, something both West and Davidson have openly struggled with, then regarding Kardashian’s four young children, all of whom will inevitably feel the effects of their parents’ very publicised acrimony to some degree.
Surely this is the point whereby fans and social media users can recognise that things have gone too far. Even if publicity is the end goal, as Davidson suggests it is for West, we have the ability not to engage. Besides, once you strip the histrionics away, the fundamental issue here is one we’ve all probably experienced. Seeing your ex move on with someone else is always going to be tough – as is getting into a relationship with a recent divorcee. Time for some empathy, then.
As tempting as it may be to watch on as the love life of one of the internet’s most divisive stars quickly unravels, to do so harks back to an archaic era of celebrity media, one whereby an A-lister’s pain and heartbreak translated to money and magazine sales. Have we learnt nothing? Because there are real human beings at the centre of this story – and their in-fighting and rivalries are nothing to be celebrated.
The Independent has contacted representatives for West, Davidson and Kardashian for comment.