Kim Kardashian’s robbery ordeal, from begging for her life to dealing with the aftermath
It’s been a crazy week in the life of Kim Kardashian since she was robbed at gunpoint early Monday at her luxury apartment in Paris. There was the crime itself. The missing bodyguard. The strangely calm concierge. The hurried journey home. Those millions in stolen jewels. The post-traumatic stress.
For those who might be unused to keeping up with a Kardashian, here’s the story so far.
Wait, what happened?
The 5-foot-3 mother of two had a gun to her head and reportedly begged for her life after five masked men wearing police uniforms forced a night concierge at the Hôtel de Pourtalès to bring them to her two-story pad, where, according to TMZ, she was alone in bed.
The blow-by-blow, according to the website: Kardashian, clad in a robe, caught a glimpse of two of the guys, rolled off the bed and tried to call her bodyguard before her phone was taken from her. The 35-year-old’s wrists were zip-tied and duct-taped, and she was grabbed by the ankles — at which point, she told the police, she thought she was going to be raped.
Instead, her assailants bound her ankles with duct tape and carried her to the bathtub, as Kardashian screamed for them to take her money and jewelry, and spare her life. The men did not speak English, but kept saying “ring, ring,” she told police. After she told them where to find the massive new diamond — a gift from her husband, rapper Kanye West, that she’d been showing off on social media — they duct-taped her mouth.
Simone Harouche, a friend sleeping in a downstairs bedroom, heard a commotion, TMZ said, and called bodyguard Pascal Duvier, who arrived a couple minutes after the suspects left on bicycles with the loot.
Where is Kim now?
Immediately after giving a statement to police on Monday, Kardashian boarded a private plane and left Paris, where she’d been attending Fashion Week. Her arrival at her New York City residence Monday afternoon was accompanied by a show of force: A motorcade of about 10 vehicles brought Kardashian, her mom Kris Jenner, Jenner’s friend Corey Gamble and West from the airport, with NYPD present as well, according to TMZ.
Kardashian, her kids and her mom got back to home base Los Angeles via private jet on Thursday afternoon, the website said.
How is the investigation going?
On Wednesday, Paris police put the blame on Kardashian’s social media habits as they urged visitors not to be fearful in the city.
“It was really the celebrity who was targeted, with possessions that had been seen and noticed via social media, and it was these goods that the attackers targeted,” police department spokeswoman Johanna Primevert told CNN.
Though the hotel had no security cameras on the premises, police were able to obtain some footage from a shoe shop across the street showing a blacked-out limo driving slowly past the hotel three times between 2:30 a.m. and 2:55 a.m. Monday, the Sun reported. Kardashian, who’d managed to work her hands out of the restraints, yelled off her balcony for help a few minutes before 3 a.m.
Sources close to the Kardashian family have, according to Page Six, been saying the investigation is being pressed by no less than French President Francois Hollande, whose actress-girlfriend Julie Gayet sat with Kardashian and actress Salma Hayek in the front row at the Balenciaga show Sunday. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo publicly condemned the attack in its immediate aftermath, offering Kardashian her support.
So who did it?
Two French-speaking men, one in a car and one on a scooter, may have been tailing Kardashian while she was in Paris, according to one of the many paparazzi who were themselves tracking her every move. One of the 15 to 17 photographers who follow Kardashian and West when they’re in town told People that the regulars noticed the unfamiliar men, didn’t buy the stories they were telling and told the family’s security team about them.
The five suspects were still at large as of Friday.
What’s the deal with the bodyguard?
Duvier wasn’t with Kim Kardashian during the robbery because he was taking care of Kourtney Kardashian and Kendall Jenner, who were at a nightclub less than two miles away. Because he’s a bodyguard for the whole family, that wouldn’t have been unusual, a source told People.
In the days since the crime, it was reported by the Mail Online that Duvier, 43, filed for bankruptcy protection 10 weeks ago for his security firm in Germany.
As of Wednesday, he still worked for the family, People said. “Kanye is evaluating his family’s needs,” a source told the outlet. “He is ultimately the one who decides what happens with Pascal.”
