Afaction of Taylor Swift fans has taken aim at Kim Kardashian, after the singer spoke out about how she was affected mentally by her feud with the reality star and her now ex-husband Kanye “Ye” West.
Swift, who was named Time’s 2023 Person of the Year, spoke with the magazine about a number of elements in her life and career in a wide-ranging cover story. Among the subjects she touched upon was West’s 2016 track “Famous,” in which he made a vulgar reference to her, which she denied approving.
West, who has since legally changed his name to “Ye,” rapped on the track: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that b**** famous.”
He was referring to the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), where he stormed onto the stage after Swift won best female music video. West took the microphone out of Swift’s hands to declare that Beyoncé should have won instead.
The moment went down in music history and led to both Swift and West talking about it in interviews and writing songs about it. They eventually reconciled and in 2015, Swift presented West with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the VMAs. However, the release of “Famous” reignited the bad blood between them.
At the time, a spokesperson for Swift told People: “Kanye did not [Swift] call for approval, but to ask Taylor to release his single ‘Famous’ on her Twitter account… She declined and cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message. Taylor was never made aware of the actual lyric, ‘I made that b**** famous.’”
Kardashian, who at the time was married to West, responded to Swift’s denial by releasing an edited recording of a phone call between the singer and the rapper, which largely led fans to believe otherwise.
A full transcript of the conversation between Swift and West was leaked years later in 2020, showing the rapper did not forewarn the singer that he was planning to use the derogatory term to describe her in the track.
Swift told Time that the backlash she faced at the time felt like “a career death.” Further opening up about the experience, she added: “Make no mistake—my career was taken away from me.”
“You have a fully manufactured frame job, in an illegally recorded phone call, which Kim Kardashian edited and then put out to say to everyone that I was a liar,” Swift said. “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. 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.”
Swift went on to release her revenge-themed album Reputation, which was initially met with skepticism on its 2017 release. “I thought that moment of backlash was going to define me negatively for the rest of my life,” the star said.