Opinion | I can’t keep up with the Kardashians

Maura Kate Mitchelson, opinions editor

It was April 2018 when the news first hit. I was shocked. I didn’t know how to react. The Daily Mail published videos of Tristan Thompson, NBA player and Khloe Kardashian’s then-boyfriend and future baby daddy, kissing another woman.

The Kardashian-Jenner clan heard the news at the same time as the rest of the world, and Khloe went into labor just two days later. She allowed Thompson to come into the delivery room with her, but naturally, some of her family members were upset by this decision. Even though I haven’t watched an episode of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” in about three seasons, I was also upset.

Following the birth of their daughter, True Thompson, the couple remained together. Eventually, Khloe and her family forgave Thompson and it seemed as though, they had collectively moved on. But I hadn’t.

Personally, I was a little disappointed in Khloe – I had hoped she would have more respect for herself than to stay in a relationship with a man who cheated on her while she was pregnant. Then again, I’ve never been told that the father of my unborn child cheated on me two days before I went into labor, so I can’t really judge.

But on Feb. 19, TMZ reported that Jordyn Woods, Kylie Jenner’s best friend, was spotted getting intimate with Thompson at a Feb. 17 house party. Once I heard the news, I felt personally betrayed.

After I had some time to process the information, I found myself wondering why I cared so much. I have no personal connection to any of the people involved and I have never met these people, but the news of Woods and Thompson’s tryst genuinely upset me.

Since “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” first aired in 2007, viewers have been a fly on the wall for all of the family’s major life events. We’ve seen marriages, divorces, births, fights and countless photoshoots. The Kardashian-Jenners seem to be experiencing a much wealthier, higher class and more public version of life as we know it (although it’s common knowledge that aspects of the show are dramatized or staged).

Though the audience doesn’t actually know the family, most people have been through or are close to someone who has been through a situation similar to one of the shows’ plotlines – minus the Vogue covers.

Normal people are cheated on. Normal people are betrayed by friends they once trusted. Underneath the contour, diamonds and designer clothes, there is still a tiny sliver of regular life for one of the world’s most famous families. That’s what draws in viewers season after season and brings the Kardashian-Jenner sisters millions of followers on social media. We don’t know them, but we feel like we do.
I would be shocked if I had to kick my best friend, someone who once costarred on my own reality TV mini-series with me, out of my $16 million mansion because she hooked up with my half-sister’s NBA player baby daddy, but I do know what it feels like to be let down by someone I was close to. It’s not the same thing, but it kind of is. Kind of.

Khloe, Kim Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian and I have all since unfollowed Woods. Kim, who was the hardest on Thompson after the first cheating scandal, has also unfollowed the father of her niece for a second time. Kylie has also put the makeup line she and Woods collaborated to create on sale.

The night after the TMZ released the news, Khloe made a paid appearance at an event, because as a newly single mom, she has to provide for her child.

Maybe Woods and Thompson never hooked up. Maybe Kris Jenner – the world’s greatest manager – orchestrated the whole story for publicity since the show’s 16th season is premiering March 31. No matter the case, I’m excited to see this drama play out. Until then: Kylie, if you’re reading this, I would be honored to move into Woods’ old room. I will even change Stormi Webster’s diapers if it means I can have my own collection of Birkin bags.