There is great debate regarding the legality of the Kim Kardashian-leaked video.
When Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo dropped this past February, the song “Famous” created huge controversy due to its lyrics regarding pop star Taylor Swift. As West rapped the lyrics, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that b*tch famous,” Swift and her fan base were up in arms. Swift claimed that she had no prior knowledge of the lyrics and condemned the misogynistic tone. Kim and Kanye went on record multiple times, stating that West had called Swift to get her blessing on the song. Fans on both sides were torn on who to believe until this past Sunday.
Kim took to Twitter on Sunday, hinting that the Swift-West feud would take a major turn later on in the day. During the most recent episode of her reality show, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, the situation was discussed by family members and aired to millions of viewers. Following the episode, Kim posted a recorded video of the speculated West-Swift conversation to her Snapchat account. The portions of video uploaded to the Snapchat story depicted West reading his lyrics to Swift, who then responded by saying thank you for the warning regarding the song, and for being a good friend. Social media then erupted.
Swift responded with a note, which appeared to be prepared beforehand, on her Instagram account. The note claimed that she never heard the entirety of the song and was unaware that she was referred to as “that b*tch.” Other celebrities had taken sides on social media as well, including the Kardashian sisters and close friends of Swift. After the initial reactions had died down, questions were asked regarding the legality of the recording. At the moment, it appears to be a gray area.
Swift claims that the video was secretly recorded without her consent. Under California state law, no phone calls can be recorded unless both speakers are aware of and agree to the recording. However, there is speculation that West may have been in New York at the time of the call, where the state law does not require both parties to consent to a recording. If we assume that if Swift sued West and California state law was applied to the situation, Swift would have a legitimate case. However, news outlets are reporting that another factor must be considered.
According to TMZ, which claims to have heard the entire recording of the conversation, Swift was aware that West was not alone when on the phone. Producer Rick Rubin, who can be seen in the Snapchat snippets, reportedly chimed in on the conversation multiple times. The camera crew that follows Kim Kardashian also could be heard in the background.
According to the California confidentiality law, it applies to situations that “reasonably indicate” that the conversation is confidential. The law does not apply to conversations held in public “in which the parties to the communication may reasonably expect that the communication may be overheard or recorded.” If Swift were aware that other people could hear the conversation, the strength of her case is greatly diminished.
Swift could also choose to sue West and Kardashian for defamation of character. In order to have a strong case, Swift would have to prove that Kardashian and West released false statements and a video riddled with lies, as well as prove that they were aware of the falsity of their statements and video. While it is possible that Swift could pursue this route, the damage it could potentially do to her brand would be much bigger than she would hope for.
As of right now, it appears that Swift will not pursue any legal action against West and that may be the best move on her part.
Check out the controversial video itself below: