Published 1:31 AM EDT Mar 24, 2020
Well, this isn’t over.
Kim Kardashian West took to Twitter Monday night to relay her version of what did – or didn’t – happen during a phone call between husband Kanye West and Taylor Swift in 2016.
Kardashian West began by referencing coronavirus, expressing disbelief that Swift “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.”
To recap the feud: Back in 2016, West premiered the song “Famous,” which contained a controversial lyric about Taylor Swift: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / I made that (expletive) famous.”
According to West, the inflammatory line was approved by Swift. Swift said she never heard the “made that (expletive) famous” lyric before the song was released. After Kim Kardashian West shared a clip from an apparent phone conversation between West and Swift about the lyric in question, the court of public opinion seemed to rule in favor of West.
The mood has since shifted.
Over the weekend new, unverified footage of a longer phone call between West and Swift seems to corroborate Swift’s claims the she did not approve of being called an expletive in the song. (The line seemed to nod to the way West interrupted Swift’s VMAs acceptance speech in 2009. Swift previously gave a subtle dig toward West taking credit for her fame at the 2016 Grammys.)
The new phone call clip was released from an unknown source late Friday night and contains 25 minutes of chopped-up conversation.
In the nearly four-year-old conversation, West asks Swift for her approval of the “sex” lyric and she does tell him she thinks it’s funny. She continues: “I never would have expected you to tell me about a line in one of your songs. … That’s really nice that you did.”
Later in the chat, he asks her what she thinks of him using the words “I made her famous” – omitting the bad word, which she later would take offense to – in his music. Swift’s reply: “Well, what am I gonna do about it? It’s just kinda like, whatever, at this point.”
More Taylor Swift: ‘Miss Americana’: 5 moments that will make you a fan (if you’re not already)
In the call, Swift is also heard telling West that she’s glad the lyrics are “not mean though. It doesn’t feel mean, but like, oh my God, the build-up you gave it. I thought it was gonna be like that stupid dumb (expletive), like, but it’s not.”
On Monday, following many of Swift’s fans and friends, including Todrick Hall, defending Swift’s original account of the phone call, Swift finally acknowledged the leaked video on her Instagram Story. But she turned her comment into a call to action for donations during the coronavirus crisis.
“Instead of answering those who are asking 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 4 years)… SWIPE UP to see what really matters,” she shared on Monday, linking to the Feeding America donation page.
“The World Health Organization and Feeding America are some of the organizations I’ve been donating to. If you have the ability to, please join me in donating during this crisis,” she wrote.
But late Monday, Kardashian West was having none of Swift’s charitable redirect.
In a series of Twitter posts, the reality star said she “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 West continued: “To be clear, the only issue I ever had around the situation was that Taylor lied through her publicist who stated that ‘Kanye never called to ask for permission…’ They clearly spoke so I let you all see that. Nobody ever denied the word (expletive) was used without her permission.”
What inflamed Kardashian West, she said Monday, was when Swift, through her publicist, said the pop star had “declined and cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message…The lie was never about the word (expletive), It was always whether there was a call or not and the tone of the conversation.”
Kardashian West insisted Monday that she “never” edited the footage of the phone call and “only posted a few clips on Snapchat to make my point and the full video that recently leaked doesn’t change the narrative.”
She closed: “This will be the last time I speak on this because honestly, nobody cares.”
In Swift’s documentary “Miss Americana,” she talks about struggling in the aftermath of that public clash in 2016, after the hashtag #TaylorSwiftIsOverParty was trending on Twitter. She says, “I just wanted to disappear. Nobody physically saw me for a year, and that was what I thought they wanted.”
USA TODAY has reached out to Swift and West’s representatives for comment.
Contributing: Associated Press