Kim Kardashian Explained How She Was Divorcing Kanye West To her kids

By Hanan Redwan Published on November 14, 2023
Kim Kardashian Explained How She Was Divorcing Kanye West To her kids

The mom of four opens up about how her parents' divorce helped her handle her own split from Kanye West.

September marked the 20th anniversary of Robert Kardashian Sr.'s death, and according to Kim Kardashian, the patriarch's memory has never weighed on her more. Speaking with GQ for the outlet's 28th annual Men of the Year issue, the 43-year-old SKIMs founder opens up about how her father's influence continues to guide her decisions, from her entrepreneurship to her headline-making divorce from Kanye West last year.

Kim, the second child of Kris Jenner and Robert, recalls how her father instilled a stern work ethic and business sense in her and her siblings from a young age. While the family patriarch is mostly remembered as a lawyer to O.J. Simpson, he was primarily an entrepreneur.

"My dad had me sign a contract for everything," the star of The Kardashianstells GQ. "When I got a car, I needed to have it washed once a week, make sure that it had enough gas and that I didn't run it into the ground. It was a gift he gave me at 16, but I had responsibilities."

It's a work ethic that the reality TV personality hopes to pass down to the four children she shares with 46-year-old Kanye: North, 10, Saint, 7, Chicago, 5, and Psalm, 4. 

Kim and the GRAMMY winner were married for six years before she filed for divorce in February 2021. After a contentious legal battle between the former couple, the divorce was finalized in November 2022. ET learned at the time that Kim and Kanye agreed to share joint custody of their four children with "equal access," though Kim has the kids the majority of the time. 

The contentious divorce reached a boiling point when the "Monster" rapper brought up his custody battle with Kim in his song, "True Love," featuring late rapper XXXTentacion, and Kanye didn't waste any time making his feelings known when it came to visiting his kids.

Kanye, who had at least four divorce attorneys throughout the proceedings, also took aim at Kim's now-ex, Pete Davidson, on numerous occasions, including in the diss track, "Eazy."

A source told ET back in January that Kim was upset by Kanye's "antics," which included him saying on social media that Kim didn't allow him to attend their daughter, Chicago's, fourth birthday party.

Through it all, Kim says she was trying to "take the high road."

Reflecting on her divorce with GQ, Kim shares that she learned lessons from her parents' divorce when handling her own. 

"I did think about how my parents handled it with us. I just remember them being open," she says, adding that she's vowed to be "open" when it comes to questions her children may have in the future.

Kris has previously admitted to having an affair with soccer player Todd Waterman in 1989 while married to Robert. At the time, she and Robert had four kids -- Kourtney, Kim, Khloé, and Rob Kardashian. 

"Ultimately, what matters is that kids feel loved and heard," she tells the outlet. "You want to be sensitive because they're just kids, and it's hard to go through no matter what age. You have to make sure that you only go to a level that they can understand. It's OK to show a vulnerable side. You never go to a negative side."

The reality star confesses that she worked with a therapist before the divorce and currently speaks with a child psychologist. "I do have a therapist that only deals in child psychology that I talk to to get parenting tips and advice. Sometimes I feel challenged by parenting. But I have the best group of friends and we talk about everything together, so that to me is therapy. I hit the lottery, the f**king Mega Ball of friends."

Kim's childhood friend, Allison Statter, tells GQ that she's proud of the mom of four for going through with the divorce despite her fears. "I know how scared she was to do it 'cause deep down inside, she wanted her family to stay together," she shares. "And because she was like, 'I don't know what life is going to be like on the other side of this.' I was just so proud of her."

Khloé cites a renewed confidence in her older sister since the split, adding, "It's a different assurance that she has in herself. She knows she can do it on her own. She knows the power that she has within herself, as opposed to thinking the power was in someone else's hands."

Kim has been candid about the complexities of co-parenting with Kanye since their split. Last December, she reflected on how she's done her best to insulate their childrenfrom the controversy, criticism and negative press directed at their father on the Angie Martinez IRL podcast

"I definitely protected him and I still will in the eyes of my kids, for my kids. In my home, my kids don't know anything that goes on, on the outside world," Kim confessed, getting notably choked up, and adding that she will "protect" Kanye and do her best to keep her kids from hearing about his controversies, or about their disagreements and fights amid their split.

"I'm holding on by a thread, and I am so close to that not happening. But while it's still that way, I will protect that to the end of the Earth," she shared. "For as long as I can."

She went on to explain how, when she's driving her kids around or to school, they'll sometimes want to listen to their father's music during the drive, and she makes sure to put anything going on in their personal lives to the side.

"No matter what we're going thought or what's happening in the world, I have to have that smile on my face, and blast his music and sing along with my kids, and act like nothing's wrong," she shared. "And then as soon as I drop them off, I can have a good cry or... do what I got to do."

"It's hard. S**t like co-parenting, it's really f**king hard," she shared, wiping tears from her eyes.

"I had the best dad. And I had the best memories and the greatest experience. And that's all I want for my kids. As long as they can have that, that's what I want for them," she continued. "So, if they don't know things that are being said, or what's happening in the world, why would I ever bring that energy to them?"

"That's real heavy, heavy grown-up s**t. And they're not ready to deal with it, you know?" she said. "When they are, we'll have those conversations. And I'll be so prepared. But until then, I'll do anything to keep their life as normal as possible."

Since her divorce from Kanye, Kim has been linked to 29-year-old Pete Davidson and, more recently, Odell Beckham Jr..

A source recently told ET, "Kim and Odell have a lot of fun together. They vibe, respect each other, do their own things, and run their own ships, which is great for them. Kim’s family is supportive and always just want her to succeed and to be happy."

Kim attended Odell's birthday party earlier this month, intensifying speculation that the two are now an item. A source previously told ET back in September that 43-year-old Kim and 31-year-old Odell "have known each other for a while and have hung out more recently."

Kim's issue of GQ hits newsstands Nov. 28

Hanan Redwan

Hanan Redwan

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