UPDATED with statement from Paris Mayor: Reality TV star Kim Kardashian West is said to be shaken but physically unharmed following a middle-of-the-night armed robbery in a luxury Paris residence. In the capital for Fashion Week, Kardashian was staying in a townhouse in Paris’ 8th arrondissement, near the Place de la Madeleine. At around 2:30 this morning, gunmen disguised as police officers entered the building and threatened their way past the concierge before two made it into Kardashian’s private apartment. She was then reportedly tied up inside a bathroom while the robbers made off with several million dollars worth of jewelry.
Kardashian was rescued after the thieves departed, some on bicycles, according to local reports. The star’s spokesperson released the following statement: “Kim Kardashian West was held up at gunpoint inside her Paris hotel room this evening, by two armed masked men dressed as police officers. She is badly shaken but physically unharmed.” Her husband, Kanye West, abruptly left the stage during a Sunday night performance at New York’s Meadows Festival, citing a “family emergency.”
France has been a hotbed of jewelry heists over the past several years — largely without physical injury. A heightened rash of thefts notably began at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013 and has carried on at major jewelry boutiques in Paris, not far from where Kardashian was staying. The Cannes robberies inspired Sky Atlantic/Canal Plus crime drama, The Last Panthers.
Among the jewels said to have been taken in last night’s robbery are a ring estimated at 4M euros and further pieces which reports have put at about 6M euros. Cell phones are also believed to have been part of the items stolen. The Paris Préfecture has said, “The damage amounts to several million euros, mainly jewelry. The total amount is still being evaluated.”
Politicos chimed in this morning, lamenting the negative impact the robbery of such a high-profile celebrity may have on French tourism which has suffered in the wake of several terrorist attacks. A former candidate for Paris Mayor, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, told Europe1 radio, “This news is spinning this morning on probably every channel in the world, and certainly at least on a loop in the United States. Do you realize the negative publicity this represents? There is a general emergency on safety in Paris.” Kosciusko-Morizet was defeated in the 2014 election by current mayor Anne Hidalgo.
Hidalgo later in the day condemned the attack on Kardashian, whom she said will “always be welcome in Paris.” Addressing the security concerns raised by some of her rivals, Hidalgo said the “very rare” incident which took place in a private space “does not call into question the work of police and security forces in Paris’ public areas.” She expressed her utmost confidence that police will “quickly identify and apprehend the perpetrators” and called on politicians to act responsibly. “In a complicated context, while boosting tourism must be everyone’s priority, using this incident for polemical purposes would amount to a direct attack on the sector and the 500,000 jobs it represents in the Ile de France region,” Hidalgo said.
Kardashian is reported to have left France this morning after speaking with police. The Ministry of the Interior confirmed to Deadline that an investigation into last night’s incident has been opened and will be handled by the Brigade de la Répression du Banditisme.