PARIS – Kim Kardashian West is having the week from hell.
In town for Paris fashion week, the reality-TV star/entrepreneur was ambushed last Wednesday by a Ukrainian prankster who tried to plant a kiss on her famous posterior. A security guard intervened and protected Kardashian from the peck, wrestling her would-be attacker to the ground.But on Monday morning, the Snapchat sleuth faced a far more harrowing assault.
According to initial reports, as many as five armed men disguised as police officers stormed a luxury residence containing Kardashian in Paris’s 8th arrondissement at approximately 2:30 a.m. local time. The gunmen were said to have held up the nighttime security guard, then forced the guard to grant them entry into Kardashian’s apartment. Kardashian was then left bound and locked in the bathroom while the robbers made off with jewelry valued at approximately €9 million ($10 million), including a €4 million diamond ring that may or may not be one that she’d flaunted on Instagram days earlier.
Kardashian was unhurt in the incident. After giving a statement to police, she reportedly left Paris on a private jet in the early hours of Monday from Le Bourget Airport. “Kim Kardashian West was held up at gunpoint... this evening by two armed masked men dressed as police officers. She is badly shaken but physically unharmed,” her representative said in a statement.
The brazen banditry—which Le Figaro reports may have been caught on security cameras outside the hotel—has been the talk of the French press, with some wondering how the thieves were able to pull off such a heist.
Although initial reports suggested that Kardashian had been fleeced at one of the city’s storied luxury hotels, French radio station RTL reported the holdup actually happened at a more discreet locale: Just a few steps from the famed Madeleine church, the L’hôtel de Pourtalès on Rue Tronchet houses nine luxury apartments that the famous and well-heeled often rent to find refuge from the paparazzi and, presumably in this case, the general fashion week-related mania that swarms the Hôtel Ritz, Le Meurice, and other exclusive Paris addresses.
Devoid of ornate exteriors and with no porters in sight, the sleek, contemporary apartments are housed in a onetime 19th-century mansion with a demure façade that (aptly) operates under the business name “No Address France.” Stroll down the Rue Tronchet on any given day and you will pass L’hôtel de Pourtalès without even realizing it. It’s the low-key nature of the place, however, that may have worked to the burglars’ advantage.
The first hint of the harrowing incident came courtesy of Kardashian’s husband, Kanye West, who left concertgoers stunned when he abruptly stopped his show in Queens, New York, at approximately 9:45 p.m. ET during the song “Heartless.” An assistant of West’s ran onstage and whispered something into his ear, prompting the rapper to announce, “I’m sorry, there’s a family emergency, I have to stop the show,” and then run offstage.
Although Paris is known for its audacious heists, including the robbery of several famous jewelry boutiques and the holdup a couple of years ago of a Saudi prince’s motorcade, the armed robbery of such a high-profile figure is rare. The fact that myriad wealthy and well-heeled stars (and their security outfits) are in town makes the theft all the more shocking. However, the inconspicuous location of Kardashian’s residence and lack of fans and hangers-on lurking around outside also could have given the bandits the perfect opportunity to slip in, grab the haul, and disappear unnoticed (police report they escaped on motorcycles).
For those familiar with Kardashian and her attention-seeking antics, the incident carries with it a hint of cruel irony. Her decision to seek more discreet lodging away from the spotlight seems to have come back to bite her.