Taylor Swift Breaks Silence on Leaked Kanye West Video, Asks Fans to Focus on 'What Really Matters'
"I was telling the truth the whole time about *that call* (you know, the one that was illegally recorded, that somebody edited and manipulated)," Swift wrote on Instagram
Taylor Swift is breaking her silence on that video seen around the world — and urging fans to focus on more important matters.
“Instead of answering those who are asking how I feel about the video footage that leaked, proving that I was telling the truth the whole time about *that call* (you know, the one that was illegally recorded, that somebody edited and manipulated in order to frame me and put me, my family and fans through hell for 4 years)…SWIPE UP to see what really matters,” wrote Swift on Instagram Stories, referencing the 25-minute long video that leaked late Friday night of her infamous phone call with Kanye West discussing his “Famous” lyrics.
“The World Health Organization and Feeding America are some of the organizations I’ve been donating to. If you have the ability to, please join me in donating during this crisis,” continued Swift, directing fans to organizations that are in need during the coronavirus pandemic.
Neither West nor his wife Kim Kardashian West — who originally leaked edited snippets of the phone call back in 2016 onto her Snapchat account — have addressed the latest leak. However, the reality star hit “like” on a tweet over the weekend that called the video “nothing new.”
In the leaked video clips, the rapper, 42, is heard asking Swift, 30, to release his new song on her Twitter account. “So my next single, I wanted you to tweet it … so that’s why I’m calling you. I wanted you to put the song out,” he tells the Grammy winner on the phone.
After telling Swift he included a “very controversial line” about her in the song, the pop star nervously asks West what the lyrics are.
West then tells Swift he’s been mulling over the lyrics for eight months and warns her “it’s gonna go Eminem a little bit” and to “brace yourself for a second.”
A wary Swift asks if it’s “gonna be mean,” and West acknowledges even Kim initially felt it was “too crazy” but had come around. “It’s like my wife’s favorite f—ing line,” he says.
“So it says, ‘To all my Southside n— that know me best/ I feel like Taylor Swift might owe me sex,” continues West with a chuckle. Responds Swift with a laugh: “That’s not mean.”
Further discussing his proposal to have her release the song, Swift — who expresses relief that the lyrics aren’t about her being “that stupid dumb bitch” — tells West she needs to “think about it because it is absolutely crazy.”
Later in the call, West tells Swift the original lyric he wrote was, “To all my Southside n— that know me best/ I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex.” (The lyric that made it into the final version of the track is “For all my Southside n— that know me best/ I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous”)
In another leaked portion, West asks Swift how she would feel if he included a line that said “I made her famous,” to which she warily responded: “Did you say that? Well, what am I going to do about it? It’s just kind of, like, whatever at this point. But I mean, you gotta tell the story the way it happened to you and the way that you’ve experienced it. Like, you honestly didn’t know who I was before that. Like, it doesn’t matter if I sold 7 million of that album before you did that, which is what happened. You didn’t know who I was before that. It’s fine. But um, yeah, I can’t wait to hear it.”
West also promises Swift—who encourages West to protect his relationship with Kim after he tells her his wife prefers him saying “owes me sex” instead of “might still have sex”—to send her the final version of the track.
“I’m going to send you the song and send you the exact wording and everything about it, right? And then we could sit and talk through it,” West tells Swift, who has long contended she never heard the song before its release.
After “Famous” was released in February of 2016, Swift’s rep told PEOPLE the singer “declined and cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message. Taylor was never made aware of the actual lyrics, ‘I made that bitch famous.’”
In June of 2016, Kardashian West told GQ the singer had told her husband she would “laugh” and tell media she was “in on it the whole time” in a phone call. Then a month later, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star branded Swift a snake on social media and leaked edited snippets from the call on her Snapchat account.
“If people ask me about it, look, I think it would be great for me to be like, ‘He called me and told me before it came out . . . Joke’s on you, guys. We’re fine,’” Swift is heard saying in the footage Kardashian West posted on Snapchat.
Swift’s rep was quoted in the GQ article as saying that “much of what Kim is saying is incorrect. Taylor has never denied that conversation took place. It was on that phone call that Kanye West also asked her to release the song on her Twitter account, which she declined to do. Kanye West never told Taylor he was going to use the term ‘that bitch‘ in referring her. A song cannot be approved if it was never heard. Kanye West never played the song for Taylor Swift. Taylor heard it for the first time when everyone else did and was humiliated. Kim Kardashian’s claim that Taylor and her team were aware of being recorded is not true, and Taylor cannot understand why Kanye West, and now Kim Kardashian, will not just leave her alone.”
Moments after Kardashian West posted snippets of the call, Swift released a statement on her Instagram slamming the couple. “Where is the video of Kanye telling me he was going to call me ‘that bitch’ in his song? It doesn’t exist because it never happened. You don’t get to control someone’s emotional response to being called ‘that bitch’ in front of the entire world,” the singer wrote.
“Of course I wanted to like the song. I wanted to believe Kanye when he told me that I would love the song. I wanted us to have a friendly relationship. He promised to play the song for me, but he never did. While I wanted to be supportive of Kanye on the phone call, you cannot ‘approve’ a song you haven’t heard. Being falsely painted as a liar when I was never given the full story or played any part of the song is character assassination.”