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In Kourt with Kim and Kanye
An official end to the Wests
What I’ve come to appreciate most about trial reporting is that you never know what stories you’re going to walk away with. It’s the unpredictability in coming face to face with all the odd details attached to the sub plot characters that make it fun.
I mean, we all know how deeply I can dive into an ongoing analysis of, say, a wordless French woman carting a junior high brand backpack in a red beret next to the sad eyed brothers in slim tailored English suits, who’s crimes are long buried but smell good in the courthouse elevators on the way to cafeteria coffee refills.
With Kim and Kanye I wasn’t expecting a lot. As much snark as I serve over this paring I actually liked the two of them together. I don’t blame either of them for this sad demise.
I think Kanye made Kim seem more interesting and Kim made Kanye more affable.
Aesthetically speaking, they were a good balance too. I think it’ll be hard for both of them to replace the other. Fame wise, which seems to count a lot to each of them.
A day in court I figured best case scenario (for those of us covering it) we might catch Ye in a mood, resisting Kim’s motion for an expedited divorce based on his erratic behavior online causing her “added stress and embarrassment.”
I was really hoping they might refer to or read aloud his latest IG captions.
What I got was a tired Kim Kardashian on a video conference call tucked into a bright corner of a spacious closet. Fresh from a return flight on her new 95 million dollar jet that took her to fashion week in Milan. Sitting before a white backdrop divided by colorful coats on one side, and an all black wardrobe on the other. Where she sat politely responding to an animated judge asking how the kids were doing “amazing” and if they are being showered with love and affection “of course!”
Hiding from toddler interruptions just like we all do during important phone calls, taking shelter in whatever corners we can manage. A scene where, I dare say she appeared refreshingly normal? Sans makeup. Sans filters. In a striped down version of the full faced icon we’re accustomed to seeing online everyday. Donning a basic black tee, hair pulled back into a slick bun.
Kanye wasn’t present.
Judging from the videos of the day he was busy promoting his stem player from somewhere warm in Miami. While Samantha Spector, his newly appointed lawyer showed up to speak on his behalf.
Efforts the judge complemented twice.
The abrupt firing of his previous attorney, just 24 hours before this big hearing, felt like a page torn from the Roman Roy book of snazzy tantrums, which shocked no one.
Laura Wesser was there representing Kim at $950 an hour. Outfitted in a navy blue silk dress, matching Lavin leather tote and 4 inch nude Louboutin heels. Gold jewelry on her wrists, tiny star tattoo inked on her right ankle.
The bullet points of the day were dedicated to a series of issues regarding retirement estates and combined trusts. A lot of money talk unfolded in legal terms I didn’t quite understand except to say Kanye appeared to be protesting Kim moving anything in or out of any of their shared accounts util the prenup could be combed through and all financial binds succinctly divided.
Kim argued that this restraint is hindering her business dealings so the judge granted her the right to access things as needed for such ventures.
Kanye also asked for some legal lingo cleaned up. And of course all paperwork changed to reflect his new name “Ye” to reflect this new era.
You know, Kanye being Kanye.
Another request of his was a clause that would grant him the power to have a say in any new partner’s custody rights should Kim get remarried. This was as close as we got to having Skete enter the chat. In an issue that will ultimately be decided in a new hearing come August.
There were also some complaints from Wesser about West not cooperating and communicating as needed. After some back and forth between the two attorneys (women who kindly greeted each other like distant cousins with hugs pre hearing, then went on guard soon as it picked up) the judge ordered them out on a hallway break to continue their communications and keep things rolling like a “European freight train.”
Outside, as we all filtered out during these breaks I was weirdly watched like a hawk. Teagan was the one to realize it first. As my court partner for the day. Right after she said something I started to notice what she was talking about, with a handful of eyes following me everywhere I moved. Especially rustling through my bag in court. Where one of them looked at me like I was going to pull out a weapon while searching for a pen to replace a dull pencil. Even eyeing over my shoulder as I was taking notes.
“What for?” I asked, genuinely baffled.
Teagan reminded me of the whole Britney ordeal last summer. Where the same court and same people were hosting Britney’s trial. One day someone posted a video from inside that somehow got back to the staff who walked the hallway like a jailhouse line up trying to figure out who it was that posted.
“It wasn’t me though, right?!” I asked her.
“No, I think it was,” Teagan smiled.
Suddenly flashbacks of me frantically erasing all evidence of the colorful protest unfolding outside a big window in the court, demanding Britney’s freedom, in my camera roll on a phone behind my back came flooding back to me.
“It’s amazing what a blind thumb can accomplish under pressure” I said, just as I raised my phone to sneak one quick shot of the fabulous scene arranged in front of me. Two lawyers standing face to face in poised debate outside the courtroom, clutching dueling designer handbags, arguing the details of the last remaining documents. In New York our phones were taken from us upon entrance to avoid this temptation. In LA, they simply require we turn them off during court so I’m always inclined to risk at least one good snap if I’m armed.
