MTV News asked PR/celebrity experts to weigh in on whether backlash will have a lasting impact on reality star’s popularity.
By Jocelyn Vena
There’s been some backlash since Kim Kardashian announced her split from husband Kris Humphries with critics arguing that she only tied the knot with the basketball player for money or publicity. It’s an argument that Kim and her family, including Kardashian matriarch, Kris Jenner, have vehemently disputed.
Given the controversy surrounding the split, which came just 72 days after Kardashian and Humphries married in a lavish ceremony in August, can Kim get back in the good graces of the public that made her famous? MTV News asked some experts in the field to weigh in.
“She’s always been controversial. Her career was forged in controversy and I don’t think you care about the people who are haters out there,” Howard Bragman, vice chairman of Reputation.com, told MTV News. “I think you care about your fans and those few million people who watch your show and buy your product and are supporters of hers, and that’s what you have to focus on ’cause we live in a society full of haters. You can’t live your life for those people,” he added. “You have to live knowing your own truth in your heart and I think she goes forward.”
David Caplan, a former editor at People and Star magazines, seemed to be onboard with Bragman’s take on the Kim debate. In fact, Caplan said, Kim’s marriage trouble may have strengthened her followers’ love for her.
“I think to a certain degree, overall, she’s actually still in the good graces of her fans, and I say that because her fans are so loyal and I really believe that — whether or not I agree with a lot — sort of the tenor and the vibe has been a lot of sympathy towards her because she’s sort of saying, ‘I made a mistake, I rushed into it,’ ” he explained. “And that’s saving her from all of this.”
As Kim copes with the fallout from her decision to divorce (and fans await the November 27 premiere of the second season of “Kourtney & Kim Take New York,” which follows the first few months of the Kardashian/Humphries union), the larger question remains: What’s next for the reality TV star?
“If you think people aren’t going to watch when she starts dating somebody new, you’re kidding yourself,” Bragman predicted. “Of course they are; it’s going to be a big event. She’s going to have to put some separation between her public and her private life a little more,” he continued. “She has to learn the lessons from this. She’s got to take some time for herself.
Slowing down is one strategy, but Caplan believes that Kim will take another approach in the next few months. “I think, for Kim, she’s going to continue working, she’s going to continue running around,” he said, “So it’s not going to look like she’s dwelling on this relationship. That’s really going to help her image because she’s going to be like, ‘Listen, I work.’ The story will follow her for a long time. People are going to be like, ‘Who is she dating next? Is she ready?’ The next step for her is to continue working.”
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