Join hundred plus to listen to even the rich ad free in the Wonderly app, download the Wonder app in your Apple or Google Play Mobile App Store. Today, a quick heads up. We try our best to keep things suitable for work, but this episode is decidedly not safe for work. I mean, obviously.
Happy New Year, Erica, happy new year to you, too, but it's about a month late.
Well, actually, it's a month and 13 years late. We're taking it back to January 1st, 2007.
It's around 4:00 in the morning in Sydney, Australia, and twenty six year old Kim Kardashian is just getting back to her hotel room after a night of partying, she flops on to her bed, still wearing silver stilettos and a matching Lycra dress that shows off her curves. Her long brown hair smells like champagne that sprayed everywhere when the clock struck 12.
She kicks off her shoes but doesn't have the energy to change her clothes.
She's exhausted, but she's also flying high. It's a new year and things are really shaping up for her.
The closet business. Kim started to make some extra money has taken off big time. She's gotten loads of celebrity clients, including her old pal Paris Hilton. Gosh, that name rings a bell. Yeah, I thought you might remember her.
They ran in the same social circles in their teens, but it's been years.
And now Paris has made herself into the talk of the town. Kim can't believe she's become beefs with someone so glamorous.
They're always together. And the tabloids have taken notice of Paris as hot friend for the last few days. The paparazzi have followed her in Paris all over Sydney, and she can't get enough of it.
The press mostly refers to her as Paris Hilton's gal pal or daughter of O.J. Simpson lawyer Robert Kardashian. But Kim's not complaining. It's great exposure.
But as 2007 rolls in, Kim's ready to break out on her own for her name, Kim Kardashian, to be the headline and for people to know exactly who that is.
And she's been working hard to make that happen. Kim's gotten to know Kevin Dixon, an editor at In Touch Weekly, and she's been pushing him to do a feature article just about her.
Oh, I'm feeling it. 2007 is going to be her breakout year for sure. You're not wrong. Kim's going to get what she wished for and more. As her head hits the soft hotel pillow, the excitement of the night starts to ebb and exhaustion sets in. She's just about to close her eyes when her silver clock vibrates, her rhinestone bedazzled BlackBerry is buzzing. She grabs it and sees a bunch of missed calls and a voicemail from Kevin Dixon, the InTouch editor.
Correct. She's immediately awake again. Does Kevin want to set up a profile, a photo shoot? She sits up and hits play on the voicemail.
She hears the words urgent sex tape and golden shower. Oh, my God.
At first the words don't add up, but then it all comes back to her. Her twenty third birthday, a trip to Cabo to smiley face to pills and a handheld video recorder. The room is spinning as it hits her. The tape is out there. All she's wanted is to become as famous as Paris, but not like this.
Kim jumps out of bed and runs down the hall. She bangs are fists on the suite next door.
Paris, please get up. I need you.
I mean, if anyone knows how fucked up the situation is, it's Paris, right? Paris swings the door open and springs into action. She starts making calls. Who has the tape? Who's running the story? Can they stop it while she's on the phone? She scribbles down her lawyers. No, call him. She hands it to him right now. So Kim picks up her phone and dials. But the voice on the other end isn't Paris's lawyer.
It's Kris Jenner. Wait. She calls her mom? Yep. I mean, sure, nobody wants to talk sex with their mom if they don't have to, but there's no one she trusts more.
So let's travel across the world to Calabasas.
It's a little after 9:00 a.m. I'm imagining a quiet house. Kris just got home from an early Kozko run and she's unpacking groceries. When Kim's name shows up on her phone, she takes the call on the other end.
Kim is babbling. She's hysterical, but Kris starts piecing together what's just happened and her mind starts racing as a mom. She's furious and heartbroken and a million other things I can't imagine. But Kris isn't just Kim's mom. As Kim's become more famous, Kris has also become her manager. She needs to put all of her feelings aside and come up with a plan for her daughter's fate rests in her hands. This tape can either tank her burgeoning career or put her on the map.
Kris waits for Kim's sobbing to slow down. She speaks into the phone as calmly as possible. Kim, I need you to listen to me. And then she lays out the plan. This episode is brought to you by CarMax, America's number one used car retailer at CarMax, the best way to buy a car is your way. Shop on your schedule and choose from over 50000 CarMax certified vehicles at CarMax. Dotcom checkout 360 degree views set up a trade in appraisal, apply for financing and buy online or in-store with curbside pickup and home delivery in select markets.
Get all the details and start the search for your next car. Today at CarMax Dotcom. Looking for a nutritious and delicious snack the whole family will love? Well, look no further than our sponsor perfect snacks. What their lineup of fresh from the fridge, protein snacks, perfect snacks has you covered. Listen, when we say delicious, we're not kidding around here.
Their protein bars have like a cookie dough texture that's creamy and full of flavor.
They are truly unlike any other bars out there. I mean, can we talk about the dark chocolate chip with sea salt? Perfect bar.
Oh, my God. Yes. And the refrigerated peanut butter cups. So tasty. And they have half the amount of sugar and double the amount of protein as a leading peanut butter cup. Now, that's something you can feel good about snacking on.
Definitely perfect snacks are made with freshly ground peanut butter, organic honey and twenty organic superfoods.
