Taylor Swift says the newly leaked footage of her 2016 phone call with Kanye West proves she in fact did not, as she has long insisted, have advance knowledge that West was going to refer to her as a "bitch" in his song "Famous." Now West's wife, Kim Kardashian West, says Swift is lying, though not about the b-word. "[Swift] has chosen to reignite an old exchange - that at this point in time feels very self-serving given the suffering millions of real victims are facing right now," Kardashian West tweeted, one in a long series that also included one saying Kardashian West was "embarrassed and mortified" to be speaking on the topic, but was only doing so "because [Swift] is actually lying." Kardashian West also apologized for commenting on the subject since "nobody cares," and said this would be the last time she brought it up. For those who have lost track of the 11-year-long saga, the Guardian offers a rundown:
- In 2009, West infamously interrupted Swift's MTV Video Music Awards acceptance speech to tell the audience Beyonce, not Swift, should have won best female video. But by 2015, the West-Swift feud appeared to be over, with the two appearing in photos together at several awards shows. Then, in 2016, "Famous" was released.
- West's song included the line, "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous." West said Swift had given the lyric her blessing, but Swift alluded to unhappiness with the song.
- After the accompanying music video was released (showing West in bed alongside naked celebrity lookalikes including one meant to depict Swift), Kardashian West leaked snippets of the phone call between her husband and Swift in which Swift appeared to approve part of the lyrics, although not the "bitch" line, and thanked West for warning her the song was coming out.
- Swift responded to that leak pointing out that West never warned her he was going to call her "that bitch" in the song, and that she never approved such a line.
- Kardashian West continued to insinuate Swift was lying about giving her approval, and the ensuing vitriol against Swift (CNN notes this is what started the "Taylor Swift is a snake" movement) prompted her to withdraw from public life until 2019. (Her 2017 album, Reputation, included a number of songs that apparently referenced the feud.)
- Which brings us to the most recent back and forth. After the new footage, which includes all 20 minutes of the call, was leaked, Swift posted on Instagram that the recording proved "I was telling the truth the whole time about *that call* (you know, the one that was illegally recorded, that somebody edited and manipulated in order to frame me and put me, my family and fans through hell for 4 years)."
- Kardashian West then responded, saying that her accusing Swift of lying always had to do with whether West had called to tell her about the song, not whether he told her about one specific word. "The lie was never about the word 'bitch,'" Kardashian West said on Instagram. "It was always whether there was a call or not and the tone of the conversation. I never edited the footage (another lie)—I only posted a few clips on Snapchat to make my point and the full video that recently leaked doesn’t change the narrative."
- She also posted the aforementioned tweets; in total, there were nine. Among them, Kardashian West called out Swift's publicist, who recently reposted her original 2016 statement on the phone call in its entirety: "Kanye did not call for approval, but to ask Taylor to release his single Famous on her Twitter account. She declined and cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message. Taylor was never made aware of the actual lyric, ‘I made that bitch famous.'"
- Kardashian West's response to Swift's publicist: "To be clear, the only issue I ever had around the situation was that Taylor lied through her publicist who stated that 'Kanye never called to ask for permission...' They clearly spoke so I let you all see that. Nobody ever denied the word 'bitch' was used without her permission."
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