How about the concierge?
According to TMZ, the man on the night shift told police he was handcuffed at gunpoint and forced to bring the robbers to Kardashian’s apartment. She reportedly told police that he’d opened her door, led the men in and remained there with her until the men took him, still handcuffed, back to the lobby when the robbery was over.
Kardashian told the police she’d asked the concierge, “Are we gonna die?” and he answered, “I don’t know.” She apparently became suspicious of him afterward because he’d remained calm throughout the ordeal.
Since then, he has written an open letter to her via the French-language magazine Closer. In it, he implies that he stayed calm so the men wouldn’t hurt either of them. “When you feel the cool barrel of a gun on your neck,” he wrote in French, “at that moment calm means ... life ... both our lives.”
“I hope you’re feeling better,” he added.
What’s up with the stolen goods?
Kardashian and West have filed an insurance claim putting the value of the ring with the 20-carat emerald-cut stone at $4 million, and a $1.6-million price tag on the other dozen items that were taken, TMZ reported Friday. Contrast that with initial reports putting the loot’s value as $10 million to $11 million. Then again, insured value and appraised value are not always the same.
The jewelry was most likely already headed for the black market Monday, an expert in diamonds and jewelry theft told People.
“Diamonds like that change hands, five times in two days in Antwerp’s diamond district,” he told the magazine. “Nobody will ever know. … They will be on the fingers of Americans within six months to a year.”
Of course, it has gotten political.
“I felt really bad for her,” Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said when “Extra” asked her about the robbery.
Clinton, whom Kardashian has endorsed, praised West for his response when he heard that his wife was in distress overseas. “He was in the middle of the concert [in Queens, N.Y.] and he ran offstage, bless his heart. It’s horrible,” she said. “I’m just glad nobody was hurt.”
The National Rifle Assn. was less motherly, taking the opportunity to point out that France’s strict gun-control laws hadn’t protected the reality star.
“Wait, criminals held @KimKardashian at gunpoint in Paris? How is that possible? Does anyone know if they passed a background check first?,” the NRA said in a couple of tweets. “It’s shocking that these criminals did not subject themselves to Paris’ strict #guncontrol laws before committing this awful crime.”
Kardashian has spoken out in favor of gun control in the past. “These gun safety laws have to change!” she tweeted in August 2015 after a Texas man was charged with killing eight people, including his ex-girlfriend. “This poor woman was tied up & saw every child of hers & husband get executed over 10 hours!”
Kardashian reportedly begged for her own life while she was being robbed, telling the men she had two babies at home.
How will this affect “Keeping Up With the Kardashians”?
“Kim’s well-being is our core focus right now,” a spokesperson told E! News about the family’s reality show, which runs on E! Entertainment. “No decision has been made as to when production will resume.”
A source close to Kardashian told E! News that the reality star was probably going to take a month off from her public engagements.
Finally, how’s Kim doing?
Because the headline wasn’t “American woman robbed at gunpoint in Paris” but rather “Kim Kardashian robbed at gunpoint in Paris,” the victim of the crime has had to weather accusations — remember that police statement? — that she brought the robbery on herself by flaunting herself on social media, as well as suspicions that it was all faked as a publicity stunt.
“It’s crazy to her that people, even for a second, think she is fabricating this story. She feels like no one understands her and what she been through,” a source close to Kardashian told E! News.
An “Entertainment Tonight” source said Kardashian “still gets emotional” about the robbery and has been trying not to cry in front of North, her 3-year-old daughter.
“I don’t think the flashbacks will go away anytime soon though,” the source said Thursday. “It’s going to take a while for those to stop, as with any traumatic experience like that.”
Kardashian is already living a new normal, a source told the New York Post’s Page Six. “There’s a circus that follows Kim’s every move.” Her security team is reportedly recommending that she hire a body double.
“The kids being kidnapped is Kim’s biggest fear,” a source told the paper. “She previously didn’t want to shell out for armed security, but now she realizes the family needs 24-hour protection.”
Follow Christie D’Zurilla on Twitter @theCDZ.
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