And right now, Perfect Snacks is offering 50 percent off your online order. Just go to perfect snacks. Dotcom slash rich. That's perfect snacks. Dotcom slash rich today to get 15 percent off your order. Perfect snacks.
Dotcom slash rich. From. I'm Brooks, and I'm Erica Skidmore Williams, and this is even the rich where we bring you absolutely true and absolutely shocking stories about the greatest family dynasties the world has ever seen. It's a show about power, how you get it, how you keep it, and what happens when you nearly lose it all. It's also about how the rich are just like us, because even the rich fall in love and break up and struggle and constantly eat giant salads from huge plastic bowls.
Totally shock. So Erica Brook, on our last series, we covered the rise and fall and rise of Paris, but Paris was always a solo act.
What if she also had four camera ready sisters? Oh, my God, they would have taken over the world. Exactly. And that's why we need to tell you the story of the Kardashians over the next four episodes. We'll tell you how a mother and her children built a billion dollar business empire on the back of a low budget reality TV show and turned 15 seconds of fame into 15 years and counting. And to get there, we have to start with the one and only Kris Jenner.
This is episode one, the manager. All right, Erica, we're going back to the 60s, it's a time of peace and love, but it's also when Kris Jenner's drive for success kicks into high gear, her new flower power could be so motivational. It's nineteen sixty two in Point Loma, California, a seaside community with not one but two yacht clubs. It's pretty swanky. And it's where seven year old Kristin Marie Helton lives, but not for much longer.
She's sitting in the back of her mom's station wagon crammed between her little sister Karen and OLAP. The car is stuffed to the brim with boxes. Chris pushes the lamp out of the way so she can turn around and watch their large, well manicured White House recede from view. She wills herself not to cry. Looking back, an older Chris will understand that her dad was an alcoholic and her mom, Mary Jo, was doing what needed to be done.
But in the moment, it must have been incredibly confusing. They're leaving behind everything they know. And Mary Jo or M.J., as we all know her now, is about to become something that doesn't really exist in their social circle. A single mom. So what does this mean for Chris? Mostly it means the cushy life she's always known disappears almost overnight and she feels it even at seven. Chris is already a lot like her mom. The women in their family have, how shall I put it, champagne tastes.
I have more like hard cider taste. Yeah, for me I'd say boxed wine, but Chris and MJ live for the finer things in life. And remember, this is the sixties. Without a man in the house, it's going to take a lot more work to get them. But MJ rolls up her silk sleeves and gets to work.
She takes a job at her family's candle shop and starts putting in long hours. And then after a couple of years, she manages to open a second candle shop that is all her own.
Chris sees how hard her mom is working.
If this is what it takes to get back to the life she wants, she's going to pull her weight, too. She starts working there herself when she's only ten. Whoa! Child labor laws. While Chris learns she loves to work. When MJ's candle store starts doing well, she opens a children's clothing boutique just down the road and Chris starts working there, too.
She even picks up a third job serving coffee at a donut shop. But Chris doesn't mind that her life is work, school work.
She thrives on it. She has this natural nonstop energy. Yeah, I got to be honest, I can't relate to that.
Yeah, me neither. But Chris always wants more. She can't sit still. She can't settle. She wants to live big. When she imagines her future. She sees a big house, a big family, big parties, a life that's full of bullying and glamour, but also keeps her in motion. She actually has this really great quote in her autobiography. While most girls were thinking about the prom, I was thinking, fuck the prom. I want to get married and have six kids.
OK, so she's a woman who knows what she wants. Yep. Now she just needs to figure out how to get it.
It's a sunny Saturday in nineteen seventy three, and Chris is at Dalmar Thoroughbred Club. Her boyfriend is out of town so she and his girlfriend have decided to hit the racetrack on opening day. The air smells like fresh cut grass. A loudspeaker calls out the runners in the next race. It's a big event where people get all dressed up. Women wear large hats and floral dresses, men sport light linen suits. But even in this crowd, Chris stands out.
Everyone's always told her she resembles a tall Natalie Wood, the same dark eyes and hair. And today she's in a fitted white pantsuit, cati sunglasses and an oversized hat. She's the picture of elegance. So I want you to imagine this striking 18 year old woman walking over to the betting window when she hear someone say, hi, is your name Janet?
What is that supposed to be, some kind of pick up line? Yeah, apparently.
Normally Chris would roll her eyes and move on, but she takes this guy in slicked back hair, expensive blazer, white patent leather shoes, just like her.
He stands out in a crowd. But unlike her, his outfit says real money. Finally, she says, no, I'm not. Janet, who are you? He smiles. I'm Robert Kardashian and it's happily ever after.
Well, remember, Chris has a boyfriend and she's only 18, while Robert is about 30 when he asks for her number, Chris is like, Sorry, buddy, but Robert doesn't give up that easily. He actually asks her out again that same day and Chris still won't give him her number. They just go their separate ways. But Robert can't stop thinking about Chris, so he looks her up in the phone book. Whoa, throwback. Yeah, I used to sit on one of those to get my haircut when I was a kid.
Now I just rip them in half.
But Robert actually uses it.
He calls her and asks her out again. And does she finally say yes? Nope. But they do get to talking. She learns about his close knit Armenian family and his big house in Beverly Hills. She tells him about her parents divorce and how she dreams of having a big family. And he starts calling twice a week for six months. OK, a little stalker, but please continue.
