The rapper and reality star turned their friendship into a romantic relationship in Spring 2012, and the two have been commanding headlines ever since. The two were married in May 2014 and are proud parents of daughters North and Chicago and sons Saint and Psalm. They've also seen their fair share of ups and downs over the past decade.
On Feb. 19, 2021, Kim filed for divorce from Kanye after months of speculation surrounding their marriage. Here's a look back at their relationship.
Kim and Kanye met in 2003 when she was still married to music producer Damon Thomas. She recalled the moment during the 10-year anniversary special of Keeping Up With the Kardashians in 2017. "He was recording a song with Brandy, and I was her friend," she shared. "I vividly remember hanging out with him and then they did a video together, so I'd see him a few times. He was asking his friends: 'Who is this Kim Kardajan?' He didn't know what my name was."
Before they were a couple, Kanye was spotted hanging inside the future Dash store in New York City's SoHo district.
Kim released the song "Jam (Turn It Up)," in 2011, but years later, she posted a flashback video of her and Kanye on the set of the music video shoot.
Kim and Kanye were all smiles as they held hands en route to Hakkasan restaurant in London. In 2012, the rapper released a song called "Cold," in which he raps about being in love with Kim while she was still married to her ex-husband, former NBA player Kris Humphries. "And I'll admit, I had fell in love with Kim/Around the same time she had fell in love with him/Well that’s cool, baby girl, do ya thang/Lucky I ain’t had Jay drop him from the team," he raps.
Kim shared a pic of the pair looking terrified while riding on a roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita, California, alongside her younger sister, Kendall Jenner.
Kanye excitedly revealed that Kim was pregnant with their first child together during a concert in Atlantic City on Dec. 30, referring to Kim as his "baby mama." Kim later confirmed the big news on Twitter, paying tribute to both Kanye's late mother, Donda West, and her late father, Robert Kardashian. "It's true!! Kanye and I are expecting a baby," she wrote. "We feel so blessed and lucky and wish that in addition to both of our families, his mom and my dad could be here to celebrate this special time with us. Looking forward to great new beginnings in 2013 and to starting a family. Happy New Year!!! Xo." Shortly after the big announcement, the couple hit up Las Vegas for New Year's Eve. During the KUWTK anniversary special, Kim said North's pregnancy wasn't planned and that she "randomly got pregnant." She said the happy surprise was initially a cause for panic and recalled calling Kanye to tell him the news. "I remember calling him and he thought a family member had died because I was so hysterical," she said. "I thought my life was over, [because] I was pregnant. It was so hard for me. Obviously, it’s the best thing that ever happened to me."
The very pregnant reality star attended her first Met Gala with Kanye. That same year, Ye admitted to Ryan Seacrest that he had a crush on Kim years before they started dating in 2012, saying, "I just knew I wanted her to be my girl for a long time. I remember I saw a picture of her and Paris Hilton, and I remember telling my boy, 'Have you seen that girl Kim Kar-dijon?'"
Kim and Kanye welcomed their first child, daughter North, on June 15. The adorable newborn made her social media debut at around 10-weeks-old.
In an interview on Kris Jenner's talk show, the momager revealed that her now-son-in-law used to draw himself into the annual Kardashian Christmas card next to Kim and show it to her. "I just dreamed about being next to her," Kanye told Kris. "I keep saying it... I don't want to start jumping up and down on the couch or anything." He also discussed the scrutiny he got when he started dating the reality star, admitting, "I could have people saying, 'This is going to damage your credibility as a artist or as a designer,' and I say, 'I don't care, I love this woman.' I'm saying I'm being with this person because, you know, I love this person. She's worth it to me... she's my joy, and she brought my new joy into the world, and there's no paparazzi, no blog comment, and there's nothing that's gonna take that joy from me."
Meanwhile, Kim shared on the KUWTK anniversary special that she started dating Kanye shortly after ending things with Humphries. "After my breakup, I was feeling really low and down and he said, 'Just come to Paris and see my fashion show,'" she said. "He jokes that he put on this whole fashion show just to get a date with me. So I went there and I stayed with him, and that's where we started dating. I swear from the moment I landed, I fell madly in love with him and I thought, 'Oh my god, why didn't I do this sooner?’ Like, this is what real life is like -- love and fun and real support."
