Fashion Week

Kim Kardashian assaulted in Paris - are we becoming desensitised?

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Anna Pollitt
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Kim Kardashian has been assaulted in the street at Paris Fashion Week by the same man who attacked Gigi Hadid in Milan - suggesting he is unlikely to stop until either he is forced to by law, or the world becomes utterly desensitised to street attacks on women.

The reality star was walking to L'Avenue restaurant when Vitalii Sediuk ran up behind her and put his mouth on her bum, before he was wrestled to the ground by her bodyguard Pascal Duvier.

Sediuk's warped sense of entitlement over strangers' bodies appears only to have been fuelled by the outrage over his attack on Hadid. This is how narcissistic offenders work - but why is no one stopping him?

As with the 21-year-old model, he ambushed Kardashian from behind in front of dozens of fans and a throng of paparazzi, using the presence of cameras to act as smokescreen for the seriousness of what he was actually doing.

What is sexual assault?

A person commits sexual assault if they intentionally touch another person, the touching is sexual and the person does not consent.

-Metropolitan Police

Imagine seeing a strange man stalking up to a woman in the street and kissing her bum - it would be creepy and he'd be considered dangerous. Surely an audience and a celebrity doesn't make it less so?

Aside from the fact Kardashian, is, to borrow Hadid's expression A HUMAN BEING, this is the same justification used time and again. If the woman in the office with big boobs is always posting selfies in her low-cut top - she can't mind a feel-up in front of workmates at the Christmas party!

Of course there are people that will laugh at Sediuk - he kissed Kim Kardashian's bum! Ha ha, it's her most celebrated asset! If emojis could trend on Twitter, the peach and kissy face would have been topping the chart after video of the incident dropped.

No one rolls out emojis at the daily incidences of unnamed women being assaulted on UK streets in broad daylight, thankfully, but it's the perverse logic that because Kardashian invites us into her world through TV and social media selfies, we can judge the seriousness of strangers planting their face in her body parts.

Another famous mum of two who has to publicise her life and carry out work in front of the cameras is the Duchess of Cambridge - somehow it seems unlikely that if Kate had got her bum kissed during the current royal tour of Canada, the culprit would be labelled a "prankster" in reports.

What's even more concerning is it's not even the first time Kardashian has been targeted by the Ukrainian former TV personality - he grabbed her legs, almost pulling her to the ground, two years ago in Paris.

It appears that we're on a dangerous merry-go-round with Sediuk. He keeps attacking celebrities because it guarantees him instant coverage and infamy, which he's now using to cultivate a personal brand.

It also means that every time he accosts a celebrity - increasingly these being women at Fashion Week - the shock factor is dulled and we accept menacing behaviour as the norm.

Sediuk, 27, first experienced a glimmer of fame in 2011 when he gifted Madonna a bunch of hydrangeas at a press conference, knowing she hated the flowers, and came up trumps when she was caught on microphone whispering as much. He wasn't able to repeat his mischief-making glory and so resorted to physically attacking celebrities for attention.

He was sentenced to three years' probation for assaulting Brad Pitt at a film premiere in 2014, and after he tried to look up America Ferrera's skirt in the same year he was sacked by the TV station that employed him. His rap sheet includes putting his mouth on Leonardo DiCaprio's groin, attempting to kiss Will Smith on the lips and kissing Miranda Kerr's face - again coming at her from behind at a Fashion Week event.

Despite the unsophisticated and formulaic nature of his attacks, he brags about them on the internet with delusional stabs at justification - he went for Gigi because he doesn't like her look for fashion modelling. He assaulted Kardashian because he thinks she doesn't promote natural beauty etc.

As well as being humiliating and distressing for his victims, it's a pitiable path for him to tread. Surely at some stage Sediuk will stop being labelled a "prankster" and start being officially branded something far less breezy.

Hadid spoke out about the attack in Milan, firstly tweeting to defend herself against sexist reports that suggested she was wrong to fight off her attacker and later to discuss what it was like to feel in real danger from Sediuk, revealing she was glad to be trained in self-defence.

Kardashian, who is now expected to file a restraining order against Sediuk, referenced the incident in a thankful tweet to her bodyguard - someone she was lucky to have, but who was still not able to prevent the attack. Sediuk again ran away from the scene.

Given that most women don't have a security detail attached to them it's worth remembering that attackers don't have to be driven by a warped sense of their own celebrity to justify their actions and what Sediuk is doing is far more shocking and reprehensible than it is a "stunt."


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Anna Pollitt

Anna is a freelance writer and editor who’s been making her dime from online since 2007. She’s a regular at, ITV News and Emerald Street and moonlights as a copywriter and digital content consultant.