Yeah, Chris doesn't see it that way. She's impressed with Robert's tenacity. It's the same kind of go get em attitude she has. She's realizing that he might just be the one. He checks a lot of her boxes driven check. He's a highly regarded lawyer, wealthy check. He owns a nice house in Beverly Hills, once a big family check. According to him, that's the only size family should come in.
Sure, he's much older and is really ready to settle down right now. But, you know, so is she. Three years later, when she's only twenty two, they tie the knot and now she's even richer than she was before her parents divorce. She has money, lots of it.
She has her own Mercedes that she parks at her 7000 square foot Cape Cod style house in Beverly Hills, complete with a pool house and a tennis court and a second home two hours away in Palm Springs.
She winters in Aspen.
She's going to parties with celebs like O.J. Simpson and Rod Stewart, but she doesn't get to enjoy being a high flying young wife for long.
Just nine months after their wedding, Courtney Marry Kardashian is born a year and a half later.
Her second daughter, Kimberly Noelle Kardashian, is born about four years later, her third daughter, Chloe, Alexandra Kardashian is born and about three years later, Robert Arthur Kardashian Jr. is born.
That's a lot of crying babies, so many crying babies and a lot of diapers.
Chris loves her kids, but she's now thirty four with four kids under the age of ten. She has the life she thought she wanted, but she's also starting to feel trapped day by day.
That old feeling of wanting more creeps back in. But when you already have the big house, the big family, the big parties, what is more even look like? Chris has no idea, but she's about to risk everything to find out.
It's nineteen eighty nine. It's late. And Chris is at a friend's swanky party in Beverly Hills. The women are in oversized blazers and the men wear pastel shirts with flipped up collars. I'm imagining George Michael playing on the speakers and then the sea of pastel shirts parts. And Chris notices a much younger man across the room. He has the head of Rob Lowe on a soccer players body. Hell, I'd settle for the head of Rob Lowe with the body of Rob Lowe, and he notices Chris, too.
She's alone. Tonight, Robert's off on a boys ski trip and the kids are home with the nanny. Soccer boy introduces himself, his. James Todd, they start flirting and when he touches her elbow, it's like an electrical circuit closing, they both feel it. At some point, Chris's friend interrupts the one who's throwing the party. She wants Chris to grab something for her from her bedroom. One sec. Chris tells Todd I'm dashing upstairs, but then I'll be right back.
Chris patas up the stairs. She's opening the bedroom door. When she hears someone coming up right behind her, it's Todd. He doesn't say anything. He just kisses her and Chris kisses him right back. According to Todd's account of the night, they end up in her friend's closet. And let's just say things get real hot and real heavy against her friends fur coats.
According to Chris, it stopped at the kiss. But either way, after this night, Chris and Todd start a relationship, a whirlwind affair.
In her autobiography, Chris says Todd made her feel young, attractive, sexy and alive.
And as Robert noticed, that something's different.
Yeah, honestly, she's really bad at having an affair. She's constantly having long phone calls behind closed doors. She's suddenly getting her car washed at least two times a week.
God, I wish I was getting my car wash two times a week.
And she leases an apartment for Todd, a little love nest in the valley and uses her credit card, the one Robert pays to furnish it. Damn. So Robert should be able to connect these dots, right?
Yeah, he's on tour. He hires a P.I. to tail her and even starts following her himself.
And one day he follows her to a diner and there they are, his wife and her lover, all cozy in a vinyl booth, just casually feeding each other breakfast across the table. He runs in and starts yelling, I caught you.
I caught you. And what happens next? Does he leave her, though? He still loves her. And he's also incredibly traditional in the Armenian community. Nobody gets divorced. And here's the thing. I think Krystal loves him, too. I mean, I'm sure she promises to leave Todd and try harder, but she doesn't.
The car washes continue. Todd's a drug and she's an addict. Robert catches her again and again. And finally, Robert's had enough. He does what no Armenian husband is supposed to do. He files for divorce. Chris knows the marriage is really over.
There's no coming back from what she did. As for the future, she doesn't know what comes next, but she's imagining a life that's more or less the same. Just without her husband. Robert's never been vengeful. Everything will be all right.
It's nineteen ninety. Chris and her kids are at their favorite pizza joint. The four kids are devouring their pepperoni pizza, but Chris just picks at the cheese on hers. She's wracked with guilt over having just told them that mommy and daddy are getting a divorce. But at least she broke the news with Robert. They had a family meeting and reassured the kids that everything's going to be all right. When the check comes, Chris pulls out her credit card, but the waiter returns.
A few minutes later, the cards been declined. Chris is like that. Can't be right. Run it again. It's not maxed out. She knows it's not. But he says he ran it a few times already.
Chris, his face turns beet red with embarrassment and then anger.
She realizes that Robert cut her off without warning as she drives back home and her kids laugh and kick each other in the back seat. The new reality of her life sets in. Every cent they have is in Robert's name, and he's going to see to it that she gets nothing. It's like she's seven years old again, watching her upper class life disappear in the rearview mirror. Except this time she's at the wheel. And while MJ had two children, depending on her, she has four.
