TMZ was first to report the news. Kim filed on Friday, February 19, and asked for joint legal and physical custody of their kids, according to the outlet.
“They’ve been leading separate lives for well over a year and Kim is in talks with lawyers,” an insider previously told Life & Style of the former power couple.
Though Kim, 40, and Kanye, 43, went through plenty of ups and downs over the years, their relationship appeared to take a turn for the worse in July. The KKW Beauty founder initially seemed to support her estranged husband’s run for president, but their relationship changed after he began speaking out about their private life on the campaign trail.
During a July 19, 2020, rally in South Carolina, the “Famous” rapper revealed he initially wanted Kim to have an abortion after they found out she was unexpectedly pregnant with their first child, daughter North West. A source told Life & Style Kim was struggling with the behavior, and another told In Touch the rest of the Kardashian family urged the mother of four to “step in” and talk to her man. “[Those were] private matters that Kim would never want discussed,” the source said at the time. “She’s scared of where [this] is headed and what he may do next.”
Just a day later, Kanye accused the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star of trying to “lock him up” to keep him quiet. “Kim was trying to fly to Wyoming with a doctor to lock me up like on the movie Get Out because I cried about saving my daughter’s life yesterday,” he alleged on the social media site.
He also took aim at Kim and mother-in-law Kris Jenner as he brought up his ex’s sex tape and her naked photo shoots. “I put my life on my God that North’s mom would never photograph her doing Playboy, and that’s on God. I’m at the ranch … come and get me,” he wrote in a second tweet. A third added, “I put my life on the line for my children that North’s mother would never sell her sex [tape].”
Other posts claimed that Kris, 64, is “not allowed around [his] children” anymore after she also tried to “lock him up.” In a screenshot he shared of a text message he sent her, he claimed she was avoiding his calls and demanded that she and Kim contact him. Kanye ended up deleting almost all of the tweets, but it seems the damage was done in spite of his public apology.
The couple first met in the early 2000s, and sparks flew right away. Despite that, they didn’t end up exploring their romance until the fall of 2011 in the wake of Kim’s split from ex-husband Kris Humphries. Right after the news about the divorce broke, Kanye invited the E! reality star to his fashion show in Paris — and they hit it off right away.
“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,” Kim said during the Keeping Up With the Kardashians 10th anniversary special in 2017.
Their relationship moved quickly after that. By December 2012, they were expecting, and they welcomed North in May 2013. A few months later, the rapper popped the question, and they tied the knot in May 2014. After surviving public scandals and family emergencies, however, their relationship seemed to become particularly strained in the fall of 2019.
In November 2020, an insider told In Touch Kanye became “100 percent more controlling” over his wife, which included telling her “what to do and how to dress and behave.” Quarantining together amid the coronavirus outbreak in the spring of 2020 didn’t help. Additional sources told In Touch the Chicago native was “struggling to adjust” and going “stir-crazy” stuck at home. To cope, he frequently escaped to the studio to work on his music, which left Kim “feeling neglected” at home with their children.
“Her panic attacks are getting worse as she tries to balance looking after the kids with her insane schedule,” a source said. “In the past, it was Kim who needed space from Kanye, but the tables have turned. … Things between them are turning uglier than ever.”
The couple finally reached their breaking point, and another insider says it comes as no surprise. “Kanye also spent time reflecting on his marriage and how far him and Kim drifted apart in recent years,” they explained. “They’re two different people compared to when they first met and barely have anything in common now.”