LOS ANGELES – Kim Kardashian said on Tuesday that she had no recollection of trying to kill the reality show starring her brother Rob Kardashian and then-fiancée Blac Chyna. But she admitted to demanding that Chyna be kept away from “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” after hearing that Chyna abused her brother.
“I won’t go into a toxic work environment,” Kardashian said of her refusal to work with Chyna. “On my own show, I have the power to do that.”
Kardashian took the stand for an hour in a Los Angeles courtroom in a civil lawsuit in which Chyna alleges Kardashian and three other family members defamed Chyna and convinced producers and the E! network to cancel the “Rob & Chyna” spin-off show.
Her testimony was mostly mundane – she spent much of it saying “I don’t remember” – but as the biggest star by far to testify in a star-studded trial, she caused a stir when she walked from the gallery to the witness stand wearing a dark gray pinstripe suit with white sneakers. As she resigned, several reporters rushed out of the courtroom to file articles.
Chyna’s attorney, Lynne Ciani, showed Kardashian a series of text messages from late 2016 and early 2017 with Kardashian’s name attached.
Either way, Kardashian said she has no recollection of sending them, though she didn’t deny their likely legitimacy.
“I can’t remember the texts I sent this morning,” Kardashian said.
In response to viewing a text exchange, a lengthy conversation with a producer at production company Bunim Murray, which produced both shows, Kardashian acknowledged “that definitely sounds like something I would say.”
In it, she expressed her anger that Chyna could still be filmed for “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” in which Chyna occasionally appeared with her own show.
“I think we all need to take a break from filming at this point until we figure out what’s going on. She won’t be on our show,” the text read. “So if you’re going to film with Rob and Chyna, you’re going to lose the Kardashians and the Jenners.”
The text exchange includes several seemingly damning requests about Chyna filming for “her” show, but Kardashian insisted it was a quirk of technology.
“It’s clearly voice driven, like everything I send for so long, and it sometimes makes ‘our’ like ‘her’,” Kardashian said. “I would never call her show ‘her’ show, I would say ‘Rob’s show’ since it’s a ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ spinoff.”
She added that the recipient, Amanda Weinstein, hadn’t worked on “Rob & Chyna.”
Kim Kardashian said the text exchange showed she and her family had no power over what producers and the network ultimately decided about the shows.
“No one listens to us, no one respects us,” read one text message.
What they could do was withhold their own stake in the “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” case.
“I have every right as a cast member to say we really need a break,” Kardashian said.
Much of the trial now in its seventh day, including testimony from Kardashian’s mother, Kris Jennerand sister Kylie Jennerfocused on a fight between Chyna and Rob Kardashian on December 15, 2016, which led to the couple’s eventual breakup and the cancellation of their show.
Ciani asked Kardashian if she saw any injuries on her brother that day.
“I just remember at that time he was super emotional, and it’s just so fuzzy,” Kardashian said.
When repeatedly asked if she ordered her sisters to tell executives and producers about the attack, which the lawsuit alleges, Kardashian said she didn’t recall doing so. , eventually becoming mildly angry with Ciani but remaining calm.
“I know you want my answer to change,” Kardashian said. “You asked the same question four times, I wish I had a better answer for you, but I can’t remember.”
When asked specifically if she asked Kylie Jenner to email about it, Kardashian replied, “I don’t control my sisters’ lives and I don’t have a conversation with them before. than they send e-mails.”
A video deposition from Ryan Seacrest, the “American Idol” host who co-created “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” with Kris Jenner, was released to the jury later Tuesday.
Seacrest said his role as executive producer on “Rob & Chyna” didn’t include any duties. He said his “Kardashians” contract automatically gives him the title for any spin-off.
But he promoted the series, including on his radio show.
Asked about his first impression of Chyna, he replied “she was bold and memorable”.
“Do Bold, Memorable People Make Good TV?” Ciani asked her on the video.
“Sometimes yes and sometimes no. In the episode I saw, I must have thought yes.
“Why?” Ciani asked.
“Because I kept promoting it,” Seacrest said.
Follow AP Entertainment writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton
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