Airing their dirty laundry in public is nothing new for Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna. The ex-lovers have lived most of their adult lives in the public sphere and have profited off it mightily. But the latest ugly episode in their real life soap opera may have crossed a serious line.
Last Wednesday, in a social media maelstrom, Kardashian posted a series of sexually explicit photos of his ex-fiancée and accused her of all sorts of nefarious things, including using drugs around their baby, Dream. Those who’ve followed their saga from the beginning, consumed this latest drama as entertainment.
But for those of us who aren’t conditioned to view everything in the Kardashian orbit as a construct, some very serious problems arose. Chief among them was Kardashian’s gross violation of Chyna’s privacy, which some observers pointed out, could land him in legal trouble under California’s anti-revenge porn laws.
According to the state penal code, “revenge porn” constitutes “intentionally distributing an image of the intimate body part of another identifiable person, knowing that said distribution would cause that person serious emotional distress.” If convicted, Kardashian could face up to six months in jail.
Perhaps realizing that his actions could have real world consequences beyond having his Instagram account disabled (which also happened, by the way), Kardashian, through his lawyer Robert Shapiro, said that posting the photos was a “spontaneous reaction” that he now “regrets.“
But that might not be enough for Chyna, who accused Kardashian of domestic abuse before filing a restraining order on Monday. While appearing on Good Morning America, Chyna made it clear just how violated she felt.
“I was devastated, of course,” she said. “I’m like, ‘how could somebody, like, post these pictures of me?’And I’m like ‘Wow, okay.’ This is a person that I trusted. I confided. I felt comfortable, you know, with even sending these pictures and even talking to him about certain things, you know. I just felt…betrayed.”
Chyna’s lawyer, Lisa Bloom, made it clear that Chyna’s former stripping and modeling careers don’t give someone the right to decide what’s appropriate to share. “Any explicit photos that she may have chosen to post in the past that’s her choice,” she said. “This is like saying that a woman can’t be raped if she previously chose to have sex with someone. It’s her body, it’s her choice, each and every time.”
But even as Chyna explained how she felt about being victimized, the internet meme machine erupted with people taking sides, cracking wise and adding a level of frivolity to a situation that is anything but.
Update: Chyna has been granted a temporary domestic violence restraining order against Kardashian.