Kris grips the steering wheel harder. She knows what she has to do. This isn't the first time she's had to start over and claw her way back to the top, but she's going to make sure it's the last time anybody else is in control of everything she worked for.
2020 was a pretty stressful year. Why, what happened? You just kidding? Yeah, I think I'll definitely flinch every time someone says 20, 20 for the rest of my life.
I feel you. But look, we know that being more mindful can really help with stress. And that's where our sponsor Neukom comes in.
Neukom is the only system of its kind, clinically proven in over one million sessions to improve your sleep, reduce your stress and boost your recovery without drugs and side effects. The Neukom system uses cutting edge neuroscience and consists of three non-invasive and non pharmaceutical items, all of which are included in your monthly subscription that cost less than a daily cup of coffee. Yes. So basically, Neukom interrupts acute stress at its source to bringing you into the calming brainwave patterns that are associated with relaxation, greater awareness and intuition.
And it provides the most amazing calming sensation. Yeah, I mean, I've had a really stressful last couple of weeks, like I'm sure everybody else has. And I found that Neukom has been really calming, like I have used it a few times and every time I'm feeling really stressed, I use it. And I definitely have felt a difference in terms of how tightly wound I feel.
And it's for sure helping my sleep Ritchies do what we did on the day with Neukom and make 2021 the year you manage your stress better. Yeah, and we have a special link set up specifically for our listeners. Just go to Rich Neukom Dotcom and get 50 percent off your 30 day subscription of Newcomb and their money back guarantee. That's rich. And you see L.M. Dotcom rich and you see Alem Dotcom. La, la, la, la, la.
It's 1990 after Robert filed for divorce, Chris and Todd date openly, but without the danger of being caught. Things just don't have the same intensity and excitement. They start fighting over trivial things and the differences in their lifestyles start to feel huge. He's in his 20s, living in a small bachelor pad in the valley, and Chris is in her mid 30s, living in her Beverly Hills mansion with four small kids. There's not a real future with Todd, especially when Chris realizes that she's going to lose the seven thousand square foot house and Rolls Royce in the divorce.
And there's no way she and her brood of kids will be living in Todd's one bedroom apartment, one bathroom for six people. Hard pass. Yeah. So Chris finally calls it quits.
The relationship is over. She throws herself back into being a supermom, lunches, carpooling, homework, cleaning. It's all she can do to take her mind off the divorce, which, by the way, is getting even messier. Robert even cuts off Chris's Gelson's market credit card. Chris is like, what? I'm going to buy too many tomatoes. So when Chris's friend calls and says she has the perfect date for her, Chris is not ready. Jumping into a new relationship is not her top priority.
And the prospect of trying again so soon sounds overwhelming. After all, she's fresh out of two failed romances. Timing really is everything, totally. But her friend just won't take no for an answer.
So Chris reluctantly says yes, it's October 1990 and Chris figures if she's stuck going on this blind date, at least it better be at one of her favorite restaurants in Santa Monica, the Ivy at the shore.
So here she is sitting at a table with an array of colorful roses and a water pitcher across from someone her friend insists is a very impressive prospect.
And her friend isn't lying. Caitlyn Jenner is an Olympic gold medalist. OK, I can't say no. Any gold medal winners? Yeah, neither do I. But you wouldn't know Caitlin's a star athlete from the way she's dressed. Her jacket has a hole in it. Her hair hasn't seen a pair of scissors in months, maybe years, although neither is mine. So I'm not one to talk when the waiter asks what each of them will be having.
Chris orders the swordfish, Caitlin orders meatloaf. She's white bread, Midwestern and all American, while Chris is well dressed, West Coast and sophisticated.
OK, so it doesn't exactly sound like a match made in heaven.
It doesn't. But Chris and Caitlin can't stop talking. They discover they actually have a ton in common. They each have four kids. They've both had lives with big ups and downs. Chris, stop marrying. Robert would set her up for life, but now she's broke. Meanwhile, Caitlin's won an Olympic gold medal, but she's twice divorced and scraping together a living from speaking engagements and the occasional endorsement deal.
OK, I wouldn't kick an Olympian out of bed. Sure, but Caitlin isn't Chris's usual cup of tea. Here's the thing, though.
This is also a chance for Chris to come into a relationship on equal footing after being with a husband who controlled all the purse strings. Dating someone more on her own financial level probably feels refreshing. And she likes that. Caitlin is a go getter, too, just like her. Caitlin started out as a kid with dyslexia from a middle class family and worked her way to the front of Wheaties boxes. Chris respects that. So the two get serious pretty quickly and before long they move in together.
But between them, they have eight children to support. I can't even support one plant. Exactly.
This is going to take a lot of go getting it's nineteen ninety one. Caitlin's invited Chris to one of her public speaking appearances, and right now they're walking through the marble lobby of the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles. It sounds so fancy. It is. They enter the event room and Caitlin makes her way to the microphone while Chris takes her seat in the audience. She's about a foot taller than everyone else around her because today, Caitlyn speaking to the Boy Scouts of America.
OK, so not as fancy as I was imagining, right. It's not the most high profile or lucrative gig, but it's paying some of the bills. They're living together in a small house in Malibu and every dollar counts. As Caitlin starts her speech, her floppy bangs fall in her eyes. And Chris thinks we really need to do something about that hair. But then she notices the boy sitting next to her the way his face lights up. As Caitlyn says, I firmly believe that all of us has a champion that lives deep down inside of us.
