Kim Kardashian & Kanye West’s Relationship Ups & Downs: From Dating To Marriage To Divorce
From raising four kids together, to facing marital drama in the public eye, relive Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s relationship from 2012 to today, when Kim filed for divorce.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West were one of Hollywood’s most watched power couples. And, they’re one of few duos to receive their own nickname, hence: “Kimye.” Since 2012, Kim has been the only one who can make a sometimes poker-faced Kanye smile. Throughout the past ten years, their relationship has certainly weathered its fair share of ups and downs.
After two years of dating, the couple exchanged nuptials in a lavish wedding in 2014. The marriage took the couple around the globe, and they collaborated on a number of projects together, but most of all, they built a family with their four kids. Unfortunately, not every relationship can last, and after nearly seven years of marriage and nine as couple total, Kim filed for divorce on February 19, 2021. Travel back in time with us to recap their romance and what’s happened with them since the split.
Kim & Kanye’s Takes On The Divorce
Kim filed for divorce in February 2021, and it’s been a long process for the pair to reach a final settlement. Kim revealed that the pair didn’t speak for eight months after the split in an April 2022 episode of the Not Skinny But Not Fat podcast. “I just took a minute of not talking and I think in all relationships that it’ll be like that. I hope we are the co-parenting goals at the end of the day,” she said. While there have been some sticky times amid the split, Kim has spoken about wanting the pair to get along for their kids. “We have an amazing co-parenting relationship and I respect him so much,” she said during the KUWTK reunion in June 2021. ““That was my friend, first and foremost, for a long time. I can’t see that going away. I will forever be Kanye’s biggest fan. He’s the father of my kids. He will always be family.”
While Kim has shown that she wants the couple to have a strong bond as co-parents, she has filed to be legally single amid some of the messy divorce drama in December 2021. Even though divorce is undeniably difficult, the SKIMs founder has poked fun at the split amid the divorce. “I was a little bit confused because I haven’t really figured out this marriage thing myself, so I don’t know what kind of advice…I’m gonna give to you guys tonight,” she said in a pre-wedding speech for her friend Simon Huck.
Kanye has been very open about how the split has affected him. When he premiered the Donda deluxe edition track “Never Abandon Your Family” at an event in July 2021, he showed how hurt he was by the divorce. “I’m losing my family,” he sang on the track. With the divorce proceeding, Kanye hasn’t shied away from how hurt he feels about the split, like in a poem he wrote in March 2022 after Kim was declared legally single by the court. He likened it to “full blown COVID” and some of the symptoms. “Divorce feels like heavy breathing. Divorce feels like suffocating. Barely breathing,” he wrote in the Instagram post.
Kim and Kanye Have Four Kids
Amid the split, Kim has made it clear that the couple’s four children are her prime concerns. Kimye welcomed their first child together, daughter North West on June 15, 2013. Kanye was first to announce the couple’s first pregnancy during a concert in Atlantic City, NJ in late 2012. Kim later confirmed the news, writing on social media, “It’s true!! Kanye and I are expecting a baby. 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!!!” Their baby girl was born a few weeks ahead of her anticipated due date.
Kim gave birth to their second child, a baby boy named Saint West on December 5, 2015. She took to her website to reveal the exciting news, where Kim let fans know that both she and the baby were doing well. The couple revealed their baby boy’s name two days later. Before conceiving Saint, Kim told her sister Khloe Kardashian during a March 2015 episode of KUWTK that she and Ye have “been having sex 500 times a day” to try and conceive their second child.
Kim Kardashian with out & about with daughter North West & son Saint West. (Photo credit: SplashNews)
Kimye welcomed their third child and second daughter, Chicago West on January 15, 2018, via surrogate. The KKW Beauty founder was candid about suffering from preeclampsia during her first two pregnancies, which is why the couple turned to surrogacy to expand their family. “We are incredibly grateful to our surrogate who made our dreams come true with the greatest gift one could give and to our wonderful doctors and nurses for their special care,” Kim wrote on her app at the time.
The couple welcomed their fourth child and second son, Psalm West via gestational carrier on May 10, 2019. “He’s here and he’s perfect!” Kim announced on Twitter at the time.
