The 33-year-old spoke candidly about the phone call leak – which was an apparent discussion about West’s controversial song, “Famous” – during a recent interview withTime, published on 6 December, after she was named the publication’s 2023 Person of the Year.
In 2016, Kardashian released clips of a conversation between her then-husband and Swift, in which the pop star appeared to approve of West’s lyrics about her in his song. In the song, West sang: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / I made that b**** famous.” Following the release of the tune, a representative for Swift denied reports that she had ever approved of the lyrics. When an unedited version of the conversation was released in 2020, there was no point in the clip where West mentioned that he would call Swift a “b****” in the song or claim he “made her famous”.
Speaking to Time, Swift said that when Kardashian released the phone call, which made it look like the “Cruel Summer” singer had approved of the lyric, it felt like it was “a career death”. She said: “Make no mistake – my career was taken away from me.”
She continued to explain how the phone call impacted her reputation, claiming: “Kim Kardashian edited [it] and then put [it] out to say to everyone that I was a liar.”
Swift recalled how the 2016 leak of the phone call affected her mental health, before revealing that she even moved to a new home to hide from the attention. She also described how the incident impacted her relationships with those around her.
“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,” she said. “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.”
In March 2020, when the full phone conversation between Swift and West leaked online, the “All Too Well” singer first appeared to accuse the rapper and his then-wife of “editing and manipulating” parts of the phone call that had come out in 2016.
While introducing a post about donating to charities on her Instagram Stories, she wrote: “Instead of answering those who are asking how I feel about the video footage that leaked, proving that I was telling the truth the whole time about *that call* (you know, the one that was illegally recorded, that somebody edited and manipulated in order to frame me and put me, my family and fans through hell for four years)…SWIPE UP to see what really matters.”
Kardashian later responded on Twitter, writing: “@taylorswift13 has chosen to reignite an old exchange – that at this point in time feels very self-serving given the suffering millions of real victims are facing right now.”
She alleged: “I didn’t feel the need to comment a few days ago, and I’m actually really embarrassed and mortified to be doing it right now, but because she continues to speak on it, I feel I’m left without a choice but to respond because she is actually lying.”
Kardashian alleged she “never edited the footage” of the 2016 call, and then went on to explain why she was coming to her then-husband’s defence.
“Kanye has documented the making of all of his albums for his personal archive, however 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,” she tweeted at the time.
While Swift has since moved on from her feud with West, she’s appeared to make some subtle references to the rapper on various occasions. As she was about to start her rendition of “Champagne Problems” during one of her Eras Tour shows in Mexico City in August, she was interrupted by fans chanting her name. In response, she expressed how grateful she was for that kind of interruption, as opposed to others, seemingly alluding to when West ran on stage during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards and grabbed the microphone from her while she was giving her acceptance speech for Best Video by a Female Artist.
“It’s the best way to be interrupted, by the way, just people chanting your name. It’s really the only way to be interrupted… and I would know,” she told the crowd at her concert in August.
The Independent has contacted representatives for West and Kardashian for comment.