NEW YORK: Reality star Kim Kardashian jetted home to the United States on Monday to be comforted by husband Kanye West after she was tied up at gunpoint in Paris and robbed of jewelry worth $10 million.
The multimillionaire mother of two and wife of the American rap superstar was holed up at a luxury apartment in New York’s swish Tribeca neighborhood “badly shaken but physically unharmed” by the assault.
Her husband walked off stage during a concert when he learned of the heist, which put renewed focus on security in France, where tourism has taken a hit following a series of high-profile attacks.
Kardashian and West stepped out of the back seat of a car after a convoy bristling with bodyguards pulled up to the apartment block, seen in a video posted on celebrity news website TMZ.
Kardashian kept her head down and ignored questions from reporters about how she was doing, her long hair hiding her face. She wore baggy eggplant-colored pants, towering black stilettos and a plunging black top.
West kept to his usual street cool of jogging bottoms, green raincoat and a grey hoodie as he followed his wife into the building, where a five-bedroom penthouse was recently on the market for $24.5 million.
Kardashian family matriarch Kris Jenner also entered the apartment building, dressed in black and also ignoring questions from reporters about her and her daughter’s state of mind.
Her daughter — a California-based TV and social media star who earned $51 million last year, according to Forbes — has yet to speak publicly about the assault.
French police said the 35-year-old was “tied up and locked in the bathroom” of a residence in the chic Madeleine district of Paris, near the city’s main department stores. The crime occurred at 2:30 am (0030 GMT) on Monday.
Masked men dressed as cops
The robbers made off with a ring worth around four million euros ($4.5 million) and a case of jewelry with a value of five million euros ($5.6 million), a police source said. Two mobile phones were also taken.
Five men were involved, two of whom entered Kardashian’s bedroom in the luxury residence where she has stayed before, police said.
The robbers zip-tied Kardashian’s hands with plastic handcuffs, duct-taped her mouth and ankles, dumping her in the bathtub, TMZ reported. The star told police that she feared she was about to be raped, the website said.
The robbers allegedly kept saying “ring, ring” and Kardashian told them where to find a new ring given by her husband, TMZ added.
Kardashian had posted a photograph of the huge diamond sparkler — reportedly a 20-carat ring by Lorraine Schwartz — on her finger, while resting her chin on her hand, mouth opened to show off gold dental grillz, as well as a black and gold choker and, of course, serious cleavage.
The reality TV star’s spokeswoman said “two armed masked men dressed as police officers” burst into her room.
Another member of the gang restrained the building’s security guard during the robbery, police said, adding that the guard was unhurt.
The assailants may have fled on bicycles, investigators say.
The star’s bodyguard, Pascal Duvier, was absent at the time, providing security for Kardashian’s sister Kourtney at a Paris nightclub, an investigation source said.
It is not known whether Kardashian’s two young children were with their mother at the time of the robbery.
Kardashian left France on a private jet after being questioned by police about the robbery. She had been in the French capital attending Paris Fashion Week, including catwalk shows by Balenciaga and Givenchy.
Other celebrities leapt to her defense after she was mocked on social media following news of the ordeal.
“People making jokes about @KimKardashian tonight would do well to remember that she’s a mother, a daughter, a wife, a friend. Be nice or shut up,” tweeted British comedian James Corden, host of CBS’s “The Late Late Show.”
Model Chrissy Teigen wrote: “Please do not think that I think celebrities are special snowflakes. I just miss empathy, in general, for everyone.”
One of the most recognizable US celebrities, Kardashian has been a fixture of celebrity news for more than a decade after the leak of a sex tape and the success of the reality show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”
In Paris, tourism professionals said such a high-profile incident was disastrous for a city where tourist numbers have declined since jihadist attacks in November killed 130 people.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo sought to downplay the robbery, saying it was “a very rare act that happened in a private space.” AFP