Kim Kardashian out with three of her four kids: daughters Chicago & North, & son Saint. (Photo credit: SplashNews)
Kim & Kanye’s Relationship Timeline
Kim Kardashian & Kanye West on a date. (Photo credit: AP Images)
Kim & Kanye Meet In The Early 2000s
While the exact date of their first meeting is lost to time, Kim and Kanye were well-acquainted years before they became an item. Kim admitted that they met through a mutual friend Brandy in either 2002 or 2003, but it took Ye some time to even learn Kim’s name. “He was recording a song with Brandy, and I was her friend. 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,” she said in a KUWTK 10th anniversary special, via Us Weekly.
Kim & Kanye Became Friends Years Before Their Romance Bloomed
Leading up to their debut as a couple, Kim and Kanye were quite friendly (and flirty). For example, they were spotted in New York City in October of 2010 when Kanye met up with Kim while she filmed Keeping Up With the Kardashians. At the time, she was rumored to be dating model Gabriel Aubry, while Kanye had just ended his relationship with Amber Rose.
Before the relationship began, Kim spoke about the possibility of them ending up together, after Kanye rapped about her ex Kris Humphries. The day after the song was released, Kim responded to the track during an interview on Today, saying, “Kanye and I have been friends for years, and you never know what the future holds or where my life will take me. I like the song.”
Kanye Raps About Kris Humphries On ‘Cold’
The rapper clearly had some feelings for Kim in the years before they got together. Kanye even rapped about his future wife in a verse from his Cruel Summer series “Cold.” The Grammy-winner admitted to having feelings while she was married to Kris. “And I’ll admit, I fell in love with Kim/Around the same time she had fell in love with him,” he rapped.
Years after Kim and Kanye ended up together, he revealed that he tried to get his future wife to call off the engagement in a 2016 interview on Kocktails with Khloe. He revealed that the engagement made him buy a phone. “I got a phone because somebody decided they wanted to marry Kris Humphries,” he said. “I started sending her pictures of certain basketball players that used to be cool that now they wear their pants like all the way up here.”
Kanye & Kim Start Dating After His Paris Fashion Show
It’s unclear exactly when Kim and Kanye’s very first date was, as the pair went public with their romance in 2012. They were spotted smiling away while on an ice cream date in New York City. Kim did say that after her divorce from Kris, one of the key moments in the pair connecting was a fashion show that Yeezy organized. “After my breakup, I was feeling really low and down and he said, ‘Just come to Paris and see my fashion show.’ 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,” she said during the KUWTK 10th anniversary special.
Kim Kardashian & Kanye West out in New York City with a then baby North West. (Photo credit: SplashNews)
Kim & Kanye Made Their First Met Gala Appearance In 2013
Kim’s first appearance at fashion’s biggest night was when she was also pregnant with her first daughter North. The pair sported Givenchy outfits, and Kim looked beautiful in the stunning floral print dress. The outfit also had her baby bump on full-display as they posed for photos on the red carpet.
Kanye Proposes At Dodgers Stadium On Kim’s Birthday
Kanye proposed to Kim at Dodgers Stadium in front of her family and closest friends, without her knowledge of an audience. Ye’, who got down on one knee in the middle of the outfield, rented out AT&T Park Stadium in San Francisco for the event, which also happened to be on Kim’s 32nd birthday on October 21, 2013. Ye’ coordinated a 50-piece orchestra, which played Lana Del Rey‘s “Young and Beautiful,” along with one of his own songs, “Knock You Down.” After he proposed with a square-cut, 15-carat diamond ring, Kim’s friends and family rushed out of the stadium’s dugouts to surprise her. “Please marry me” was blasted on the Jumbotron at the stadium.
Kim & Kanye Get Cozy On The Cover Of ‘Vogue’
While gearing up for their 2014 wedding, Kim and Kanye posed on the cover of Vogue, with Kim in a gorgeous wedding dress, while the “Jesus Walks” rapper held his arms around her waist. In the interview, the pair spoke about their then-newborn daughter North and how excited they were to wed each other. The pair were also clearly so in love and excited about their relationship. The pair also seemed hopeful about working on tons of projects together. “She created something really powerful that the universe connected with, and I created something that people connect with, and then when we combine our information … we can help communicate and educate and just bring more dopeness in general,” Kanye said about what to expect, via MTV. “It’s really just about dopeness at the end of the day.”
Kim Kardashian & Kanye West heading to their car after a night out. (Photo credit: AP Images)
Kimye Kick Off Wedding Celebrations In Paris
Kimye flew to their favorite destination, Paris with family and friends, where they enjoyed days of celebrations, while touring the lavish city and eating the finest cuisine. The celebrations led to the couple’s over-the-top wedding ceremony in Florence, Italy, on May 24, 2014, that featured a massive flower wall.
