Taylor Swift is TIME‘s Person of the Year, and in a rare interview with the publication released Wednesday, the mega popstar recounted some significant career moments, including her infamous beef with former couple Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.
In 2016, West released the song “Famous,” in which he infamously rapped, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous.” It was during that time that Ye claimed he got Swift’s approval to release the song, which she denied. In response, West’s then-wife, Kim Kardashian, leaked footage of a phone call between Swift and West, suggesting the “All Too Well” singer had approved the line. However, a more extended version of the video leaked in March 2020 and vindicated Swift, proving she hadn’t approved West’s use of the “bitch” line. Reflecting on the incident, Swift shared with TIME that, at the time, it felt like a “career death.”
“Make no mistake—my career was taken away from me,” she told TIME. “You have a fully manufactured frame job, in an illegally recorded phone call, which Kim Kardashian edited and then put out to say to everyone that I was a liar. That took me down psychologically to a place I’ve never been before. I moved to a foreign country. I didn’t leave a rental house for a year. I was afraid to get on phone calls. I pushed away most people in my life because I didn’t trust anyone anymore. I went down really, really hard.”
Although neither West nor Kardashian has responded to the recent interview, when the extended version of the call leaked in 2020, Kardashian addressed the situation, stating, “Nobody ever denied the word ‘bitch’ was used without her permission … I never edited the footage (another lie) – I only posted a few clips on Snapchat to make my point.” She added that Swift “forced me to defend [West].”