And no one knows how to feel about it...
Kim Kardashian has made legitimate political change - and it's dividing the public.
This month the 37-year-old made headlines in some of the strangest news ever, as the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star popped into the Oval Office to talk prison reform.
Yes, really. Kim Kardashian visited the White House last week to appeal to President Donald Trump for clemency for Alice Johnson, a 63-year-old currently serving a life sentence for a first-time non-violent drug offence.
Following the meeting where Kim asked Trump to pardon Johnson, the reality star posted the she was ‘optimistic about Ms. Johnson’s future and hopeful that she – and so many like her – will get a second chance at life.’
The meeting proved divisive at the time, with many taking issue with the role her celebrity status played in fast-tracking a meeting with the president, calling for said affairs to be left to those who are qualified.
The debate got even louder today however when it emerged that Kim had actually succeeded, with Donald Trump officially pardoning Alice Johnson.
Explaining the decision in a statement, the White House announced, ‘Ms. Johnson has accepted responsibility for her past behavior and has been a model prisoner over the past two decades. While this Administration will always be very tough on crime, it believes that those who paid their debt to society and worked hard to better themselves while in prison deserve a second chance.’
‘BEST NEWS EVER!!!’ Kim posted to her Twitter account, going on to explain that she actually got to tell Johnson the news herself.
‘The phone call I just had with Alice will forever be one of my best memories,’ she explained. ‘Telling her for the first time and hearing her screams while crying together is a moment I will never forget.’
She continued: ‘I hope to continue this work by working together with organisations who have been fighting this fight for much longer than I have and deserve the recognition.’
Thanking those who made the final decision, Kim tweeted, ‘So grateful to Donald Trump, Jared Kushner & to everyone who has showed compassion & contributed countless hours to this important movement for Ms. Alice Marie Johnson. Her commutation is inspirational & gives hope to so many others who are also deserving of a second chance.’
Kim’s family members were also quick to take to social media, with mumager Kris Jenner Instagramming her pride in her daughter.
‘This made me cry!’, she posted. ‘Kim, I’ve never been so proud of you. You have the biggest heart in the world and mixed with your determination you are unstoppable.’
Khloe Kardashian also commented on the news, tweeting, ‘Kimberly you are such a beautiful person inside and out!! I am constantly amazed by your determination! No matter what, you never let anyone else dictate your life! What’s right is right! You did what was right!’
Alice Johnson has yet to comment on her release, but following Kim’s original meeting with the president, the 63-year-old sent Kim a letter, later shared to the reality star’s Instagram stories. And while uplifting, it proved once more to be divisive as Kim was compared in the letter to civil rights icon Rosa Parks.
‘There are defining moments in history that have shaped the destiny of this nation,’ Johnson wrote in the letter. ‘I believe we are part of a defining moment. When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on that bus… that was a defining moment. She was an ordinary woman whose courage ignited and united the heart of America to stand together against a very present evil that could no longer be tolerated.’
‘This is so much bigger than ether one of us,’ she went on. ‘I believe that history will record that Kim Kardashian had the courage to take a stand against human warehousing and was a key figure in meaningful criminal justice reform becoming a reality.’
Well no one could have predicted any of this - and to be honest, no one knows what to think.
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Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.
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