This, I decided, was it.
Shortly after posting the image of Laura Wasser my phone started dinging with messages from followers echoing what a badass she is.
“Simple mention of her name causes all the balls in Hollywood to shrink.”
“She is a goddess!”
“All the dudes she dates are hot!”
“She owns the profession and all the men in the industry know it” they read.
So goes my intro to the “The Queen of Disso” who’s initials literally spell out: LAW.
An attorney applauded for her collected demeanor mingled with a tough as nails courtroom approach. Also the known inspiration behind Laura Dern’s character in A Marriage Story, who's taunt skin and toned physic outright defy the 53 years her wikipedia counts.
Footnotes tossed at me that sparked a hurried online dive post court wrap up. After Kim had been declared legally single and cut ‘West’ from the end of her billionaire dollar maiden name.
Post court we had followed the trail of hungry journalists chopping for a quote from Kanye’s attorney down the stairs to find Spector kind enough to appease them all. Answering all the questions and even obliging me with a photo of her outside the courthouse where she made me promise not to post a bad one.
“No double chins!” she instructed.
“I would never” I replied.
“This too shall fucking pass”
Once I got back home I dove into articles about Spector and Wasser. Who have been pitted against each other in high profile cases throughout the years. Most notoriously, the divorce trial for Johnny Depp (Wasser) and Amber Heard (Spector)
Laura Wasser’s roster including such big whigs as Angelina Jolie, Britney Spears, Ashton Kutcher, and Heidi Klum (and literally dozens of other A-listers) hence the Disso Queen nickname.
What I concluded: Apparently Wasser comes from a family rooted in law. Both her parents were lawyers. She’s been divorced once in the 90s, has two teenage boys from different fathers whom she appears to get along with, doesn’t believe in marriage, is anti extravagant weddings, and runs a popular podcast offering advice to people going though divorce.
Her outlook is no nonsense but practical. With a touch of Cali nihilism.
One marriage: “I just never thought of a great reason, I had already been married once. I had gorgeous wedding photos from when I was 25. I was never going to look better than I looked in those, so I just never really pushed the issue.’” Weddings are costly. Maybe I didn’t want to pay. Or maybe I’m just an old hippie procreating with anyone who comes along.”
“We’re all raised to think about getting the ring, having this beautiful day, the honeymoon, getting pregnant, a ‘push gift’. It’s absurd. It’s fun if you have the other stuff in perspective – career, the realities of raising children – but if the wedding is all you’re focusing on? That’s a huge problem.”
“We’re seeing people preparing for what we’ve always known is supposed to be the best day of your life. The problem is, once it’s all done, you’re married. It was a great day and a great party, and now you turn to look next to you at this guy who has not got the greatest breath in the world in the morning when you wake up next to him, and that’s the rest of your life.”
“But I have had women sit in front of me in my office and say, ‘I couldn’t possibly live on less than $150,000 a month.’ Does that make me kind of roll my eyes? Sometimes, but that’s the law.”
“If I want to buy nice clothing, or beautiful shoes or a bag, that’s one of the perks of the trade,”
“Watching people go through what is often the most painful thing they will experience is really tough,” she said. “One of the more disturbing things, when people are hurt and frightened, is that they can be very ugly. Often you see good people at their worst and also their most vulnerable.”
“I don’t think it’s good for children to grow up seeing all the money coming from just one parent. You can’t disguise it. Do we really want to raise our children, particularly as women, seeing all the money coming only from their dad?”
“People love magazine covers with the wedding or the new baby. But the ones that sell out are the breakups.”
“You’re going to grieve, you’re going to have to go to therapy, you’re going to have to find a support group. But if we can compartmentalize that and not let the grief, the anger, or insecurity color the legal part, that would be amazing.”
“To me, separating love and the law makes a lot of sense, I believe in: ‘I love you, I want to have babies with you, I want to live with you, but I can’t promise that it’s gonna be ’til death us do part. I also don’t want to be financially responsible, or, frankly, have you be financially responsible for me. We’re both adults. We both have a lot to offer our children, but we also have a lot to offer the rest of society, so let’s both go to work. If you choose not to, that’s cool, but I don’t want to be writing you a check every month.’”
“She has a talent for fostering empathy rather than enmity,” Mr. Affleck said in an interview. He added, appreciatively, “Once you get into a fight, I suspect everyone loses. She made that clear from the start.” - BEN AFFLECK
Immediately following news of the West’s divorce being finalized, Kanye posted a video to his IG showing a claymation rendering of Pete Davidson’s murder. Kim resumed all SKIMS promotions, and Wasser shared a selfie of her with her tongue out in a caption assumed to be aimed at West that simply read “Nice Try.”
Me? I’m just here drooling over the AD spread of her Ojai getaway, wondering if maybe I need a green tiled bathroom in my life too . . .