Kim Kardashian & Kanye West at the 2019 WSJ Innovator Awards. (Photo credit SplashNews)
Kim Supports Kanye During ‘Famous’ Taylor Swift Feud
When Kanye’s feud with Taylor Swift was reignited over a line in his 2016 song “Famous,” Kim came to her husband’s defense, saying that the Reputation popstar gave Kanye the thumbs up for song. “She totally approved that,” Kim told GQ in June 2016. “She totally knew that that was coming out. 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.” Kim later leaked the video of the call on Snapchat.
Kanye Supports Kim Through Her Paris Robbery
Kim Kardashian & Kanye West with their kids following her Paris robbery. (Photo credit: SplashNews)
On October 3, 2016, Kim was tied up by masked robbers who broke into her Paris hotel room during Paris Fashion Week. At the time, Kim was alone, as her security was out with sisters Kourtney Kardashian and Kendall Jenner. The robbers placed Kim in the bathtub while they raided her hotel room and stole thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, cell phones and other valuables. Kanye, who was not with Kim at the time she was robbed, hurried to her side upon news of the incident. The My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy rapper halted a concert as part of the Meadows Music and Arts Festival in New York to fly to Kim. The couple later flew, via private jet, back to their New York City apartment as soon as they were cleared by police to leave the scene of the crime. Following the robbery, Kim changed her lifestyle and became more private, as she noted during a later appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Kim explained that she wouldn’t post in real time on her social media, wear jewelry in public, or share lavish details about her life with the public. The robbers were later identified and arrested by police.
Kanye Suffers a Breakdown In 2016 & Is Subsequently Hospitalized
Kanye West in concert. (Photo credit: AP Images)
Kanye experienced a mental breakdown in November of 2016, which started at one of his packed concerts when he went on a rant about his friendship with Beyonce and JAY-Z. At the time, Ye’ claimed the hip hop couple didn’t reach out to him after the birth of one of his kids. The rapper’s breakdown led to an estimated 9-day hospitalization at UCLA Medical Center. Kanye later acknowledged the breakdown in a 2018 interview with Charlamagne Tha God. “I think I’m in a stronger place than I ever was, after the breakdown — or I like to say the breakthrough,” Kanye said at the time. The father of four went on to explain that the breakdown was brought on by “fear, stress, control, being controlled, manipulation… stressing things that create, like, validation that I didn’t need to worry about as much. And y’know, just the concept of competition,” he explained in part.
Kim Stays With Kanye After TMZ Interview Controversy
After Kanye West’s controversial interview with TMZ, the Yeezy founder is pictured with Kim as they make their way into the Louis Vuitton Menswear Spring/Summer 2019 show amid Paris Fashion Week. (Photo Credit: AP Images)
Kanye faced one of his biggest controversies in May of 2018, after saying these words during a visit at the TMZ newsroom: “When you hear about slavery for 400 years, for 400 years? That sounds like a choice.”
The comment rocked the country, and Kanye even seemed to reference Kim’s reaction on his album Ye, which he dropped after the shocking interview. “Wife calling screaming saying we’re about to lose it all I had to calm her down ‘cos she couldn’t breathe / I told her she could leave me now but she wouldn’t leave,” Kanye rapped on the track “Wouldn’t Leave,” which was about his marriage with Kim.
Kim Defends Kanye Through ‘Bi-Polar’ Episode
Kanye West at the 2019 WSJ Innovator Awards. (Photo credit: SplashNews)
On July 20, 2020, Kanye unleashed a series of bizarre tweets, which marked the beginning of what Kim later admitted was due to his “bi-polar disorder.” Kim released an official statement on July 22 that addressed her husband’s “compulsive behavior.” She asked society, along with the media and public “to give us the compassion and empathy that is needed so that we can get through this.” Kim also noted in part that although Kanye — who she called “brilliant” — “lives with bi-polar disorder” the condition “does not diminish or invalidate his dreams and his creative ideas.”
During his Twitter rant, in one tweet, Kanye claimed his wife “was trying to fly to Wyoming with a doctor to lock me up like to movie ‘Get Out.’” He alleged that Kim was prompted to do the latter “because I cried about saving my daughter’s life yesterday.“ — He was referring to a bombshell claim he made at his first presidential campaign rally in South Carolina on July 19, in which he admitted the couple “almost” aborted their daughter North in 2012.