Never one to not pull out all the stops when it comes to Kim, Kanye proposed in front of her family and close friends at San Francisco's AT&T Park on Oct. 21. He rented out the entire stadium to propose to Kim on her 33rd birthday with a stunning 15-carat diamond ring. After announcing their engagement, the duo celebrated Kim's birthday at the Tao Nightclub at The Venetian Las Vegas.
Kim starred topless in Kanye's video for "Bound 2."
Kim and Kanye landed the coveted cover of Vogue magazine for the April 2014 issue, which featured Kim in a wedding dress and Kanye embracing her from behind. Kim excitedly tweeted about the accomplishment, writing, "This is such a dream come true!!! Thank you @VogueMagazine for this cover! O M GGGGGG!!! I can't even breathe!" Kanye gushed about Kim to the magazine, calling her a "dream girl."
The couple wed in a lavish ceremony at Forte di Belvedere, a 16th-century Italian fortress, in Florence, Italy, on May 24. Kim stunned in a Givenchy lace wedding dress, and her Instagram picture of her and her new husband kissing in front of a floral wall broke Instagram records at the time.
Happy birthday, North! The couple threw a "Kidchella" to celebrate their firstborn turning one.
The couple posed at the famous LACMA "Urban Light" sculpture during the Los Angeles museum's Art + Film Gala.
Kim and Kanye packed on the PDA in front of pals John Legend and Chrissy Teigen at a celebration for Legend's birthday and the 10th anniversary of his debut album, Get Lifted, in New York City.
The whole fashionable family, including daughter North West, was front row at New York Fashion Week.
Kim went all out for her first red carpet appearance after announcing that she was pregnant with her second child, rocking a sheer, studded black ensemble to the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards as her smiling husband stood beside her.
Kim bared her second-trimester baby bump in a sheer, lacy belly dress at New York Fashion Week, where West debuted his Yeezy Season 2 fashion line.
Kim gave birth to son Saint on Dec. 5, making the announcement on her official website. "To our fans: Kanye and I welcome our baby boy," the announcement read. "Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West welcomed the arrival of their son this morning. Mother and son are doing well." She waited almost three months before sharing the first photo of him in February 2016, writing on her personal site, "Today is my dad’s birthday. I know there’s nothing more in the world he would have wanted than to meet his grandchildren. So I wanted to share this pic of Saint with you all."
Kim shared adorable flashback footage of what she called her and Kanye's first date, which included the pair playing playing "Heart and Soul" together on the famous piano at the now-closed New York City toy store FAO Schwarz.
Silver streak! Aside from proving their posing prowess, Kanye (who sported blue contacts!) and Kim nailed the "Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology" theme at the 2016 Met Gala.
Kim staunchly defended her husband amid the controversy over the lyrics to his song, "Famous," regarding Taylor -- in which he rapped that he "made that b**ch famous" -- and escalated the feud to a whole new level when she took to Snapchat to leak snippets of an incomplete video recording of a phone call between Kanye and Taylor. During the phone call, Taylor seemingly approved the "Famous" lyric and calls it a "compliment" -- although according to her rep, Kanye never told Taylor he was calling her “that b**ch" in the song. Taylor also says in the call that she'd tell reporters, when asked, that Kanye called her about the lyrics and that she was in on it. After Kim's snaps went live -- and the hashtag #KimExposedTaylorParty began trending on Twitter -- Taylor responded and asked to be "excluded from the narrative."
Kim later opened up to GQ about why she publicly stood up for her husband, saying, "She totally knew that that was coming out," she claimed about Taylor. "She wanted to all of a sudden act like she didn't. I swear, my husband gets so much s**t for things [when] he really was doing proper protocol and even called to get it approved. She said, 'When I get on the GRAMMY red carpet, all the media is going to think that I'm so against this, and I'll just laugh and say, 'The joke's on you, guys. I was in on it the whole time.' And I'm like, wait, but your GRAMMY speech, you completely dissed my husband just to play the victim again." Taylor's rep responded to the article in a lengthy statement, which read in part, "Taylor does not hold anything against Kim Kardashian as she recognizes the pressure Kim must be under and that she is only repeating what she has been told by Kanye West. However, that does not change the fact that much of what Kim is saying is incorrect."