I love inspiring the kids of tomorrow. Yes. And so does Chris. She perks up. This is good. She looks around. All the Boy Scouts are captivated. Caitlyn strides across the stage, speaking passionately into the microphone. Everyone's eyes are locked on to her. She has this audience in the palm of her hand. She finishes her speech with your greatest competition is your. Elf Bridge, it's safe to say this motivational speech has done its job, especially on Chris, as the applause grows louder, the gears start to turn.
Caitlyn is a good public speaker, like, really good.
And she could be doing this for audiences way bigger than the Boy Scouts back home. Chris excitedly pulls Caitlin's gold medals out of the back of the sock drawer. Wait, wait, wait.
Her gold medals live in the same place as my candy. That doesn't seem right. Well, that's Chris's point. Caitlin story is amazing. And if she gets it out there, the sky's the limit.
Chris can barely contain herself as she tells Caitlyn that there should be clothing, exercise products, endorsement deals, vitamin supplements, all with her name on it. DaMarcus has a vision. She sure does. And now it's her turn to be the motivational speaker by the end of her speech. Caitlyn is just as jazzed. They both had it all the lifestyle, the money, the perfect marriage, and they both lost it all. As Chris says in her book, we wanted to be champions again.
And with that, she dust off the gold medals and heads off to get them framed. Teamwork makes the dream work, and they really are a team. They're in it together with the same goals and dreams.
In February 1991, Caitlin asks Chris to marry her.
By April, they've tied the knot just a month after Chris's divorce is finalized. And remember how hard Chris worked as a kid?
Well, she gets to work now to Chris springs into action, appointing herself Caitlin's manager and publicist. She hires a friend to do photo shoots of Caitlin and another to make a real of her speeches. She even spends their very last dime creating 7000 press kits. She fills them with copies of Kaitlyn's clips and mails them to every speaker's bureau in the United States. Then she sits back and waits for the phone to ring. This is their one shot and it's a huge gamble.
Will it work or will all that money and effort have been for nothing?
Soon after Chris gets a call, thank God, thank God is right, she feels a flood of relief. On the other end of the line is Coca-Cola. They got Caitlin's press kit and they want her to give a motivational speech to their team.
The exposure is priceless and the paycheck is pretty nice, too. In fact, it's nice enough to get them back to Beverly Hills. In 1991, they moved to Benedict Canyon, the same neighborhood Chris used to live in with Robert.
It's just a lease, but it's a step in the right direction towards the life she used to have. The paychecks keep coming in.
Kaitlyn's now flying all around the country, delivering her spiel on finding the champion within. But motivational speeches are just the beginning of Chris's plan. Chris wants to build Caitlyn Jenner into a brand so she decides to focus on what Caitlyn is best known for fitness.
Remember, this is the era of the Jane Fonda workout craze, and Kris wants a piece of that multimillion dollar pie back when people looked fabulous when they worked out.
Yeah, now we're all just a bunch of sweaty slobs. But this time Kris isn't content to just stay in the background. She's working just as hard as Caitlyn and she wants to share in the spotlight. So Kris thrives on her little turquoise spandex shorts and matching turquoise sports bra, and she steps in front of the camera right next to Caitlyn. Together, they film an infomercial for super step home aerobics step machine.
My wife, Kris, was a new stair climber. The time of our last program and this is Kris today, Lider tremor, my dad's very tone. And I tell the folks how you did it.
Apparently, infomercials have ratings and their spot shoots to number one and then stays on the air for almost two years. It makes Chris and Caitlin a ton of money and more infomercials follow. And all of them feature plenty of shots of Chris in leotards and Lycra.
So Chris is stepping into the spotlight. Yeah, she's really keeping up what we're calling it. She's gotten a taste of Caitlin's fame and she wants more people outside her social circle are starting to recognize her. But Chris and her family are about to step into the spotlight in a way none of them expected.
So remember how I mentioned that Robert and Chris would party with O.J.?
How could I forget? While he was also the best man at their wedding and OJs wife, Nicole Brown, was Chris's best friend on June 12th, 1994, Nicole is murdered and O.J. is the prime suspect.
To say Chris is devastated is an understatement.
I can't imagine. And it must have been so traumatic for Robert, too, I'm sure. But to Chris's surprise, Robert stands firmly by O.J. side. He even renews his law license to become a member of O.J. Legal Dream Team. Suddenly, the Kardashian family is getting all the attention Kris has ever craved. But they're not in the spotlight. They're under a microscope. This is the trial of the century, and Kris is learning a lesson that will stick with her for the rest of her life.
The tabloids thrive on shock and misery. The more sensational a story, the hungrier they get. They don't care what the story is, just that it's making them lots and lots of money. Kris has to block it all out. She's grieving her best friend and she's also pregnant. Baby Kendall. Yep. In 1995, Kris gives birth to a baby girl and named her Kendall Nicole Jenner in memory of her best friend. And slowly, life moves on.