Also included in Ye’s rant was a since-deleted tweet about his mother-in-law, Kris Jenner, which read: “Kriss don’t play with me you and that calmye are not allowed around my children. Ya’ll tried to lock me up.” More wild tweets by the rapper followed — he even wrote that he’s been “trying to get divorced” since Kim met with Meek Mill about “prison reform.” All of this prompted Kim to speak out, despite being very private about the Kanye’s mental health to protect his privacy, as well as their children’s.
Kanye immediately apologized to Kim and asked for her forgiveness in a tweet in July of 2020, and Kim even flew out to Wyoming, where her husband had been staying at the time. Kim was pictured crying while talking with her husband inside a car, and despite the drama and tears, the spouses put their marital issues aside to take their four children on vacations throughout August of 2020. The family first made a getaway to the Dominican Republic, and then went glamping in Colorado.
Kim is pictured with her children landing in Miami in August of 2020, after the family spent a vacation with Kanye West in the Dominican Republic. (Photo Credit: SBMF / BACKGRID)
Despite these happy appearances on social media, Kanye resumed posting tweets that made headlines in September of 2020. One of them contained a video which appeared to show Kanye literally peeing on one of his Grammy trophies, after calling out his music publisher Sony/ATV Music Publishing and record label Universal Music Group. Around that same time, HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY learned from a source that “as far as the future, [Kim’s] still weighing all options, but she doesn’t want to leave Kanye at a time when he’s struggling. She tells everyone Kanye is her soulmate and she really does love him more than anything,” the source added. “The whole situation is sad.”
Even though it seemed like the pair had put differences aside, the pair notably spent Christmas 2020 apart. While the annual Kar-Jenner Christmas Eve extravaganza was pared down to family only due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kanye was noticeably absent from the festivities held at Kourtney Kardashian‘s Calabasas mansion. Kim posed alongside her sisters Kourt, 41, Kendall Jenner, 25, Kylie Jenner, 23, mom Kris Jenner and Kimye’s four children in photos from the family party, but Kanye was not present for the celebration. He reportedly spent the holidays in Wyoming at his ranch, away from his wife and children.
Kanye also skipped out on the Kar-Jenner pre-Christmas trip to Lake Tahoe, where Kim posed along with her entire “fam,” including Kourtney’s ex Scott Disick and Kris’ boyfriend Corey Gamble, who were included in the vacation. But Kanye was absent and his lack of presence with his wife, kids and her family was not explained. At this point, Kim and Kanye had not been photographed together since an Oct. 2020, while on make or break getaway to the Dominican Republic.
Speculation About Divorce Begins
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West were once inseparable at events like the 2016 MTV VMAs. In 2020 they were rarely photographed together. Photo credit: AP Images.
Just five days into 2021, three reports surfaced that the couple’s marriage was in dire straits. “They are keeping it low-key but they are done. Kim has hired (divorce lawyer) Laura Wasser and they are in settlement talks,” Page Six reported on Jan. 5, 2021. The site added that “divorce is imminent” after Kim hired the divorce attorney to the stars, who has repped such big names as Angelina Jolie, Britney Spears, Heidi Klum and Gwen Stefani in their splits. “Now this divorce is happening because Kim has grown up a lot,” the source explained, saying “She is serious about taking the bar exam and becoming a lawyer, she is serious about her prison reform campaign. Meanwhile Kanye is talking about running for president and saying other crazy s–t, and she’s just had enough of it.”
The publication also noted Kanye had grown tired of the family’s over-the-top, lavish reality TV lifestyle as “unbearable” and that “He is completely over the entire family…He wants nothing to do with them.” Later that day PEOPLE reported that Kanye knows that the end of his marriage is near. “He knows that she’s done. She has had enough, and she told him that she wants some space to figure out her future,” a source told the publication, adding, “He’s okay. He’s sad, but okay. He knows the inevitable will happen, and he knows that it’s coming soon.”
Meanwhile, TMZ reported on Jan. 5 that Kim and Kanye were in counseling and that while their marriage was in trouble, Kim had decided to put their issues aside until after the holidays. The site reported that Kim had Wasser “on retainer for years for various reasons, and the subject of divorce was discussed months ago, but Kim never gave the green light to file,” mainly due to the fact that the pair has four very young children.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West cozy up at one of their last public events together, the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party. Photo Credit: Evan Agostini/ Invision/ AP
After weeks of split speculation, Kim officially filed for divorce from her husband of nearly seven years on February 19, 2021, according to TMZ. Kim reportedly asked for joint physical and legal custody of her and Kanye’s four children. At the time, the split was reported to be “amicable” between the two.