All eyes were on Kimye at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards, especially thanks to the look Kim wore after crowdsourcing her options. This red carpet appearance quickly became one of their most memorable ever.
Kim went through a harrowing experience when she was robbed and tied up at gunpoint at a luxury apartment in Paris. About 10 pieces of jewelry worth an estimated $11.2 million total was stolen from her. A source told ET at the time that she was "absolutely traumatized" by the incident. "When the incident happened, [Kim] was half asleep and was woken up so abruptly," the source said. "She was on little sleep to begin with since getting to Paris. She still hasn’t fully been able to comprehend what happened. She heard really loud footsteps in the apartment coming up to the second floor, where she was sleeping. She picked up her cell but wasn't able to call [bodyguard] Pascal [Duvier] in time before one of the guys grabbed it out of her hand and she realized what was happening. It was absolutely horrific. None of them spoke English, so she couldn't communicate with them. All she kept saying over and over is 'I have kids. Take anything you want. Please don't kill me. Please don't kill me.'" The source said Kim was very emotional after the robbery. "The scariest part for her throughout this experience is the fact that it could have been a lot worse, and she couldn’t imagine what that would have been like for her children," the source said. "The kids have no idea what’s going on, thankfully."
Kanye was hospitalized on Nov. 21 after abruptly canceling the remaining U.S. dates of his Saint Pablo tour. The cancellations followed a string of bizarre onstage behavior, in which he spoke to crowds about supporting President Donald Trump and took shots at longtime friends Beyoncé and JAY-Z, as well as Hillary Clinton -- before cutting several shows short after just a few songs. One source told ET that the rapper suffered a "a mental breakdown." "He pushed himself too much," the source said. "The Paris incident unsettled everyone, [but it] unsettled him the most. He had this anxiety that everyone around him was trying to get him."
Two years later, in a May 2018 interview Charlamagne tha God, Kanye said the robbery was one of the major factors that caused him to suffer that breakdown. "The situation with my wife in Paris and feeling helpless," he said. "I went to Paris on that trip to protect her -- not to protect her physically, but to go and help her with her look because she's in Paris. One of the things that she heard was they were coming to rob her, but they had to wait until I had left. All these things were set up to put me on meds. The robbery, I don't know where that came from. Was that a bigger plan, a bigger setup?"
Fans began to speculate about Kanye's mental health when he appeared on TMZ Live and, among other controversial statements, said slavery was "a choice." "When you hear about slavery for 400 years — for 400 years? That sounds like a choice," he said. "You was there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all? We’re mentally in prison." In a New York Times interview the following month, he talked about how his rant affected his relationship with Kim. "There was a moment where I felt like after TMZ, maybe a week after that, I felt like the energy levels were low, and I called different family members and was asking, you know, ‘Was Kim thinking about leaving me after TMZ?'" he revealed. "So that was a real conversation." In his song, "Wouldn't Leave," off his album Ye, he goes further into detail about Kim's reaction to his headline-making appearance. "Build your own'—I said, 'How, Sway?' / I said, 'Slavery a choice'—they said, 'How, 'Ye?' / Just imagine if they caught me on a wild day / Now I'm on fifty blogs gettin' fifty calls / My wife callin', screamin', say, 'We 'bout to lose it all!' / Had to calm her down 'cause she couldn't breathe / Told her she could leave me now, but she wouldn't leave," he raps.
For her part, Kim has defended Kanye's questionable behavior before. After his Twitter rant in April 2018, in which he talked about a 2024 presidential run, Kim took to Twitter to fight back. "To the media trying to demonize my husband let me just say this... your commentary on Kanye being erratic and his tweets being disturbing is actually scary," Kim wrote. "So quick to label him as having mental health issues for just being himself when he has always been expressive is not fair." Kim added that her husband is a "free thinker" and that the backlash that he's received is "just not fair."