In 1997, Kris gives birth to her and Caitlyn second daughter, Kylie, Kristen Jenner and Kylie make six. Yes. So the Kardashian Jenner family has grown, but so has Kris his ambition. With her vision and drive, she took Caitlin's career from the back of a sock drawer to Beverly Hills. Now that her biggest triumph is behind her, Kris is ready for the next big thing. She wants more and she's willing to work for it. And soon another member of the family will give her exactly what she wished for.
OK, so we've all been sold a lie by the weight loss industry, that weight equals health. The number on the scale has become so powerful that it defines how people feel and think about themselves. Absolutely.
But that's not an accurate reflection of true health. And that's why we love using Fitrakis Dhara Smart scale Yaphet.
It tracks dhara. Smart Scale is one of the most accurate home smart skills in the world. It measures 17 different body compositions, which gives you a more accurate picture of your health and body. Yeah, I absolutely love that. You can easily track and trend your health over time and see how your daily choices ranging from exercise to diet, affect your health in the bigger picture. My biggest thing, one of my resolutions this year is to drink more water.
And I'm so excited because Adara scale tracks, you're like water composition and I've actually seen it go up, which I'm very excited about. I'm also peeing so many times that I can I say that ad.
Yes, I love it.
Yeah. And you guys stop measuring weight because literally it does not matter and start measuring health with fit track Gaudette fit track dotcom rich to take 50 percent off your order. Plus for a limited time, you'll also save an additional 30 percent with code build 30 at checkout. Yep, that's 50 to break dotcom rich to say 50 percent off, plus get an additional 30 percent off your order with code. Build 30 at checkout. Don't miss out on this amazing limited time.
Offer fast track dotcom rich with code build 30 at checkout. We really have to talk about unique vintage. Yeah, I mean, how much do we love unique vintage dotcom? I never have more fun when I'm browsing their website. It's the cutest vintage inspired, ready to wear fashion. Yes, I really love that. These are contemporary pieces with a retro inspired twist. Dresses, skirts, tops, accessories, shoes, swimwear. They have so much amazing stuff in a fully inclusive size range from extra small to five x.
Yeah, you guys need to check out the new spring collection in nautical stripes, playful polka dots and the cutest strawbery prints, plus fan favorite styles and vibrant colors. Sure. To help you kick those winter blues. Yes. So I'm actually on a really big velvet kick right now and I got this gorgeous olive green, long sleeve maxi dress. And I. I cannot wait to go full Jessica Rabbit in that thing. It's so sexy. It's so pretty.
It's like timeless. I love it so much.
You Ritchies can get 20 percent off your first order of 100 hundred dollars or more by visiting unique vintage dotcom and entering promo code.
Rich, that's 20 percent off your first order of 100 dollars or more when you go to a unique vintage dotcom and enter promo code rich.
La, la, la, la, la. It's 2002, and Kim Kardashian is standing inside a giant walk in closet. High heels litter the floor, shirts are falling off the hangers.
This place is a mess, but it's a very expensive mess, which means Kim is in her happy place.
She rubs the tweed of a Chanel suit between her fingers. She pats the velvet of an off the shoulder evening dress. She caresses the soft silk of an arms scarf.
But when Bernadette, the wife of boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, walks in, Kim's reminded that none of these gorgeous pieces are hers. The Leonards are Kim's godparents, and tonight she's volunteered to help Bernadette organize her closet. Here's the thing about Kim.
While her parents were married, Kim was rich. But ever since her parents split when she was 11 years old, she's been rich adjacent. Her friends are the children of celebrities and millionaires. And she goes to all the same schools and birthday parties and bar mitzvahs as them. But Kim doesn't have their money. Wait, is Robert a deadbeat dad? Quite the opposite, actually.
Robert is very involved, but he's strict and doesn't want his kids to be spoiled brats. So if Kim wants to buy a Birkin handbag or a Missoni print dress, she has to buy it for herself. And Kim is definitely a woman who wants to live in Missoni. Fashion is her language, and she knows that speaking it costs money.
Luckily, she's a lot like her mom. Her work ethic is as big as her imaginary wardrobe budget. She's always juggling multiple jobs. She works at clothing stores. She works at her dad's office. And right now, standing in Bernadette's closet, she sees another job opportunity coming together. She and Bernadette have finally sorted through every item.
The shoes are organized by heel height, the blouses by color. There's only one question left. Bernadette looks at the bags of discarded clothes and turns to Kim. Should we donate them or toss them? But Kim's gears are spinning. She has a better idea. She's like, What if we sell the clothes on eBay? And Bernadette is like, sure, go for it.
So Kim takes home the goods and snaps photos of each item draped on a mannequin she keeps at her father's office. Then she uploads them to eBay. Her eBay user name, by the way, is Kim's. The Princess girl is a dreamer. Why? She's a dreamer with an eye for business.
Item after item sells, the money starts flowing in and the word of her success starts flowing out. More and more celebrities want her wardrobe expertise. She reorganizes the closets of people like Kenny G, Rob Lowe, Cindy Crawford and Serena Williams. She gets so popular she even earns a nickname. Her clients jokingly call her the queen of the closet scene mine.
Call me Queen of naps. I do call you that. And for every client, she gets a second bite at the apple when she sells any leftover clothes on eBay for a commission. Kim is making good money and she's ecstatic.
