Kim Kardashian is one of the most well-known names across the globe, with more than 148 million fans following her every move on Instagram. With life so public, it’s hard to believe that there’s a lot we don’t know about the media sensation.
Kardashian opened up to the cameras in a candid, in depth hour-long special, E! True Hollywood Story, “Who Is Kim Kardashian West?,” which airs on Sunday night (Oct. 13), but premiered on YouTube on Monday (Oct. 7). Kim, along with husband Kanye West, her friends and family, talk everything about her rise to fame.
See below for five new pieces of information we found out about the reality TV mogul.
1. The OJ Simpson trial taught Kim about how the media can twist a reality
Kim’s father, Robert Kardashian Sr., worked on Simpson’s legal team in his 1994 murder trial. Meanwhile her mom Kris Jenner, who was already divorced from her father, was mourning the death of her close friend Nicole Brown Simpson. Kim remembers the event as “the first time my family really got divided.”
“One day my dad took me and Kourtney into the trial,” she explained. “and then my mom happened to be sitting with Nicole’s family, and we looked over and my mom was looking at us, like, ‘What are you girls doing here? Why are you sitting on that side?'”
Kim also opened up about how the media portrayed her family and impacted their lives, from “n—er lover” getting spray-painted on her dad’s car to a wild report that mislabeled her as “Robert Kardashian’s mistress” when she visited his house. “I was like, this can’t be real — they lie like this?” she remembers. “I learned the lesson of, not everything is what you think it is.”
2. Kim and her friend Jonathan Cheban once faked hanging out with Britney Spears
Sure, nowadays every little thing Kim does ends up on front page news, but at the beginning of her skyrocketed fame, she and Cheban decided to “do something crazy” to manipulate the paparazzi and get a headline. “We were in New York, and Britney Spears was in this hotel, locked up in her room,” he explained. “We notice there’s paparazzi outside.”
So the dynamic duo rolled up in a Rolls Royce, and were photographed entering the hotel. “We literally go hide in the lobby in a phone booth, wait ten minutes, then come out. And the next day the story was ‘Kim went to see Britney,'” her friend continued. explained.
“They said in the press that we were there to have dinner with Britney Spears — this whole thing didn’t even happen,” Kim added.
3. Kathie Lee Gifford encouraged the idea of Keeping Up With the Kardashians
The Today show host was Jenner’s best friend, and pushed the idea of a reality TV show. “[She] would tell me constantly, ‘You guys need a show, nobody would believe what goes on in your life,'” Kris explained. “This went on for a couple of years, until I met the casting director for Dancing With the Stars. She came over for dinner once night and was just watching all of this chaos. She goes, ‘This is just crazy, I’ve got to introduce you to Ryan Seacrest.'”
Reality TV show stardom was no issue for Kardashian, who dreamed of being on The Real World. “Kim was mesmerized,” her childhood friend Allison Statter said of watching the show together. “She was like ‘I have got to get on The Real World.”
4. Paris Hilton taught Kim about navigating paparazzi
Kim grew up with Paris and their friendship gained major attention from the paparazzi around the mid-2000s. “She was best known as being Paris Hilton’s sidekick,” entertainment reporter Leslie Bruce said in the special.
Paris’ superstardom helped Kim learn the ropes of fame. “I remember we were sitting in her SLR Mercedes… and at that point, the paparazzi would lay on the ground to try and get a picture of you, up your dress, and she said, ‘OK. We need to make sure you don’t give them that,'” Kim explained. “She was such a great mentor for me. I really am grateful for my experiences with her…She’s a huge, huge reason for my success.”
5. A psychic foretold the Kardashian fame
Soon after the Simpson trial, Kim’s dad visited a psychic who predicted the position the family is in now. “The psychic told him, ‘You know, your last name Kardashian is going to be known worldwide. And it’s not now, it’s not because of your OJ fame,” Kim explained. “And my dad was like, ‘Yeah, OK, this is exactly why I don’t like psychics.'”
“Knowing what I know about fame now, would I give it up? The answer is honestly no,” she continued. “I think I was made for it.”