At the time, West claimed that Swift knew about the lyric in advance and told a mutual friend that she couldn't be mad at West because he made her famous. Swift's publicist vehemently denied the singer had given her blessing to such a misogynistic line. When Swift won album of the year for "1989" at the Grammys in February, she included a very pointed line in her acceptance speech: "There are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame."
In the GQ story, West's wife, Kim Kardashian, threw the ultimate match to fuel the story even further. When asked about the situation, she apparently became the most animated that she was throughout the whole interview, accusing Swift of lying about being upset about the song — and saying Swift knew about the lyric all along.
"She totally approved that," Kardashian told GQ's Caity Weaver. "She totally knew that that was coming out. She wanted to all of a sudden act like she didn't. I swear, my husband gets so much s— for things [when] he really was doing proper protocol and even called to get it approved."
Here's where it gets complicated: According to Kardashian, there's video proof that West had Swift's permission for the lyric, along with witnesses — a videographer was filming the entire phone call because West "commissions videographers to film everything when he's recording an album." Then, Kardashian alleged, Swift's attorneys sent West a letter saying, "Don't ever let that footage come out of me saying that. Destroy it."
GQ followed up on these claims: "While Team Kanye asserted that Kanye and Taylor's conversation had been filmed and that they had heard from her lawyers, they declined to provide further proof," Weaver wrote. In response, Swift's rep wrote a long response saying that yes, Swift and West talked on the phone, but he never told her he was going to use the term "that b—-." The rep concluded by referencing the supposed video, saying, "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."
So basically, Kardashian is upset that her husband looks like the bully, and thinks Swift was manipulating them all along. "It was funny because [on the call with Kanye, Taylor] said, 'When I get on the Grammy red carpet, all the media is going to think that I'm so against this, and I'll just laugh and say, 'The joke's on you, guys. I was in on it the whole time,'" Kardashian said to GQ. "And I'm like, wait, but [in] your Grammy speech, you completely dissed my husband just to play the victim again."
It's a lot to unpack: But basically, this feud can only get crazier, especially with the reveal that there was something much stranger going on that involves publicists, lawyers, and maybe a secret video. And in the world of Swift, West and Kardashian, nothing stays secret for long.