Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s co-parenting relationship is tested in the very first episode of "The Kardashians" after their son Saint views an ad that referenced the reality star’s 2007 sex tape.
In a newly aired teaser for the Hulu-branded show that premieres on April 14, Kardashian’s 6-year-old son is playing Roblox on his iPad when he sees her famous crying meme. In this case, the meme was an ad for supposed unreleased scenes from the controversial tape (which Kardashian said she doubts exists).
“It was clickbait insinuating that if you click on it, there was going to be a new sex tape coming out,” Kardashian explained in the episode. “Had my son been a little bit older and been able to read, I would have been mortified. But I died inside.”
Back in 2007, "Keeping up With the Kardashians" chronicled the reality star’s battle to stop the release of the private tape, in which she appears with her ex-boyfriend Ray J. Kardashian eventually filed a lawsuit against adult production company Vivid Entertainment (which obtained it through a “third party”) for releasing it, and later settled.
Kardashian has moved on, however she has struggled with how to address the video with her children — aside from Saint, she and West share North, 8, Chicago, 4, and Psalm, 2. “I think I’m just gonna be super honest and real with them,” Kardashian told Bravo’s Andy Cohen in 2019 when asked how she will eventually explain the tape to her children. “That’s all you can really be.”
In the new clip, Kardashian calls West to share what happened. “He started laughing and was like, ‘Mommy, look and it was a picture of my cry face,’” she says, adding that Saint was too young to grasp the information. According to Kardashian, West responded empathetically, which made her feel “calm.”
The scene was shot in October as Kardashian packed her bags for New York City where she made her "Saturday Night Live" hosting debut and connected with her now-boyfriend Pete Davidson. Their ongoing romance has strained divorce proceedings between Kardashian and West, whose split was announced in February 2021.
While Kardashian’s specific predicament isn’t too probable, many children are curious about their parents’ past and if the information isn’t favorable, it can be an awkward — but not impossible — conversation, according to Los Angeles-based psychoanalyst Bethany Marshall.
“It’s first important to understand the age, maturity level, and developmental capability of the child asking the question,” Marshall told TODAY Parents. “That way, you avoid concepts that children may not be able to metabolize.”
So make sure you truly understand what your child is asking. For example, as Marshall points out, Kardashian’s son may have been more curious about why his mom’s photo appeared during his Roblox game rather than what it meant.
If the incident contradicts your own parenting, consider just opening up. “Let’s say you told your child not to steal and they discover you have a criminal record,” says Marshall. “You could admit that you’ve made mistakes and learned from them, which equips you to teach them better because you wouldn’t do it again.”
Or, make it a lesson by saying to your kid, “Do you remember when you said something you wish you could take back? That’s how I feel about this.”
It’s better if parents have processed any trauma before impromptu inquiries, but if questions feel triggering, it’s OK to keep your explanation brief and or save it for later.
And don’t shame yourself for your past — Kardashian refuses to do that. “For 20 years, (this mistake) has been held over my head,” she said in the episode. “Or is it a mistake? … It’s embarrassing for that to be out there but it’s not the most scandalous thing and I’m not going to be made to feel that way. I’m just human.”