Every time she sells some Louboutin heels or Hermes scarves on eBay. She's a little bit closer to having these things for herself, but she's still not close enough. And then she's hired by a family friend.
You may have heard of her. Her name is Paris Hilton. I heard this. A really good podcast out about her.
Oh, my God. Yeah, I've heard that, too. The Hiltons and the Kardashians have actually known each other for years. Paris's mom, even through Kris, a baby shower for Kendall. So Kim has been in Paris's orbit for a while, but she's never been this close in a lot of ways. Paris is the perfect client. She's a compulsive shopper. And she's also and I say this from a place of love, kind of a slob.
There are racks of clothes in every room of her house, even her garage for a closet organizer. This is like a gig that will never run dry. I mean, we both saw her closet in the documentary. And, Jesus, that gig will never run dry.
Yeah, but I imagine working with Paris also gets him thinking this is probably the first time she's worked with someone her own age who has everything Kim wants but didn't get famous via some traditional route. She isn't a top ranked tennis player or a billboard charting musician. Mostly she's just herself. She's young like him. She's camera friendly like him. She's image conscious like him. But she has her own TV show, The Simple Life, her show with BFF Nicole Richie.
But that friendship is about to go sideways and it leaves a best friend shaped hole in Paris's life.
Best friends are hard to replace. Yes, and you will never replace me, so don't try. But the point is, Paris needs a new friend and Kim is more than willing to step into Nicole's high heels and take her place soon. Kim is popping up on the red carpet beside Paris and joining her at club appearances. And every time she's in a tabloid photo, her name gets mentioned in the photo. Caption Can likes how it feels. Now, she's not just rich adjacent, she's famous Jay-Z.
The next step is to get some column inches all to herself. And she has a plan for that. She's going to get on. The simple life and does it work well, kind of. It's spring 2006, Kim is finally basking in the bright production lights of the simple life she's on set for season four. And today, she's not just going to be on the show. She's going to have a speaking part.
Let me set the scene. Paris and Kim are at the kitchen island in Paris's mansion. Paris is wearing a bright green babydoll tank, top her hair's and perfect, totally unnatural ringlets. And she's clutching her Chihuahua, Tinkerbell.
And what's Tinkerbell wearing? Oh, I'm so glad you asked.
Tinkerbell's in a pink jacket with a fur collar. A dog is wearing a fur collar. Seriously, in comparison to tanks, Kim is literally fading into the background.
But you said she has a speaking part. Well, OK, so Paris sets Tinkerbelle down on the kitchen island and insists her dog's been acting weird lately, and then she whips out a human pregnancy test. OK, please don't tell me it's for the dog.
It's for the dog. Ferris explains that blue means you aren't pregnant while white means you are.
And then I hope Kim explains that human pregnancy tests don't work on SPAD dogs. No, but Kim does get to read the test results. She dramatically says not pregnant.
Yay! Paris kisses Tink on the nose. And that's that.
OK, so to be clear, it's just that one line. Yep, it's not much, but Kim's achieved her goal of getting on her friends show. OK, so does she get those precious column inches? Sadly, she does not. But she does come up with another idea and it involves another reality TV star, Nick Clash.
OK, so we really are peacocks here. Yep. He's just split up from Jessica Simpson. The two have gotten super famous in the last few years from the reality show Newlyweds. These sorts of family reality shows are all the rage right now. The Osborn's is huge. So is Gene Simmons family jewels. So Nick is still a really big deal. And this is his first date since his split from Jessica. Wow. How did I not know Nick Lachey and Kim Kardashian went out?
What did they do? Dinner drinks? Well, that's probably what Kim had in mind. But instead, they go see a movie. It's like Nick picked a date that would give them as few photo ops as possible. And even worse, when they get to the movie theater, there aren't even any paparazzi outside.
So Kim's kind of past, like, hello, I'm with Nick Lachey. Someone take a picture of me. Meanwhile, Nick just goes up to the counter and says, two tickets for The Da Vinci Code, please. Wow. So romantic.
So they walk into the theater. It's already dark. They sit down, start munching their popcorn. But Kim's restless. This is her big chance to get pictured with Ella's hottest single, and no one is even going to see it. So halfway through the movie, as Tom Hanks is running around Europe, Kim gets up.
I'm just going to the bathroom. She whispers to Nick. She locks herself in a stall and pulls out her cell phone.
And this is when allegedly she calls up the paparazzi.
Damn, did she really call them herself? Well, Kim's lawyer denies it, but Nick's pretty sure she called the paps. Either way, Kim sneaks back into the movie and they sit through the rest of it, maybe their hands touch in the popcorn box. Who knows? Eventually, Tom Hanks solves the mystery and they get up to leave.
And as they're exiting the theater surprise, two dozen paparazzi are waiting outside. Wow. This is such shocking news. I know. Where did they come from? But Kim is finally getting what she wants. She's getting noticed.
And this is when things start changing for Kim. The next night, she goes out with Paris. Usually when the paparazzi spot them, they show Paris, Paris, Paris.
But that night they start shouting, Kim, Kim, Kim, Paris and Kim, look at each other.
Paris goes, whatever you do, just smile and don't say anything under your breath, because now they have video cameras to. Wow. So Paris is like her celebrity mentor. Totally.
