Minutes after Kim Kardashian’s legal fate was delivered to the hands of a jury late Thursday, the reality TV star bolted out of a Los Angeles courtroom and into the arms of boyfriend Pete Davidson.
The reality TV star seemed relieved when she greeted Davidson with a hug and kiss in a public hallway after sitting through closing arguments in the civil case alleging she, her mom Kris Jenner and her sisters Khloé Kardashian and Kylie Jenner conspired to defame their brother Rob Kardashian’s former fiancé Blac Chyna and kill the second season of Rob & Chyna, allegedly costing Chyna millions in lost earnings.
Davidson, 28, had been hanging out in the back of the courtroom while Kim, 41, was seated in the front row next to her sister Khloé, 37. He had a huge smile on his face and seemed to be enjoying the spectacle before he and Kim embraced and then disappeared through a secure exit with a sheriff’s escort.
The romantic reunion wasn’t the only highlight of Kim’s day. She also scored a sizable victory when the instructions read to jurors before deliberations failed to spell out how Kim might have defamed Chyna, effectively taking her off the hook for the defamation claim. Though Chyna’s lawyer, Lynne Ciani, later objected to the omission out of the presence of the jury, the judge said it was too late.
During their closing arguments, Ciani and the Kardashian-Jenner lawyer Michael Rhodes summarized their opposing versions of the $100 million case.
According to Ciani, Blac Chyna would still be on TV, raking in millions from shows and endorsement deals every year, if not for a “sophisticated” plot by Kim, Kylie, Khloé and Kris Jenner that she claims was carried out “behind” her client’s “back.” She said the women twisted what happened during a routine fight between Chyna and Rob on Dec. 15, 2016 and caused producers of the couple’s hit reality show to falsely believe Chyna physically battered Rob during a “murderous attack.”
Ciani highlighted Kris’ text to Rob & Chyna showrunner Ailee O’Neill on Dec. 15, 2016, claiming Chyna “beat the shit out of Rob’s face.” She also rehashed Kylie’s email to former E! executive Jeff Olde in which Kylie, 24, accused Chyna, 33, of “physically abusing” Rob. In the message, Kylie said she felt “strongly” that Season Two of Rob & Chyna should be cancelled, and she offered to step in and provide new storylines to fill any gaps in programming.
“We all know filming isn’t my favorite but I will sacrifice and promise you guys episodes and stories and I’m sure all my sisters will be on board to make up for all the episodes Rob & Chyna were suppose to bring in,” the Dec. 20, 2016 email read.
“These are sophisticated TV reality stars. They knew that Rob & Chyna Season 2 was on the schedule for the E! network. They knew it, and so not only did they come with this false charge of physical abuse and the demand that Season 2 be cancelled, they also came with a solution, right? Kylie says, ‘I don’t like being filmed. But I’ll do it, I’ll sacrifice.’ And that’s in fact what happened. You heard testimony that [the subsequent spinoff] Life of Kylie came to life with [the] death of Season 2 of Rob & Chyna.”
Rhodes, in his closing statement, urged jurors to focus on the testimony of Corey Gamble, the boyfriend of Kris Jenner who gave the only third-party, eyewitness account of the Dec. 15, 2016 fight. In his time in the witness box, Gamble recalled for jurors how he rushed over to the house owned by Kylie where Rob and Chyna were living the morning of the alleged blowout battle. Gamble testified he saw Chyna chuck what looked like some type of rod to the ground before she picked up a cord, whipped it at Rob and then began punching Rob before she threw a metal chair at his car as he drove off.
Rhodes further argued that Kris was only using “slang” when she said Chyna “beat the shit” out of Rob, and that it was within her right to be concerned about her son after a fight that caused Chyna to move out from under the same roof with Rob.
“Did they really treat her that badly, or was it just a bad relationship, and they were really, really worried? How would you feel if your child went though that?” Rhodes asked the jurors.
He urged jurors to “picture” Rob’s face and the pain and anger he expressed during his live testimony on Wednesday. “Did it look like that was fake?” he asked, arguing that it was rational for E! to decline a second season of Rob & Chyna because the relationship at the center of the show had gone from “rocky at the very beginning” to utterly “grim, dark and heavy.”
“She thinks this show was about her and only her. It was about a relationship as an adjunct to the Kardashians’ show,” Rhodes argued. “It’s a bad relationship. It’s not necessarily Ms. White’s fault. It’s not Mr. Kardashian’s fault. It’s just one of those relationships where you put two people together, it doesn’t work for whatever reason.”
Rhodes said “everyone” was “trying to get them to work on the relationship” in early 2017, but it was a losing battle. He asked jurors to review testimony from Rob & Chyna producer Jeff Jenkins in which Jenkins recalled driving to Chyna’s house in January 2017, urging her to attend therapy and receiving the reply, “Fuck no. Fuck that. Fuck Rob. I’m not doing that, no.”
Rhodes said Chyna’s animosity for the Kardashian family ran so deep, she purposefully targeted the giant, professionally decorated gingerbread house that she admittedly destroyed during the Dec. 15, 2016 fight.
“I want you to think for a moment, why would you attack a gingerbread house?” Rhodes asked. “I’m going to give you an idea. It represented everything about the Kardashian brand. It’s big, it’s over-the-top, it’s almost silly. When she was [smashing] that gingerbread house, she was venting her anger on everything she was not going to be.”
Rhodes said the case revolved around a “sad” and very personal “family drama” that did not belong on TV.
“Is that where we are in our country? This show has to go on? We’re going to put this on no matter what?” he asked the jurors shortly before they left for the day. “Is that what this is about? Fame, celebrity, at any cost? They can’t express their concerns? And if they express it in somewhat colorful language, they have to come to court and defend themselves against someone who says they owe millions of dollars?”
The jury returns Friday to deliberate the case.