World braced for 'divorce of the century' as Kim Kardashian and Kayne West divide up billions

Patrick Sawer
·5-min read
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West at the 2019 Met Gala - ANDREW KELLY /REUTERS
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West at the 2019 Met Gala - ANDREW KELLY /REUTERS

In the world of celebrity divorces this is the big one.

With a joint fortune running into billions the world is braced for the ‘ celebrity divorce of the century’ as Kim Kardashian and Kanye West divide up their assets after seven years of high-profile married life.

And what assets.

With homes in the LA hills and ranches in Wyoming, not to mention a treasure trove of jewels and a $3.9m car collection, there should just be enough to go round.

Indeed it has emerged that thanks to a detailed prenuptial agreement that will largely determine the division of assets the divorce will in all likelihood be amicable, even accounting for West’s frequently erratic behaviour.

Watch: New details on Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's divorce

Legal experts say the case is likely to have already been negotiated in private mediation between their attorneys, or with a private judge.

In court records lodged in Los Angeles the couple - who married in a lavish ceremony at a Renaissance fortress in Florence, in 2014 - cite irreconcilable differences for their break up, with Kardashian and West seeking joint custody of their four children.

“Both of them want nothing but the best for the kids,” a source said. “The kids will stay with Kim, but Kanye will be able to see them whenever he wants to."

It is being reported that Kardashian has few concerns about West and the children, believing he needs caretakers and family members on hand to care for them, and is not around during bipolar episodes.

She has reportedly hired lawyer Laura Wasser, nicknamed "disso queen" due to her work on the divorces of high-profile celebrities.

It all seems fitting for a marriage that was pored over by the media and public and was chronicled by Kardashian herself in her long-running reality show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and through their Instagram and Twitter accounts, followed by millions.

Both Kardashian, 40, and West, 43, were global celebrities before marrying, but as a couple they combined their celebrity star status to reach new levels of wealth. Their brand has come to define the recent phenomena of social media-driven mega-fame.

Rapper Kanye West, left, shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump  - Andrew Harrer /Bloomberg
Rapper Kanye West, left, shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump - Andrew Harrer /Bloomberg

According to Forbes magazine, Kardashian is worth 780 million dollars (about £557 million), largely through her cosmetics business KKW Beauty, while West is said to be worth £1.3 billion through his hugely successful fashion brand, Yeezy. Both will retain control of their respective brand empires.

But as if confirmation was ever needed that money does not necessarily buy you happiness, the wheels started coming off the ‘Kimye’ bandwagon a while ago.

Kanye's failed presidential bid - he received just 60,000 votes across 12 states - reportedly put a strain on their marriage, not helped by the rapper making a series of wild allegations against Kardashian and her family on Twitter and during a presidential campaign rally in July.

West claimed she had considered aborting their first child North and suggested that divorce had been on the cards since she met the singer Nicki Minaj's ex Meek Mill at a hotel two years ago.

Kimye numbers
Kimye numbers

He later issued a public apology to Kardashian, who defended him and spoke about his struggle with bipolar disorder, saying he is a "brilliant but complicated person" whose "words sometimes do not align with his intentions".

The rapper has reportedly been living at his ranch in Wyoming while Kardashian has been with the children in Los Angeles, though in fairness theirs has lasted a lot longer than her 72-day marriage to basketball player Kris Humphries.

Raymond Hekmat, of the California family law firm Hekmat Law & Mediation, told Forbes: “Chances are this divorce has been in the works for a while. Since Kim and Kanye have a prenuptial agreement that resolves most, if not all, financial matters between them, they’ll most likely have a peaceful divorce.”

He added: “Aside from the prenup, many high-profile divorces are highly orchestrated to stay out of the limelight. To keep their specific issues out of the media, Kim and Kanye’s case was most likely negotiated in private mediation between their attorneys, or with a private judge, prior to any filing for divorce.”

Sources in the US suggest West is likely to keep the two ranches in Wyoming, each valued at $14million.

The Monster Lake Ranch, 75 miles from Yellowstone National Park, sits amid more than 1,400 acres and includes a restaurant and saloon, maintenance shop, horse barns and state-of-the-art shooting range.

Kardashian will probably keep the couple’s 15,667-square-foot mansion in Hidden Hills, Los Angeles, which they bought in 2014 for $20M, spending another $20M in renovations.

It boasts a 'flat sink' which took eight prototypes to get perfect, at the cost of $32,000.

She is also set to keep the gifts and jewelry showered on her by West during their marriage, including a $40,000 hand-painted Hermes bag, several Cartier bracelets valued at at least $35,000 each and a $2million engagement ring.

Then there is the talking hologram of Kardashian’s father Robert, which cost upwards of $100,000 and which West bought his wife to celebrate her 40th birthday.

One can’t imagine he will dispute ownership of that.

Watch: Kim Kardashian West could document divorce in new television show