Image: Agence France-Presse
PARIS • American reality television star Kim Kardashian West left Paris yesterday on a private jet after being robbed at gunpoint at a luxury Paris residence by assailants disguised as police officers.
She left after being questioned by police and being robbed of millions of euros in jewellery.
A Paris police official told the Associated Press that five armed men, who were still at large yesterday, stole a jewellery box containing valuables worth €6 million (S$9.2 million) and a ring worth €4 million. They left her tied up in the bathroom of the luxury residence before fleeing the scene.
Police said the robbers escaped on bikes. French news service Franceinfo reported that Kardashian West’s bodyguard had been handcuffed during the incident and the robbers were armed with handguns.
The attackers struck inside the residence used by celebrities and wealthy individuals behind the city’s Madeleine church, a police source told Reuters. Kardashian West was staying there while attending Paris Fashion Week. She has stayed there at least once before, in 2014, before her marriage to rapper Kanye West.
Police were guarding the block yesterday morning, a discreet building with several secret entrances.
AFP yesterday reported Paris police as confirming that “several million euros, mostly jewellery”, were taken, adding that they were still assessing the total amount stolen and had opened an investigation.
Kim Kardashian West was robbed at this Paris residence. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
A police source told Reuters the attackers, wearing ski masks and clothes with police marking, struck at around 3am on Monday.
Two of the men entered her apartment after threatening the night guard with a handgun. She was not beaten, but the robbers put a handgun against her temple before tying her up. iTELE television said she was tied up with packing tape. Police found the night guard in the staircase, his hand and feet bound.
After she was discovered – “badly shaken but physically unharmed”, according to her publicist – and news of her ordeal spread, West abruptly ended a performance in New York less than an hour into his set. “I’m sorry I have a family emergency, I have to stop the show,” West, 39, told the audience in video tweeted by fans at the Meadows Festival in Queens.
AFP reported that a festival representative took the microphone to declare a 10-minute intermission before quickly returning to say that West had a “family emergency” and had already left the venue.
The festival later issued a statement praising West for a “great show” and said: “Our thoughts are with West and his family.”
The robbery set social media alight, with many users expressing disbelief at the latest headline-grabbing event in the life of a TV star whose every living moment seems to be documented on screen and the Internet. “Looking forward to accompanying album and TV show detailing event,” said Twitter user Jay.
Most comments, however, were supportive. “Kim Kardashian is a mother, a wife, daughter and sister. Despite the fact that you don’t like her, being held up at gunpoint is not funny,” said one post by Alieuisha.
Kardashian West had been in Paris since last week for fashion week. Earlier on Sunday, she attended the Balenciaga show. She was in the front row at the Givenchy show, with sister Kourtney and their mother Kris Jenner, to support their sister Kendall Jenner, who was modelling in the presentation.
She had also appeared at a launch for Armenian-American jewellery designer Siran Manoukian, who was launching her own clothing label Maison Siran.
A spokesman for Maison Siran told AFP that their jewellery was “extremely premium”, but could not confirm that Kardashian West had been loaned any of it, as is often the case for fashion shows and film premieres.
AGENCE FRANCE- PRESSE, REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN
A version of this story was originally published in The Straits Times on October 10, 2016. For more stories like this, head to www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle.