Brow Beat

A Primer on the Latest Kardashian Drama for Total Beginners

Kylie Jenner (C) and Jordyn Woods (R) sit front row at a fashion show, both taking pictures on their phone
Kylie Jenner (C) with ex-BFF Jordyn Woods (R) who she met through former flame Jaden Smith. Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images

Ever since reports emerged last week that Khloé Kardashian’s Canadian, basketball-playing beau Tristan Thompson had cheated yet again, the internet at large has been roiled with conflicting information. The combination of deleted tweets, accusations, and denials is enough to bewilder Kardashian obsessives, let alone casual observers. We’re here to help you keep track of all the parties involved—and explain what Will and Jada Pinkett Smith have to do with any of it.

Khloé Kardashian. She’s the tall one, right?

She is.

How long have she and this Thompson guy been together? Also, who is he again?

He plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the couple first cozied up around September 2016—when Thompson’s ex Jordan Craig was pregnant with his child.

Talk about glass houses!

I know, right? The relationship progressed, and in December 2017, Kardashian confirmed she was pregnant. Despite some cheating rumors in the tabloids, the couple looked relatively strong until September 2018, when Khloé took to Instagram to post the same kind of cryptic messages every girl from your high school posts when she breaks up with her boyfriend. The couple spent New Year’s together, but spent Valentine’s Day separately, at which point many speculated that they’d broken up for good.

So why did they break up?

According to TMZ, the final straw was Thompson apparently cheating on Khloé with Jordyn Woods, Kylie Jenner’s live-in best friend.

Kylie Jenner. Remind me which one she is again?

Not the racism-solving Pepsi commercial model one. Kylie is the one who’s sort of not really a billionaire.

Still not ringing a bell.

The one who lost a world record to an egg?

… still nothing, sorry.

The one who bought a single carrot on Postmates?

Oh, her! OK. Where do Will and Jada Pinkett Smith come into all this?

Interlocutor extraordinaire Jada Pinkett Smith interviewed Woods on her Facebook Watch show Red Table Talks, which turbocharged the entire situation by bringing black Hollywood royalty into the mix. Will Smith makes a cameo from the set of Bad Boys 3 to give some fatherly advice, we find out that Jaden Smith was the one to introduce Woods and Jenner to each other, and at one point, Jada earnestly quotes Malcolm X.

That sounds amazing.

It is perhaps the best thing I’ve watched this week.

How did Thompson and Woods become involved in the first place?

In many ways, you might say this whole debacle began in the 1990s in West Philadelphia (born and raised, etc). Woods’ father became good friends with the Smith family when he was a sound engineer on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which is presumably one of the many reasons why Pinkett Smith managed to step in and score one of the most exclusive interviews of the year. Jaden and Woods—who refers to Will Smith as “uncle”—are, according to Jada, “true day ones” and have “a close lifelong bond.” Jaden and Kylie have long been rumored to have some sort of romantic involvement, and at the very least are good friends. He introduced Woods and Kylie sometime in 2012. The two became so close, in fact, that Woods moved in with Kylie and referred to herself as “Aunty Jordy” in a caption for Kylie’s daughter Stormi’s first birthday.

How did it all go so wrong?

Here’s where things get messy. According to Woods, she and Thompson happened to be at the same bar on the night that TMZ reports the two ended up partying together at Thompson’s house. Woods admits that she went back to Thompson’s place after bumping into each other, but says it wasn’t planned. “After the club, normal LA culture when you’re young, go to the bar, go to the club, it ends early, we all go to a house after.”

A likely story.

Actually, it might be. Woods comes off as entirely earnest in describing the night and owns up to the fact that it was a mistake to go to Thompson’s house, but she says nothing happened until right before she left, when he kissed her. Woods’ next admitted mistake is not disclosing the kiss to Kylie or Khloé when asked about it. She also seemed to hint that Khloé and Thompson had officially, if not publicly, split before the entire incident.

Wow. What does the internet think of all this?

Before the Red Table Talk, the consensus online seemed largely in favor of Khloé, but Woods makes a compelling case for herself. (The fact that she makes sure to continually state she isn’t breaking her silence to play the victim, but so people will stop harassing her family, certainly helps.) And Khloé tweeting her response to the interview, naming Woods as the reason for her family breaking up while publicly semi-absolving the man who repeatedly cheated on her, is probably not winning her any fans.

Is there any chance this is all just a publicity stunt?

Maybe! At the very least, it’s the best kind of celebrity drama: the never-ending kind.

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