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Larger social issues play out in Kimye divorce

Rapper Kanye West, now legally known as Ye, has launched a series of increasingly vitriolic attacks on his ex, Kim Kardashian, raising concerns about his mental health and spotlighting the larger issue of harassment. 

West’s ongoing mental health challenges (he has bipolar disorder) contributed to the marital breakdown. He regularly exhibited signs of mania on social media in the lead up to the divorce, often aimed at Kardashian. 

Still, after Kardashian officially filed for divorce in February 2021, the two seemed fairly amicable and committed to co-parenting their four children. 

But things have rapidly gone downhill this month and West’s ongoing attacks on Kardashian have become more serious. He has accused her of preventing him from seeing their children, while publicly slamming her parenting decisions AND agitating for a reconciliation. Kardashian is currently dating “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson, who West has verbally threatened. 

Kardashian publicly defended herself for the first time against his remarks earlier this month, saying: “From the beginning I have wanted nothing but a healthy and supportive co-parenting relationship because it is what is best for our children and it saddens me that Kanye continues to make it impossible every step of the way. I wish to handle all matters regarding our children privately and hopefully he can finally respond to the third attorney he has had in the last year to resolve any issues amicably.”

It’s easy to write this off as another piece of celebrity drama. But millions of people around the world have suffered harassment and worse at the hands of a former partner, and there are real fears both for Kardashian’s safety and West’s mental state. For both their sakes – and, crucially, for the sake of their kids – we hope the situation can be safely managed.

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 17 February 2022. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.