LOS ANGELES — Kim Kardashian testified Tuesday that she had no memory of making any attempt to kill the reality show that starred her brother Rob Kardashian and his former fiancée Blac Chyna. But she acknowledged demanding that Chyna be kept off of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” after hearing Chyna had abused her brother.
“I will not go into a toxic work environment,” Kardashian said of her refusal to work with Chyna. “On my own show, I have the power to do that.”
Kardashian took the stand for an hour in a Los Angeles courtroom in a civil trial in which Chyna alleges that Kardashian and three other members of her family defamed Chyna and convinced producers and the E! network to cancel the spinoff show “Rob & Chyna.”
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Her testimony was mostly unremarkable — she spent much of it saying “I don’t remember” — but as the biggest star by far to testify in a trial full of stars, she caused a stir when she walked from the gallery to the witness stand wearing a dark gray pinstriped suit with white sneakers. The moment she stepped down, several reporters dashed from the courtroom to file stories.
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Chyna’s attorney Lynne Ciani showed Kardashian a series of text messages from late 2016 and early 2017 with Kardashian’s name attached. In every case, Kardashian said she had no memory of sending them, though she didn’t deny their likely legitimacy.
“I don’t remember text messages that I sent this morning,” Kardashian said.
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In response to viewing one text exchange, a long conversation with a producer from production company Bunim Murray, which produced both shows, Kardashian acknowledged “this definitely sounds like something I would say.”
In it, she expressed anger that Chyna might still be filmed for “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” which Chyna occasionally appeared on along with her own show.
“I think we all need to take a break from filming at this point until we figure out what’s going on. She is not going to be on our show,” the text read. “So if you guys are going to film with Rob and Chyna, and then you are going to lose the Kardashians and Jenners.”
The text exchange includes several seemingly damning demands surrounding Chyna being filmed for “her” show, but Kardashian insisted that was a quirk of technology.
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“This is clearly voice dictated, as is everything I text that’s so long, and it’s sometimes rendering ‘our’ as ‘her,” Kardashian testified. “I would never refer to her show as ‘her’ show, I would say ‘Rob’s show’ since it’s a spin-off of ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians.’ ”
She added that the recipient, Amanda Weinstein, did not work on “Rob & Chyna.”
Kim Kardashian said the text exchange showed that she and her family had no power over what the producers and the network ultimately decided about the shows. “No one listens to us, no one respects us,” one text message reads.
What they could do was withhold their own participation in the case of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”
“I have a right as a cast member to say we really need a break,” Kardashian testified.
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Much of the trial now in its seventh day, including the testimony of Kardashian’s mother, Kris Jenner, and sister Kylie Jenner, has focused on a fight between Chyna and Rob Kardashian on Dec. 15, 2016, which led to the couple’s eventual breakup and their show’s cancellation.
Ciani asked Kardashian if she saw any injuries on her brother that day.
“I just remember in that moment him being super emotional, and it’s really all such a blur, Kardashian said. “I remember him being really red, but I don’t remember anything very specific, just him looking puffy and red.”
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Asked whether and how she had told the shows’ producers or anyone from the E! network about Chyna attacking her brother, she said she doesn’t remember, but she acknowledged that it likely came up in meetings about “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”
“Typically it would be every family member saying what they felt and what they were going through, and saying if we had photo shoots or things we wanted to schedule for filming,” she said. “I would want to be honest in my concern for my brother. But I’m not very sure on where or when and how that would have occurred.”
Repeatedly asked whether she directed her sisters to tell executives and producers about the attack, which the lawsuit alleges, Kardashian said she had no recollection of doing that, eventually growing mildly angry with Ciani but remaining composed.
“I know you want my answer to change,” Kardashian said. “You’ve asked the same question like four times, I wish I had a better answer for you, but I just don’t remember.”
Asked specifically if she had directed Kylie Jenner to send an email on the issue, Kardashian replied, “I do not control my sisters’ lives, and I do not have conversations with them before they send emails.”
The Kardashians’ attorney, David G. Rhodes, declined to cross-examine her, but he intends to put her back on the stand when he presents the defense case, as he plans to do with all the Kardashian witnesses.