Kim Attends Kanye’s ‘Donda’ Listening Parties
With Kanye gearing up to release his 10th album Donda in July 2021, he held a series of listening parties, and even though Kim and Kanye had been split up for months, she still showed support for him and went to a ton of his events to cheer him on. Before the album dropped, Kanye had reportedly given Kim a private listening party of one of album’s more personal tracks. When he hosted the first public listening event in at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Georgia, Kim was also in attendance, wearing a red outfit that matched the rapper. The couple’s kids attended the second listening party with their mom, and Kim even got involved in the theatrics at a subsequent performance, when she sported a wedding dress at one of the shows.
One of Kanye’s largest gestures to try to win Kim back came at his Free Larry Hoover concert, which he co-headlined with Drake. After performing his hit “Runaway,” Kanye sang an emotional plea to his estranged wife. “Baby, I need you to run right back to me…more specifically, Kimberly,” he said in the December show.
Kim Files To Be Legally Single
The day after the emotional concert moment, Kim filed her request to be declared legally single and drop “West” from her last name in court. A source close to Kim revealed to HollywoodLife exclusively that the “Runaway” ad-lib was her tipping point. “Kim hit her boiling point at the Kanye concert on Thursday night and as soon as he put her on the spot and embarrassed her in front of their kids and her family by saying ‘Run back to me Kimberly,’” they said. ““She contacted her lawyer immediately. She didn’t see any other choice. Kanye is not only upsetting Kim and her family, but he is confusing their children with the things he is saying her kids are getting older and beginning to understand what he’s saying and what is going on.”Despite filing the request in December, Kim wasn’t granted the legally single status until March 2022.
Kanye Goes After Kim’s New Boyfriend Pete Davidson In Song
Months after the divorce, Kim began a relationship with Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson. The pair’s romance was first reported shortly after Kim made her hosting debut on SNL, and the couple were spotted out holding hands together. Kanye has made it clear that he’s been incredibly upset about Kim’s newfound romance. He’s posted numerous rants calling out the comic on his Instagram, even giving him the nickname “Skete.”
Still Kanye’s most notable attack on Pete came with his song “Eazy.” The song has the lyric, “God saved me from the crash/Just so I can beat Pete Davidson’s a**.” Other than the lyric, Kanye released two graphic videos showing him making attacks against Pete. One was an claymation clip that depicted the rapper decapitating and burying him. A second video depicts a hairless monkey attacking a stand-in for him.
Kanye Claims He’s Not Allowed To See His Kids
As the pair’s divorce has continued, Kanye has made many public gripes about the time he gets to spend with his kids, as well as disagreements he’s had about some of his older children using social media. Kanye claimed that Kim was “stopping” him from bringing his kids to Chicago for a basketball game in January 2022. He also called out Kim, saying that the kids’ schedules were changed on him abruptly in a March 14 Instagram psot.
Kim Kardashian holding son Psalm West while out her family. (Photo credit: SplashNews)
Kim Claps Back At Custody ‘Narrative’
Even though the Late Registration rapper has brought his issues with their custody arrangements to light, Kim has pushed back on him on a number of occasions. After one of Kanye’s posts, Kim commented to ask him to pushing a narrative that he hasn’t been allowed to see his kids. “Please stop with this narrative, you were just here this morning picking up the kids for school,” she wrote. Kim also admitted that she’s “open and honest” with her kids about everything going on with her ex, during an ABC special interview.
Pete Davidson Reaches Out To Kanye
Despite all of Kanye’s public outbursts against his ex’s new boyfriend, Pete sent the rapper a text to tell him to cut out his attacks on the couple March 2022. “I’ve decided I’m not gonna let you treat us this way anymore and I’m done being quiet. Grow the f**k up,” he wrote, before sending Kanye a selfie that he claimed was taken in bed with Kim. Even though Pete seemed to be tired of Kanye’s rants against him, he did extend an olive branch and offer to talk out their issues. “Let me help you man. I struggle with mental stuff too,” he wrote. “There’s no shame in having a little help.”
Where Kanye And Kim Stand Now
After much public back and forth, Kanye reportedly told Kim that he’d be taking some time away and “getting help,” according to a source to Page Six on April 1, 2022. The source claimed that Ye was taking time away from his public appearances to focus on himself. Despite all the drama, Kim has admitted that she just wants Kanye to be okay, when asked about his latest gal pal Chaney Jones on an episode of the Not Skinny But Not Fat podcast. “I just want him to be happy,” she said.