Kim Kardashian has finally responded, albeit indirectly, to Los Angeles comedian Rob Delaney's threat to sue her in a viral column for Vice Magazine.
His grounds? Delaney tells the Weekly that L.A.'s Armenian princess defrauded the public, and perhaps E! advertisers as well, by collecting millions of dollars for a marriage that was, in the end, nothing more than a publicity stunt/cash cow.
So yeah -- her response. TMZ reports this afternoon that Kardashian has told "people very close to her" that her marriage to towering NBA star Kris Humphries...
... "was '100% real,' adding that they loved each other very much."
Things only get more heartbreaking from there: "She says when they got engaged ... she truly believed the marriage was 'forever.'"
But Delaney tells us he truly believes, in his "heart of hearts," that the Kardashian-Humphries union -- the closest thing America has ever seen to a Royal Wedding, only to devolve into a Royal Divorce a mere 72 days later -- was one big setup.
Here's an excerpt from yesterday's hit column.
HOW I IMAGINE THEIR "WEDDING" WAS PITCHED:
"I know! We'll have Kim get married! It'll be a ratings bonanza! We'll bludgeon the populace with billboards and commercials, build it up across our 14 execrable spinoffs, hire some psychologists to help Kim and Kompany approximate the appearance of human emotion as they navigate the wedding preparation, split the actual wedding over two interminable episodes--even accompany them on the honeymoon! And the best part is, it doesn't even have to be real! We'll have Kris (Humphries, not Kris Jenner, Kim's mom (though having her marry her own mom once ratings start to slide IS a great idea!!!)) sign a pre-nup that is also a non-disclosure agreement AND a waiver stating that if he even talks in his sleep about the "marriage's" details, he'll be beaten, drugged, and given a facelift from the same doctor who did Bruce Jenner, and then forced to walk the Earth terrifying children and animals for eternity.
... It is alleged that Kim Kardshian was paid $18 million to participate in her own wedding. I feel like schools could use that money. Or health clinics in areas hit hardest by the recession. Or Pizza Hut. Or Bernie Madoff. Or my uncle Mitchell, who is a convicted sex offender making a living selling Percocet to the elderly in Rhode Island."
And more of Kardashian's response today, via shadowy TMZ sources: "Sometimes marriages end ... rapidly. Just because it's short doesn't mean it's fake."
Delaney's still not buying it. In his lawsuit, which has not yet been filed, he says he plans to demand that she stay married to Humphries. (Or if not, that E! producer Ryan Seacrest, and parent company Comcast, at least issue a statement to the public admitting that "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" is fiction.)
"I'm not some weird conservative defender of the concept of marriage," he tells the Weekly. "But if you do get married, give it a shot."
If you plaster your wedding invite on every billboard and supermarket aisle in this godforsaken city, to the point that we unavoidably care about your marriage, "then goddammit, you're going to stay married until I say you can stop being married," says Delaney. (He also spoke at length with the Village Voice, our sister paper.)
So the lawsuit needs some fleshing out.
Still, we called a handful of L.A. attorneys -- a contract negotiator, a family lawyer and an entertainment litigator -- to see if Delaney's great American fight might have the slightest glimmer of hope in the courtroom. Because if nothing else, it's damn interesting.
Brian Murphy, who draws up entertainment contracts for stars in West L.A., says that if Kardashian's marriage was somehow proven to be a sham, there's a (very, very remote) possibility it could violate a "good faith and fair dealing" bit in her contract for the show.
Assuming there are morals clauses in the contract -- "whether she had enough strength to get them out, who knows," says the attorney -- advertisers might be able to ask for their money back, saying she violated their agreement.
However, Murphy believes that "most of her ads probably like the extra attention" anyway. As a mere observer of the show, Delaney is owed nothing by Kardashian, he says. (Plus, the indignant Vice columnist is alleging Kardashian's producers knew about the sham, too, which would make their reality-show contract with the bride kind of a moot point.)
Mary Catherine Bohen, a family lawyer in Los Angeles, is more skeptical still.
"That's just crazy talk," she says.
Bohen explains that accusations of fraud can only be made by one married party of the other. A third party like Delaney would have absolutely no standing to intervene in their relationship.
"You know what?" says Bohen. "Shame on all of us, for watching it."
Century City entertainment lawyer Barry Rothman clears up any remaining doubt.
"So he's just a member of the public?" Rothman laughs. "You have to have damages. What, he deserves something because he was emotionally harmed? Because he cried at the wedding when he should have been laughing?"
Yep -- Delaney's case does kind of come down to that. Seems simple as this: A well-meaning guy, pissed he got emotionally invested in trivial Valley-girl drama and worried about what that might mean for his kids -- and hell, for the rest of America -- decided it was time he held a mandatory tween idol responsible for her intolerableness. And dust up some publicity for his own gig, to boot.
In order for him to win, though, he'll have to prove Kardashian didn't love nor wish to marry Humphries in the months leading up to their wedding. "It's very difficult for third parties to assess the emotional dynamic between two people," says Rothman. And even if you do prove "it's a sham and not effective, that doesn't make it not solemnized. It's still a marriage."
But Delaney maintains that his accusations will stick -- even if he doesn't wind up being the plaintiff opposite Kardashian. He says "thousands of people on the Internet" have told him they'd get behind a suit.
Personally, he's more interested in the marriage itself.
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"I would like them to stay married," Delaney tells us, quite passionately. "[Even] arranged marriages probably have a happiness factor. Marriage is so difficult, and so weird, and unnatural in some ways that I don't think your odds improve by picking your own spouse."
(Ha! Join his quarter-million Twitter followers for more where that came from.)
So whadya say, Kim: Time to suck it up and make babies with your ill-chosen teddy bear of a B-ball neanderthal? If not for your own pleasures, at least for the mental stability of the unwilling Kardashian observer that you (and goddamn Ryan Seacrest) have made of us all.