Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian in war of words over leaked call

By Mark Savage
BBC music reporter

  • Published
Kim Kardashian and Taylor SwiftImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The dispute dates back to 2016 and a song by Kardashian's husband Kanye West

Taylor Swift says she feels "vindicated" after footage of her contentious 2016 phone call with Kanye West emerged online.

The tape shows that, although West sought Swift's permission to use her name in one of his songs, he failed to say he'd refer to her as "that bitch".

Swift has always maintained she would not have approved the lyric.

But West's wife, Kim Kardashian, called the star "self-serving" for drawing attention to the leak.

Kardashian intensified the feud in 2016 by posting excerpts of the phone call, purporting to show that Swift had spoken to West and been enthusiastic about the song.

The resulting backlash saw Swift's social media accounts flooded with snake emojis from people accusing her of lying and being duplicitous.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The pair had been on friendly terms before 2016 - this picture was taken at the 2015 MTV Awards

After the tape of the full conversation made its way online, Swift posted a statement on Instagram asking fans to donate to the charity Feeding America instead of asking her how she felt about the leak.

However, she added that the footage proved "that I was telling the truth the whole time about that call".

"You know, the one that was illegally recorded, that somebody edited and manipulated to frame me and put me, my family and my fans through hell for four years."

Image source, Taylor Swift / Instagram

Kardashian responded with a furious volley of tweets accusing Swift of "lying".

She conceded that her husband did not inform Swift of the offensive lyric, but argued that was never at the centre of their dispute.

"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," she said.

"At the time when they spoke the song had not been fully written yet, but as everyone can see in the video, she manipulated the truth of their actual conversation in her statement when her team said she 'declined and cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message.'"

(In fact, the tape does show Swift advising West not to use the line "Taylor Swift might owe me sex" on the basis that "the feminists are going to come out".)

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

"Kanye has documented the making of all of his albums for his personal archive," she continued. "However [he] has never released any of it for public consumption and the call between the two of them would have remained private or would have gone in the trash had she not lied and forced me to defend him.

"The lie was never about the word bitch," Kardashian concluded. "It was always whether there was a call or not and the tone of the conversation."

But the war of words didn't end there - as Swift's publicist Tree Paine intervened, claiming Kardashian had misquoted her original 2016 press release.

Although both sides felt compelled to keep the feud going, they conceded there were more important things going on in the world right now.

Swift urged fans to donate to charity, while Kardashian acknowledged the circular triviality of the whole affair.

"This will be the last time I speak on this because honestly, nobody cares," she wrote.

"Sorry to bore you all with this. I know you are all dealing with more serious and important matters."

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