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Fame and celebrity

Kim Kardashian flees to New York after US$10 million jewellery theft in Paris hotel room

Reality star was reportedly zip-tied with plastic handcuffs before intruders duct-taped her mouth and ankles and dumped her in the bathtub

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 October, 2016, 8:18am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 October, 2016, 10:41am

Reality star Kim Kardashian jetted home to the United States on Monday to be comforted by husband Kanye West, after being tied up at gunpoint in Paris and robbed of jewellery worth US$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 neighbourhood “badly shaken but physically unharmed” after the assault.

Kardashian and her husband stepped out of the back seat of a car after a convoy bristling with bodyguards pulled up to the apartment block, as seen in a video posted on celebrity news website TMZ.

People making jokes about @KimKardashian tonight would do well to remember that she’s a mother, a daughter, a wife, a friend
Comedian James Corden

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-coloured pants, towering black stilettos and a plunging black top.

West kept to his usual street cool of jogging bottoms, green anorak and a grey hoodie as he walked behind his wife into the building, where a five-bedroom penthouse was recently on the market for US$24.5 million.

Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner also went into 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 US$51 million last year according to Forbes – has yet to speak out 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.

A police source said the robbers made off with a ring worth around 4 million and a case of jewelry with a value of 5 million. Two mobile phones were also taken.

Police said five men were involved and two of them entered Kardashian’s bedroom in the luxury residence where she has stayed before.

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 she got from her husband – a photograph of which she posted to social media last Friday – TMZ added.

Kardashian’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, but he was unhurt, police said. Investigators say the assailants may have fled on bicycles.

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 flew out of 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 defence after she was mocked on social media following news of the ordeal.

Kim Kardashian robbed at gunpoint in Paris, jewels worth US$10 million stolen

“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.”

Kardashian, one of the most recognisable US celebrities, has been a fixture of celebrity news for more than a decade after the leak of a sex tape and the success of reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

In Paris, tourism professionals said such a high-profile incident was disastrous in 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.”