Paris pioneered the idea of fame for its own sake. And in this moment, it's like she's officially taking Kim on as an apprentice. And Kim is super grateful. She's loving the attention and can taste how close she is to fame and with fame. She can have all the Missoni her little heart desires. Exactly.
But it's not just Kim who is basking in the media attention. Kim's mom, Kris Jenner, is watching all of this from the wings. She knows Kim wants to be famous and she's impressed with Kim's tenacity. Her daughter's been making progress all on her own. But Kris knows how much she helped Caitlin's career. What could she do for Kim? So, Kris, the manager, takes on another client. As Kris starts to ponder opportunities to get Kim noticed, the perfect one falls right into her lap.
Kris is TD casting director. Friend is over for dinner. The whole Kardashian Jenner family is there. It's chaotic but endearing. Everyone talking over each other, but also laughing as Kris serves homemade lasagna.
Her friend says, you know, Ryan Seacrest is looking for the next big reality TV family and Chris perks up. Oh, really?
I'm picturing her jumping up from the table yelling, get me Seacrest number right now. Yeah, she's seen with a simple life has done for Paris and what newlyweds did for Nick and Jessica, not to mention the money they make from endorsements. So I guess she gets Ryan's number because she sets a meeting with him. And once she's in his office, she sells her family hard.
She tells him they're like The Brady Bunch. But famous Chris emphasizes all their connections. She explains that Kim is Paris Hilton's BFF. Their dad was O.J. Simpson's lawyer and her spouse is an Olympic champion.
She says, we live crazy, glamorous lives, but we're also a normal family, OK?
And as Ryan see the potential I mean, I don't know if he's completely sold, but he's curious. So he sends a producer over to their house in Calabasas to see if there's anything there.
The door swings open and there's Kris with the biggest, most welcoming smile. If she's nervous, you can't tell because she's playing it real cool. She ushers the producer and the camera crew inside and straight to the backyard.
The crew races to set up. The former Olympian is already grilling. Rob is hanging out by himself on a raft. 12 year old Kendall and 10 year old Kylie are in the pool giggling and splashing each other. And the three older daughters are swanning around in bikinis. There's the gorgeous Kim Kardashian who clearly thinks she's the queen bee next to her is too cool for school sister Kourtney and Kourtney is Khloe, the jokester in the family. The camera follows Kim as she struts over to Kourtney and throws her sister into the pool.
Classic pool party move. Yeah, they all start laughing and one by one, each of them gets thrown in. They're totally soaked and having the time of their life. The energy is kinetic and the camera picks it up. The producer can totally see it now the humor, the fun, the chaos and the love.
And it doesn't hurt that the kids span so many age ranges. There's a character for every demographic. When he leaves the house, the producer calls Seacrest. It's absolutely golden. You're going to die when you see this tape. So it's really happening. It is. They get the green light, Kris and Kim, the whole family can feel their lives changing. They're about to become the twenty first century Brady Bunch. But then comes the video that could ruin the family's reputation.
The sex tape, the sex tape.
I'm having deja vu. Didn't we just live through this with Paris? We did, but it's different this time around. Paris didn't have Chris as her mom and Chris is savvy. First, Chris and Kim try what Paris tried. They sue Vivid Entertainment to stop the release of the tape. But four months later, Kim drops the suit and the pair meet with a vivid to make a deal.
Right. They're just going to let it come out, except for the small fee of five million dollars.
But it's Chris who convinces Kim to take the deal.
She knows the tape will end up being leaked online. Whether Kim likes it or not, that ship has sailed. So her job is to get Kim as much money as possible.
It gives whole new meaning to if you can't beat them, join them.
Well, she's seen how Paris's tape put her brand into hyperdrive. Now she's going to strap that same jet back onto her daughter's career.
If she plays it right, this tape could take her whole family into the stratosphere. This is episode one of our four part series, The Kardashians, if you like our show, please give us a five star rating and a review and be sure to tell your friends subscribe on Apple podcast, Spotify, the Wonder App or wherever you're listening right now, join thundery plus in the Wonder app to listen ad free. You'll also find some links and offers from our sponsors in the episode notes.
Please support them by supporting them. You help us offer you this show for free. Another way you can support the show is by filling out a small survey at wondering dot com slash survey. We use many sources when researching our stories like Kris Jenner's autobiography, Kris Jenner and All Things Kardashian. But we especially recommend Kardashian Dynasty by Ian Halperin. I'm Brooke Saffron. And I'm Erica Skidmore Williams. Natalie Rosemead wrote this episode, editing by Allison Rimer. Our producer is Natalie Sheesha.
Our associate producer is Kate Young. Our audio engineer is Sergio Henriquez. Sound Design is by James Morgan.
Our executive producers are Stephanie Jones, Jenny Lour Bachman and Hernan Lopez for wondering.
On the Internet, people can hide their true identity and become anyone they want to be. But what happens when those lies go too far? MTV and Wonder represent Cavefish, the podcast hosted by award winning filmmaker Neil Schulman Catfish. The podcast exposes the truths and lies of online dating. Each week, Neeve and his guest hosts will reveal the wildest, most dramatic stories with never before heard moments. And you'll learn that when someone seems too good to be true, they just might be.
Subscribe to Catfish, the podcast on Apple podcasts, Spotify or wherever you're listening now.