Kim and Kanye used a surrogate for the birth of their third child, daughter Chicago, who was born at 12:47 a.m. on Jan. 15 and weighed in at 7 lbs., 6 oz. The baby girl, who's nickname was Chi from the start, was given the unique moniker as a nod to the city where Kanye grew up. "Kim doesn’t have any obvious connection to the city of Chicago, but Kanye grew up there," a source told ET at the time. "He was raised in Chicago and it’s really where he started to thrive as an artist. His mother was also very connected to the city, so this is likely in part an homage to her."
"They are so happy and feel so blessed with how the entire surrogate process went. The baby is a bundle of energy,” the source added. “Their house has been a revolving door of friends and family. It’s such a festive, happy time in their lives."
With her husband by her side, Kim returned to Paris for the first time since her traumatic robbery in October 2016.
The pair hit the streets of Washington, D.C., together for the March for Our Lives Rally.
Thanks to her neon ensemble, Kim nearly stole the show at 2 Chainz's Miami wedding to Kesha Ward, but that wasn't nearly as surprising as the amount of PDA that she and Kanye showed afterward! The couple went out for ice cream following the celebration, where Kanye let his romantic side show by carrying his wife into their car.
Kim has supported her husband over all of the controversies, some ridiculously small and other quite large, over the years, and that included when he got called out for being on his phone when the couple went to see The Cher Show on Broadway. ET's Lauren Zima spoke with the reality star at her KKW Beauty and Fragrance pop-up shop in Southern California a few days later, where she explained what happened. "Honestly, he was on his phone taking notes," she said of her husband, who apologized for his "lack of etiquette" on Twitter. "He definitely wanted to apologize for being on his phone because he's like, 'I get it, I'm a performer and I love people when they are in the moment.' But he was, like, taking stage notes and taking things in his phone, so I get it. He was like, 'I'm going to work on my etiquette.' But he loved the show." As Kim also explained, her husband's attention to the Cher-inspired musical caught her off guard, as she's usually the one who can't stop talking about the music icon!
In Kim's interview with Vogue for the May 2019 issue, she talked about her husband's revelation on his 2018 album, Ye, that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Kim said that Kanye had currently accepted the prognosis and shared that he'd been given conflicting assessments from doctors. "I think we're in a pretty good place with it now," she said. "It is an emotional process, for sure. Right now everything is really calm. But we can definitely feel episodes coming, and we know how to handle them. For him, being on medication is not really an option, because it just changes who he is. Traveling a lot does set it off, so he doesn't travel as much as he used to. But honestly, I never want to speak for him, because I am not in his mind." She also fought back against criticism she faced from fans who accused her of not helping him during what appeared to be episodes. "But I think some of the hurtful things that I read online . . . . What is she doing? She's not stopping him. . . . Like it's my fault if he does or says something that they don't agree with?" she argued. "That's my husband. I share every opinion that I have and let him know when I think something's wrong. Or if it comes to him being in the middle of a bipolar episode, I'll do everything to be supportive and help to calm the situation." She acknowledged that his outspokenness when it comes to his political views also used to greatly affect her.
Early May 2019
The pair stole the show at the 2019 Met Gala, where the theme for the evening was "Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion."
The power couple welcomed their fourth child, a son named Psalm, via surrogate on May 9. "Kim and Kanye feel complete with the addition of their newest son," a source told ET shortly after the baby boy's birth. "Kim has always wanted a big family, and this expansion has filled her and Kanye with so much happiness. The couple is enjoying this special moment as a family and taking the time to fully embrace each new moment that comes with this new chapter." In an episode of KUWTK, Kim revealed she and Kanye privately renewed their vows as a celebration of their fifth wedding anniversary just days after welcoming Psalm.
The parents of four looked like American royalty at Sean Comb's 50th Birthday Bash in Los Angeles, which took place less than two weeks ahead of the holidays.
The couple took their sartorial styles to new heights when they matched in denim hues at the WSJ. Magazine 2019 Innovator Awards in New York City.
Kanye was right by his wife's side as she celebrated the launch of her SKIMS line at Nordstrom in New York City.
Forbes magazine listed Kanye as the second highest-paid celebrity this year, trailing only his sister-in-law, Kylie Jenner. According to the outlet, he earned $170 million over the past year, mostly due to his incredibly popular fashion line, Yeezy. Forbes estimated his net worth to be $1.3 billion, and he recently announced a huge partnership with Gap. Of course, Kim hasn't been doing too badly either. That same month, Forbes reported that Kim had sold a 20 percent stake in her makeup business, KKW Beauty, to Coty for $200 million. She also has her own successful shapewear line, SKIMS. Forbes estimated her net worth at $900 million.
