Ask a Publicist: Could the Kim Kardashian Robbery Have Possibly Been Staged?

Image by Bobby Finger.
Image by Bobby Finger.

When news broke that Kim Kardashian was the victim of a robbery in a Paris apartment over the weekend, conspiracy theorist alarms—always ready to go off—were instantly triggered. The terrifying incident read like the stuff of heist films—Kardashian was reportedly bound, gagged and held at gunpoint, and then locked in the bathroom while a group of men made off with her phone and a reported $10 million in jewelry, including the diamond ring she previously flashed on social media. Adding to the insanity of this story is the fact that people are questioning its legitimacy.


In the aftermath of the robbery, sources including Kardashian’s best friend Jonathan Cheban have stated that Kim understandably remains in distress. Anyone would empathize with such a traumatic ordeal. Yet, speculation is heavy from those who think the robbery is a publicity set-up. The Daily Mail had Michael Jackson’s mouthy former bodyguard address the apparent holes in the story, and The New York Post had the audacity to compile a list of reasons Kardashian’s account seems dubious (“How Kim’s story just doesn’t add up”), partly based on the conjectures of internet anons. Sites like Fox News have also written about how Kardashian’s story “raises questions.”

That disbelievers exist, though bizarre, isn’t at all surprising. Reality TV has skewed the average person’s humanity to the point of grim detachment, so that even a very real incident seems incredible coming from a family adept at fabricating their lives. In this case, though, what would be the point? For insight, I asked a few to publicists to weigh the conspiracies. One noted that, “The one misstep is the lack of a statement from her rep confirming that she’s home safe and would appreciate privacy at this time. To not acknowledge it only fuels the theories that this was fabricated as a plot point for the show.”

Publicist #1 (Anonymous, Hollywood PR):

​I can’t imagine Kim Kardashian pulling a Ryan Lochte, so I sincerely hope that this was not something their camp staged. They don’t need more press than they already have, but I can understand the conspiracy theories given the daily “leaks” about the incident. ​I think she’s doing the right thing by taking a break from social media. The one misstep is the lack of a statement from her rep confirming that she’s home safe and would appreciate privacy at this time. To not acknowledge it only fuels the theories that this was fabricated as a plot point for the show.

​The fun of social media is sharing an inside look at this fabulous woman who’s image is so carefully crafted. If she only shared mundane photos of her being “normal,” people would be bored and unfollow her. Is it wise to give millions of people a minute by minute update of your location and latest purchase? No. Should she stay off social media permanently? Absolutely not. If she were my client, I would advise her to diversify what she’s sharing across her platforms and save some of the extravagance for her app where people pay to ogle her.

Publicist #2 (Anonymous, Entertainment PR):

I don’t think this is a publicity stunt at all. If it was a stunt, it was a really stupid one that would only make Kardashian look bad. A good publicist would know that this would only bring negative press. “Why would she carry jewelry that expensive?” “Where was her security?” All the things that are being asked right now. She’s going to fashion week. Of course she is bringing jewelry. And much of the jewelry, other than her ring, was likely on loan from a Jeweler and not something she paid for. Three pieces of expensive jewelry would equal about $11 million. It’s not like she was traveling with a huge grocery bag of jewels! No sensible publicist or other celebrity rep would stage this. I know who her reps are and none of them are that stupid. I would advise Kim to give a short and sweet response just saying the accusations are false, and to limit revealing as much on social media in realtime.


Publicist #3 (Kiara Horwitz, Lifestyle publicist, KHPR, Inc.):

I think that is way too big of a situation for them to make up for press purposes. I think the Kardashian family is extremely shook up from this.​ ​I think Kim will most probably be giving an hour exclusive to one of the top news stations to come out with the story to the public from her experience. I am sure Kris was setting that up the second she found out about this.​ I would highly advise her or any client to not flaunt extremely expensive jewelry like that on social media—it just draws attention and makes crazy people out there come after it. I think that the reason she is not putting anything up on social right now is because they are securing an exclusive to talk on live TV about it.​


Publicist #4 (Anonymous, Music PR):

Sometimes as humans it’s hard to put our prejudices aside to see clearly. I believe any woman who says this has happened to her and I stand with any woman who has said she has been violated in any way. We can never dismiss these things, first you believe then you investigate. “Crying wolf” is almost something that seems to have exclusively adhered to women and it needs to end.

I think it’s wise for her to stay quiet for a minute and have the authorities respond. That said, she deserves to be outraged that people think she would lie about his for PR. The woman can get PR with a wink and a smile.

Karl Lagerfeld is a legendary asshat who also doesn’t like ugly people. Being violated should have nothing to do with what you are or who you are. If a prostitute is raped was she asking for it? If I wear a short skirt was I flaunting it? Kim Kardashian is a derisive individual, her wealth and priorities much different from most of the world, but it does not mean it’s OK to hurt or harm her in any violating way.

Living your life in the open puts you in harms way for sure. There are people in the world who want to hurt you and you have to live in a more cautious way. It never means you were asking for it…any violation of a person is wrong.



Culture Editor, Jezebel



The woman can get PR with a wink and a smile.

THIS. This all god damned day. Why would she make this up?