You know what they say: the Devil works hard but, Kris Jenner works harder.
The matriarch of the Kardashian-Jenner clan has practically invented (and even tried to trademark) the term “momager” successfully managing the careers of all six of her children and creating a multi-billion-dollar empire in the process. That empire, which now includes clothing lines, beauty products, and a lifestyle and wellness brand, started way back in 2007 with Keeping Up With The Kardashians. The E! reality show (one of the networks most popular) ran for 14 years.
In the past, Jenner credited the undeniable success of KUWTK to her kids and “their work ethic.” More recently, in her new MasterClass on personal branding, she gave the following piece of advice: “Be real and true to yourself.” (Yeah, because “real” is what we think of when we think of the Kardashians.)
But we can probably all agree that the real secret to their wildly successful, not to mention lucrative, empire is good PR. And for the Kardashian clan, their motto seems to be all PR is good PR. Just look at all the scandals they’ve had over the years! Kim’s sex tape, Kylie’s lip fillers, Kim’s short-lived marriage to Kris Humphries, Khloé’s entire relationship with Tristan Thompson, Kendall’s insensitive Pepsi commercial, Kim’s insensitive comment about how “nobody wants to work these days,” etc. etc.
Whether you love them or hate them, you’re paying attention to them. They know that. They thrive on that. They use that to drive more views—first on KUWTK and now on their new Hulu series, The Kardashians—and thus more money. It’s no secret that they use their real-life drama to create better storylines. And it’s been speculated by plenty that some of their storylines are outright PR stunts.
So, in October of 2021, when Kim was pictured holding hands with Pete Davidson after hosting Saturday Night Live (and sharing an on-screen kiss with him!), it seemed like one of two things: two friends (platonically) holding hands on a roller coaster or a PR stunt. Then, there was a rumored dinner date in Staten Island, followed by Pete’s birthday celebration with Kim, Kris, and (of all people) Flavor Flav. The fact that they wore matching SKIMS pajamas seemed to confirm that, yes, it was a PR stunt.
After that, we got a whole flurry of romance rumors and paparazzi photos of the pair—holding hands in Palm Springs, holding hands in Santa Monica, and vacationing together in The Bahamas. Neither Kim nor Pete spoke publicly about their new relationship, but then again, they didn’t need to. The paparazzi pictures and anonymous sources did it all for them until, finally, in February of 2022, Pete appeared to call Kim his girlfriend.
The following month, Kim showed off her own masterful PR skills. First, she shared photos of the two of them on Instagram. Then, she talked about him during an appearance on Ellen. And finally, she brought him to the premiere of The Kardashians in LA. Now, for the more conspicuous part: all of this happened between March 11, 2022 and April 7, 2022. And when did The Kardashians air on Hulu? April 14. Coincidence?
But, as obvious as some of the timing seems to be, the fact is the two are still going strong over nine months later. I know what you’re thinking: That doesn’t mean it’s not a PR stunt! And you’re right. While Pete is never seen on screen in season 1 of The Kardashians, he is mentioned several times and can even be heard off-camera in the season finale. Plus, earlier this month, a preview for season 2 shows the SNL alum making his debut on the show as Kim asks him if he wants to hop in the shower with her “really quick.” (Spoiler alert: he does.)
Between that and their PDA-filled snaps on Instagram, their relationship is continuously generating publicity for Kim. And yet…take a look at their latest Instagram post. Aside from the weird feet pics, what do you notice? Pete’s got a brand-new tattoo! This one reads, “Jasmine ∞ Aladdin,” a reference to the pair’s first kiss on SNL. Not only that, but it marks the fourth (yes, fourth!) tattoo Pete has gotten in honor of Kim, including a branding of her name on his chest, the letters “KNSCP” (her and her kids’ initials), and one that reads “my girl is a lawyer.”
That level of commitment would make me believe that perhaps these two really are in love. Either that, or Pete really needs to stop getting tattoos for the women he dates. After all, Kris Humphries believed their relationship was real, but after their marriage only lasted 72 days, he sought an annulment on the basis of fraud.
Image: Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images