In her Wealthsimple essay, Kim talked about how she was raised when it came to money. "The way that my parents taught me was, 'Hey, when you’re 18, you've seen this lifestyle, I'm sure you're going to want to upkeep it. If you’re going to want to live this way, you're going to have to get a job,'" she recalled. "I don't know if it will be the same for my kids. It's a different time. I don't know if I'm going to do that. I'd have to discuss that with Kanye." Kim said she and Kanye discuss how to raise their children to appreciate their privileged lives "all the time." "I worry about giving my kids too much," she said. "We don't do gifts. They have to really earn it. But we talk about it all the time, about not getting too much and just trying to be as grounded and well rounded as possible."
Early July 2020
On the Fourth of July, Kanye announced that he planned to run for president in the 2020 election. A few days later, he doubled down on his intentions, telling Forbes that he was very serious about his presidential bid. “I am taking the red hat off, with this interview,” said West, who has publicly worn a red "Make America Great Again" hat and visited Trump for a public meeting at the White House. “One of the main reasons I wore the red hat as a protest to the segregation of votes in the Black community. Also, other than the fact that I like Trump hotels and the saxophones in the lobby." Kim initially responded to her husband's Twitter announcement by responding with an emoji of the American flag. As for how Kim and the Kardashian family felt about his candidacy in private, a source told ET, "The family is supportive of Kanye’s plan to run for president but they don’t agree with his recent interview." If he actually is running however, is up in the air.
Kanye went on a Twitter rant on July 21, claiming in a series of since-deleted tweets that he tried to divorce his wife. He also alluded that he had suspicions over an alleged meeting Kim had with rapper Meek Mill. "[Kim and Kris] tried to fly in with two doctors to 51/50 me. I been trying to get divorced since Kim met with Meek at the Warldolf [sic] for 'prison reform,'" he alleged. "Meek is my man was respectful, that's my dog. Kim was out of line. I'm worth five billion dollars and more than that through Christ." Earlier in the week during a presidential rally in South Carolina, Kanye delivered an emotional speech in which he said he and Kim discussed the idea of aborting their first child, North, and that Kim might "divorce" him after she heard his message. Ye later claimed on Twitter that Kim and her mother, Kris Jenner, were trying to get a doctor to "lock him up," which reportedly left Kim "completely devastated." The rapper has been vocal in the past about his struggles with bipolar disorder, even rapping about mental illness on his 2018 album, Ye. Despite rumors that flew after Kanye's many tweets, a source told ET that Kim has no intention of splitting up with her husband. "Kim is not planning to divorce Kanye right now," the source said. "If Kim wanted to divorce him, she'd just file, but she's not planning to at this time." The reality star also took to her Instagram Story to explain the situation and asked for the public's understanding regarding her husband's bipolar disorder and this public episode.
About a week after Kim made an emotional visit to the couple's Wyoming ranch -- the first time the two were able to see each other following Kanye's controversial political rally in South Carolina and his subsequent Twitter storm of since-deleted comments about Kim and her family -- the couple decided to get away for much-needed couple time. A source told ET that the two are currently spending time together "outside the US with their family." "The couple knows they need quality time with their kids and no other outside voices or people," the source added. "Kim knows that Kanye being with his family will be good for him." In photos obtained by TMZ, Kanye was spotted on a private jet in Cody, Wyoming, on Aug. 2 with his 4-year-old son, Saint. The outlet reports that the jet originally took off from Los Angeles that morning, but no word on where it was going next.
Following a difficult 2020, Kim officially filed for divorce from Kanye on Feb. 19, 2021, after nearly seven years of marriage and almost a decade together.
"Kim filing for divorce from Kanye is just a formal part of the process. The couple has been done for a while and have been amicable for a while," a source told ET at the time. "At the end of the day Kanye and Kim love each other immensely but knew it was time to call it quits. Their children are their number one priority and no matter what will maintain a positive relationship for them."