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Kanye West may face legal action over Taylor Swift video

By | Published on Tuesday 19 July 2016

Taylor Swift

Well blimey, that all escalated quickly, didn’t it? Kim Kardashian posted a video on Snapchat and now Kanye West might be going prison. And it’s all down to that pesky Taylor Swift.

Right, so, yes, back in February Kanye West unveiled his latest album, ‘The Life Of Pablo’. It immediately drew controversy due to the line on the track ‘Famous’ that went: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous”.

A spokesperson for Swift said at the time that she had “cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message” after he asked her to share the finished recording on Twitter, and that she “was never made aware of the actual lyric, ‘I made that bitch famous'”. West responded by saying that he “had a hour long convo with her about the line and she thought it was funny and gave her blessings”.

And so began a stand off that continued until Sunday night when Kim Kardashian decided to post to Snapchat excerpts of a video of the conversation referenced previously by West.

The brief clips show West informing Swift that he’d written the words “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex” and talking about his responsibility to her “as a friend” to tell her before the track was released. She says the line is “like a compliment, kind of” and that “it’s obviously really tongue in cheek”. She adds that it’s “really nice” that he called her up to check she was happy for him to reference her like that.

Swift responded with a statement on Instagram, noting that the specific words she actually took exception to were not run past her, as Kardashian’s video shows.

“Where is the video of Kanye telling me he was going to call me ‘that bitch’ in his song”, she asks. “It doesn’t exist because it never happened. You don’t get to control someone’s emotional response to being called ‘that bitch’ in front of the entire world”.

“Of course I wanted to like the song”, she continues. “I wanted to believe Kanye when he told me I would love the song. I wanted us to have a friendly relationship. He promised to play the song for me but he never did. While I wanted to be supportive of the Kanye on the phone call, you cannot ‘approve’ a song you haven’t heard. Being falsely painted as a liar when I was never given the full story or played any part in the song is character assassination”.

“I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative, one that I never asked to be a part of, since 2009”, she concludes, referencing West’s stage invasion of her MTV VMAs acceptance speech for Best Video that the rapper’s lyric alludes to.

Then Twitter exploded and everyone had an opinion. Opinions that included Kardashian’s sister posting a picture of a bumhole. Thank goodness Twitter isn’t actually real life and we can ignore all that.

The more immediate problem than people just thinking things though, is that a crime may have been committed here. If, as it is thought, the apparently secret videoing of West and Swift’s phone call took place in an LA recording studio, then that would have broken California law. Consent from both parties is required before recording a phone call in the state.

According to TMZ, already aware of the video, Swift’s lawyers threatened West with legal action if the video was publicly released back in February. A legal letter obtained by the website demands that the rapper “immediately destroy all such recordings, provide us of assurance that this has been done, and also assurance that these recordings have not been previously disseminated”.

Given those stern demands back then, what now? Would Swift actually sue over this? Or report him to the authorities? As The Hollywood Reporter notes, if she did West and Kardashian could face up to a year in prison. What fun.