Don't Call Kim K's Robbery A Publicity Stunt

In the wake of the reports that Kim Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint in Paris early Monday morning, you might be wondering how to feel. Maybe you don't like Kim Kardashian and think she deserved this. Maybe you don't even believe her about what happened. Maybe you even find this situation hilarious. All of those reactions are problematic in their own ways, but if you choose to believe that Kim Kardashian's robbery was a publicity stunt, please be aware that this particular theory says more about you than it does about her. It says that you've allowed your compassion for a fellow human being to be overshadowed by your eagerness to see a high-profile stranger brought low. Even if it means ignoring both the facts and common human decency.

The story emerged not only from Kardashian's camp, but also the Paris police. Both sources have reported preliminary details describing the theft: two masked men allegedly burst into Kardashian's hotel room during the early morning hours of Oct. 3, and held the reality star at gunpoint as they bound and gagged her. Then, they made off with $10 million in jewelry, as well as her purse, two cell phones, and 1,000 euros. After the thieves had left, Kardashian was able to free herself and summon police, who interviewed the "badly shaken but physically unharmed star" — this description coming from her spokeswoman — before she departed France on a private jet bound for home.

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Ideally, you would read that account and be able to imagine it happening to you; this is a phenomenon known as empathy. You might imagine how it would feel to be incapacitated and helpless with a loaded weapon pointed at you. You might be able to set aside the fact that you don't own any jewelry that even remotely approaches a $10 million in worth, and imagine the sensation of having a ring taken off your finger by a stranger. You might understand how, if you'd survive an ordeal like this, you'd immediately want to be home, surrounded by family. You probably wouldn't proceed directly to Twitter to make jokes at the expense of the victim of this crime, and you almost certainly wouldn't immediately start combing over the story looking for faults or inconsistencies. Unfortunately, that's what many people chose to do instead.

While I can understand experiencing a healthy dose of skepticism when it comes to this family in general, especially given their propensity for self-promotion and exposure, I have to ask: what is the point in hitting Kardashian when she's already down? The way I see it, the truth about this situation is going to come out regardless, so why not exercise some self-control in the meantime and just be a nice person? It sounds like police are still very early on in the investigation, so of course there are questions that haven't been answered. Of course I'm curious about why Kardashian was alone, about what happened to the front desk clerk who was allegedly also threatened at gunpoint, and about many other details of the case. The difference is that I'm much more concerned about whether this human being is OK right now — and I'm also fully aware that Kim Kardashian has almost no incentive to lie about something like this.


First of all, there's the moral factor: lying on this level is bad. It would be especially bad if you're a Kardashian, since you know that this case is going to be subjected to an insane amount of scrutiny, and that your fabrication would be be discovered pretty much immediately. Second of all, there's the logic factor: why? Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are rich enough that I wouldn't understand putting their reputations on the line for $10 million of insurance money, not to mention the fact that Kardashian would never being able to wear these jewelry pieces in public again. Third of all, there's the logistics of the lie: if you truly believe Kim Kardashian is lying, then is she also lying to the police and committing insurance fraud? And if she's not lying to the police, then are they in on it? There's just as much work to do to make this conspiracy theory work as there is to poke holes in Kardashian's ordeal in the first place.

The bottom line is that to reduce a woman's traumatic experience to nothing more than a publicity stunt for her reality show is a problematic viewpoint both morally and logically. The people who are most incentivized to discover the details about this case — the Paris police, shockingly enough, and not random strangers on the internet — are already on it, and they're standing with Kim Kardashian. That's what we should all be doing.