Kim Kardashian: The socialite who propelled herself to global stardom

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Kim Kardashian West arrives on the red carpet at the amfAR New York Gala 2019 at Cipriani Wall Street on February 6, 2019 in New York City. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
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By Tom Horton, PA

Kim Kardashian West has propelled herself from reality star and socialite to one of the biggest stars on the planet.

The 40-year-old has nearly 200 million followers on Instagram, presides over a booming cosmetics business and was valued by Forbes magazine at 900 million US dollars last year (around £700 million).

She married Kanye West in 2014 but they have now split up.

Kardashian West, who was perhaps previously best known for appearing in a sex tape with rapper Ray-J, shot to fame with the launch of reality show Keeping Up With The Kardashians in 2007.


(Jennifer Graylock/PA)

The programme became a cultural phenomenon, making worldwide stars of those who appeared in it.

The show followed members of the Kardashian and Jenner families, revealing details about their lives and relationships.

Along with Kris Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner and Caitlyn Jenner, she became a global star.

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Kardashian West, who grew up in California, had a string of high-profile romances and in 2011 she married former basketball player Kris Humphries in a reality TV wedding. However, the couple divorced just 72 days later.

She has been married a total of three times, including to record producer Damon Thomas from 2000 to 2004.

In 2014 Kardashian West featured on the cover of Paper Magazine in a photoshoot which introduced the world to the phrase “break the internet”.


(Francis Specker/PA)

The image, which went viral, featured a shot of Kardashian West balancing a glass on her backside as she fired champagne into it.

In 2016 Kardashian West was held at gunpoint at a private residence while she was robbed of jewellery worth several million dollars by a group of masked men.

She later admitted that she feared the men would rape and kill her when they gagged her, and that she thought she would never see her family again.

In 2018 Kardashian West went to the White House to have talks with President Donald Trump over prison reform.

It was announced last year that Keeping Up With The Kardashians was coming to an end, with Kardashian West telling Grazia it was because the family “need a break”.

The programme will end this year after 20 series.

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