Kim Kardashian Turns 40: Her Biggest Moments of the Past Year
By Rachel McRady
Four decades of Kim Kardashian West! The iconic reality star turns 40 on Wednesday and to celebrate her milestone birthday, ET is looking back at her past year of accomplishments, struggles, successes and more! The mother of four has had a big year filled with quarantine complications, legal achievements, and the announcement of the end of her family's hit reality show, Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
Keeping Up With the Kardashians To End 14-Year Run
Days before the premiere of season 19 of KUWTK, Kim announced that the family had come to the decision to end the popular reality series in early 2021 with season 20. The show has been airing on E! for 14 years and featured many spinoff shows with the famous siblings.
"We are beyond grateful to all of you who’ve watched us for all of these years – through the good times, the bad times, the happiness, the tears, and the many relationships and children," the KKW Beauty founder wrote at the time. "We’ll forever cherish the wonderful memories and countless people we’ve met along the way."
Shortly after the news broke, a source told ET that finishing up the show was a "mutual decision" for the family, adding, "The family wanted time to focus more on their family and future projects and the show is a major job that takes up a lot of time."
We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States 🇺🇸! #2020VISION
"We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States! #2020VISION," he wrote. Kim retweeted the message at the time, adding an American flag.
But things got more complicated as Kanye's campaign events and Twitter updates became more controversial.
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Kim Kardashian Breaks Her Silence on Kanye West’s Bipolar Episode: Where Their Marriage Stands
"As many of you know, Kanye has bipolar disorder. Anyone who has this or has a loved one in their life who does, knows how incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand. I've never spoken publicly about how this has affected us at home because I am very protective of our children and Kanye's right to privacy when it comes to his health," she wrote on Instagram Stories. "But today, I feel like I should comment on it because of the stigma and misconceptions about mental health."
She went on to add, "Those that understand mental illness or even compulsive behavior know that the family is powerless unless the member is a minor. People who are unaware or far removed from this experience can be judgmental and not understand that the individual themselves have to engage in the process of getting help no matter how hard family and friends try. I understand Kanye is subject to criticism because he is a public figure and his actions at times can cause strong opinions and emotions. He is a brilliant but complicated person who on top of the pressures of being an artist and a Black man, who experienced the painful loss of his mother, and has to deal with the pressure and isolation that is heightened by his bipolar disorder. Those who are close with Kanye know his heart and understand his words sometimes do not align with his intentions."
Several days later, Kanye publicly apologized to Kim, tweeting, "I would like to apologize to my wife Kim for going public with something that was a private matter. I did not cover her like she has covered me. To Kim I want to say I know I hurt you. Please forgive me. Thank you for always being there for me."
Though she vowed to rock less risqué styles as she approached 40, Kim arguably had one of her sexiest years yet. Footage aired on KUWTK from the 2019 Met Gala in which Kanye wasn't exactly pleased with Kim's racy ensemble.
"We were having this conversation of, 'What is too much?' I am a mother of four. I am going to be 40 next year," Kim said on The Real in November. "There's always that fine line of staying firm and doing what you feel comfortable with. I take a little bit of him and I respect what he's saying and I totally compromise."
Kim went from star to momager-in-the-making this year, as her daughter, North, tried out some rapping of her own at Kanye's Paris Fashion Week show just weeks before quarantine began.
"I'm so proud at how confident she is. She obviously gets that from her dad and it just makes me so happy that she's not afraid to try anything," Kim later shared of the performance on KUWTK. "That to me was so much fun to see."
Though there were lots of good times to be had with Kim and her family this year, the mother of four also struggled in the first few weeks of quarantine with her large family and a host of responsibilities. The family posed for an at-home Vogue spread, but not everything about the lockdown was particularly glamorous. North interrupted several of her famous mom's videos, and Kim seemed at the end of her rope after several weeks without help.
Pandemic or not, Kim was still working hard and making multimillion-dollar deals. In June, Kim sold a 20 percent stake in her KKW Beauty company to Coty Inc. for $200 million. Shortly after, her hubby, Kanye, tweeted, "I am so proud of my beautiful wife Kim Kardashian West for officially becoming a billionaire. You’ve weathered the craziest storms and now God is shining on you and our family... So blessed this is still life... So I made you this still life... We love you so much.”
The sale supposedly made Kim the richest member of her family, surpassing younger sister, Kylie Jenner.
A Focus on Charity and Activism
In addition to making the big bucks, Kim also shared her wealth. This month, she donated $1 million to the Armenia Fund amid the ongoing conflict in the country. Kim has proudly showcased her Armenian heritage in the past, visiting the country on KUWTK and posting about different conflicts on social media.
As she continues her four-year program to earn a law degree, Kim was still hard at work over the past year seeking criminal justice reform. In March, she visited President Donald Trump at the White House with Alice Marie Johnson, whom she previously got pardoned from a life sentence, along with several other women who had their sentences commuted by President Trump earlier in the year, to advocate for criminal justice reform.
“There are millions of people impacted by this broken justice system, and I wanted to put faces to these numbers and statistics,” Kim said when the project was first announced. “There are a lot of people who deserve a second chance, but many do not have the resources to make it happen. I want to help elevate these cases to a national level to effect change.”
With the progress and pain came, of course, a bit of drama. When season 18 of KUWTK premiered in spring 2020, it featured a knock-down, drag-out fight between Kim and her older sister, Kourtney Kardashian. The episode featured Kourtney scratching Kim and making her bleed as Kim punched and kicked her.
The exchange was very heated and physically violent, but eventually the sisters were able to put the drama behind them and go on a trip together.
"The sisters are embarrassed of the fight, but since the day they signed up to do the show, they promised to show their real life," a source told ET at the time.