I'm not saying it's the best bait and switch of all time, but it might just be the best bait and switch of all time. OF ALL TIME. (Kanye feels me.) When Kris Jenner announced her split from Bruce Jenner on Tuesday, it all seemed a little too perfect. Well, sad, but also perfect. Everyone's eyes were on Khloe Kardashian and her pending divorce from Lamar Odom, then, all of a sudden, after 22 years, mother and momager Kris shoots off a signal flare, strips down naked, does some jumping jacks, and starts yelling, "Over here! Over here! You hoo! Everyone! Over here!" And we turned our heads.
The heat around daughter Khloe couldn't be more intense. Her husband Lamar's been accused of some pretty terrible things — namely the hookers in some L.A. crack den — and there's no real end in sight. Every day, there's news about their relationship or about Lamar, and Khloe's being hounded by the paparazzi. Even though attention is something the Kardashians are used to, we can agree that this scandal feels a little different than Kim Kardashian's 72-day marriage to Kris Humphries, or Scott Disick's drunken nights in Vegas, or Kendall Jenner's bikini photos. The Lamar allegations are more serious. They're darker.
They could damage the brand.
Fans can handle a stupid wedding and a stupid divorce. Kim's a romantic, you guys! She can't help herself! And Kris knew that the headache caused by the Humph wouldn't ultimately damage her family's image, nor would it affect their income. But an alleged crack-addict driven to drugs by the intense spotlight that shines on the Kardashian house... that's a different ballgame. That could have lasting effects, negative effects.
So Momager had to do what Momager had to do: She looked at the hand in front of her and pulled out the ace in her deck. Like an all star poker player, Kris slowly glanced over her dark sunglasses, inhaled a slow breath, and slammed her separation papers down on the veritable felt table like a fucking boss.
Turns out, she's been holding onto those cards for 12 months. Kris and Bruce confirm that they've been separated for a year — he's been living in Malibu, she's been at home in Calabasas with Kim, Kanye, and baby North.
So there was no real reason to reveal they're headed for divorce — they've hid the news relatively well for a year — but they chose to talk about the end of their marriage now to switch up the dialogue. To take attention away from Khloe. To give their daughter some reprieve from the scrutiny. To give Lamar time to figure out a goddamn game plan. The Jenners knew they'd have to share news of their split sooner or later and spoke up now because, hell, when there's an opportunity to control the direction of the conversation, you take it.
Next thing you know, Kourtney will shoot off a signal flare of her own, strip down naked, do a tree pose, and start yelling, "I'm pregnant! I'm pregnant! Over here!" It's Kardashian brand management 101, and so far, it's worked like a charm.