It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Taylor Swift. First of all, the world raised its collective eyebrows at her suspiciously well-documented new relationship with Tom Hiddleston. (Some called their romance a cynical PR stunt; others made a surprisingly convincing case for the whole thing being a music video, a claim that Hiddleston has awkwardly denied).
Next, Swift’s ex-boyfriend Calvin Harris tore into America’s erstwhile sweetheart, after the news emerged – from Swift’s camp – that she secretly wrote his hit song This Is What You Came For.
“Hurtful to me at this point that her and her team would go so far out of their way to try and make ME look bad at this stage though”, Harris tweeted.
As Swift stayed silent on social media – presumably planning her next move – along came Kim Kardashian.
On Sunday night, Kardashian shared footage over Snapchat of a phone call that took place between Swift and her husband, Kanye West. In the conversation, the two musicians discuss West's plan to reference Taylor in his song, Famous.
Reading the proposed lyric to Swift, West says: “To all my southside n----s that know me best, I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex.”
Ever-mindful of how she appears in the media, Swift initially doesn’t seem too sure. “I’m like, this close to overexposure,” she tells West.
“Oh, well, this – I think this is a really cool thing to have,” says West, because of course he does. When Swift assures him that she appreciates that the lyric is “a compliment, kind of”, West continues: “All I give a f--k about is you as a person and as a friend, I want things that make you feel good… I don’t want to do rap that makes people feel bad.”
“Umm, yeah, I mean, go with whatever line you think is better,” Swift replies. “It’s obviously very tongue-in-cheek either way. And I really appreciate you telling me about it, that’s really nice.”
Later in the conversation, Swift tells West how she will handle the media when the song is released.
“You know, if people ask me about it I think it would be great for me to be like, ‘Look, he called me and told me the line before it came out. Joke’s on you guys. We’re fine,’” she says. “You guys want to call this a feud, you want to call this throwing shade, but right after the song comes out I’m going to be on a Grammys red carpet and they’re going to ask me about it and I’ll be like, ‘He called me.’”
Of course, in the event of the track’s release, this isn’t what happened. In a statement made hours after Famous was released in April, Swift’s rep claimed: “Kanye did not call for approval, but to ask Taylor to release his single Famous on her Twitter account. She declined and cautioned him about sending a song with such a strong misogynistic message. Taylor was never made aware of the actual lyric, ‘I made that bitch famous.’”
Kardashian’s Snapchats – which have since also been published on Instagram – prompted Swift to take to social media herself. In a rare display of public anger, she posted a statement on Instagram:
These are heady times, people. Drink it in.