When Khloé Kardashian — who welcomed her first child, a baby girl, on Thursday — first heard rumors that her boyfriend Tristan Thompson had been unfaithful, the then nine-months-pregnant star gave him the benefit of the doubt.
“It’s just an emotional rollercoaster. The first reaction was that this was a set-up: that the girl in the club totally threw herself at him, made sure it was caught on tape, tipped off [photographes] to catch her going into the hotel, and then basically made sure they caught her leaving,” a Kardashian family source tells PEOPLE.
Earlier this week, photos and videos surfaced of NBA player Thompson allegedly getting close to an unidentified woman at an N.Y.C. lounge over the weekend. TMZ also posted footage recorded in October 2017 allegedly depicting Thompson kissing one woman while a different woman groped him at the Darna hookah lounge outside of Washington D.C.
- Watch the full special Born Kardashian streaming now on PeopleTV.com, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.
According to the source, “everyone wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt: that he was set up, that the girl never even went into his room, that you can’t tell what’s really happening behind that hoodie in the club footage, that the girl leaned in to whisper something but knew her pal was filming and so she made it seem as much as possible like a kiss.”
WATCH: Tristan Thompson Booed During First Game Since Allegations He Cheated on Pregnant Khloé Kardashian
“Khloé and frankly everyone else wanted to believe that maybe, somehow, that was the case,” says the source.
And when the photos and videos first leaked, the insider says that Thompson, 27, stuck to that storyline, telling Kardashian, 33, that he was set up.
“Basically, I think it’s what Tristan has been telling her: ‘Babe, you know how groupies are, you know how they try to hang on me and follow me around and this isn’t what it looks like,’ ” says the family insider.
- Want to keep up on the latest from PEOPLE? Sign up for our daily newsletter to get our best stories of the day delivered straight to your inbox.
“She’s a hopeless romantic and she’ll try to make this work. She tried forever to make it work with Lamar [Odom]. She’s having a child with Tristan, and she’s going to try to rebuild this,” the source said.
Added the source: “Khloé could probably convince herself to get over the fact that he maybe, kind of, sort of, hooked up with some groupie while out on the road. But being so indiscreet about it and letting it get splashed all over the place and having it humiliate her? That’s actually even worse.”