World | Europe

October 04, 2016

Kim Kardashian's Paris trauma: What we know

The reality star was held up in her Paris hotel room and robbed of more than $10 million in jewelry, according to the Associated Press
Journalists outside the building where Kim Kardashian was staying

Journalists outside the building where Kim Kardashian was staying

The charmed life of Kim Kardashian took a disastrous turn late Sunday when she was tied up, threatened with a gun and robbed of an estimated millions in jewelry by armed and masked assailants in Paris where she was attending Paris Fashion Week.

The news rocketed around the world early Monday, sending Twitter into a horrified swoon and her husband, Kanye West, rushing from a stage in the middle of a concert in New York to deal with a "family emergency."

Here's what we know so far about what happened:

What's the official statement from Kardashian?

A source familiar with the situation but unauthorized to speak publicly said in a statement that two armed men, dressed up as police officers and wearing masks, entered her hotel room and held her up. The incident left the reality-TV star "badly shaken but physically unharmed," according to the statement.

Where did this happen?

It was described as a "hotel room" in the official statement but it may have been Hôtel de Pourtalès, a hotel particulier, which is the term the French use to describe a grand antique townhouse turned into a residence with private apartments that can be owned or rented as a sort of luxury Airbnb for rich people and numerous celebrities over the years.

The New York Post, the Telegraph and Billboard reported the building is known locally as "No Name Hotel," and that it's in the city's chic 8th district not far from major couture houses and the activities of Paris Fashion Week. West owns the apartment and the couple stayed there prior to their wedding in Florence in May 2014.

Where is Kardashian now?

She left Paris Monday morning a few hours after the incident, and flew to Teterboro Airport in New Jersey. From there she traveled in a motorcade to her apartment building in downtown Manhattan, where there was a heavy security presence, according to the Associated Press.

Where were her children?

Daughter North, 3, and son Saint, 10 months, were not with Kardashian at the time, according to People and The Telegraph.

What do the French police say?

The AP said a Paris police official reported there were five assailants, who were still at large. They stole a jewelry box containing valuables worth nearly $7 million as well as a ring worth $4.5 million. In a message to the AP, the Paris prosecutors' office said that only two of the five suspects forced their way into the apartment.

Who will head the investigation?

It will be led by the French police's Brigade de Repression du Banditisme (BRB).

Emmanuelle LaChaussee, a spokeswoman for the French Embassy in Washington, described the investigators as a "high-level" police unit of armed-robbery specialists. She said it's too early to say how the investigation will proceed.

Was Kardashian targeted by the "Pink Panthers" gang?

The BRB is involved in investigating the so-called "Pink Panthers" gang of jewel thieves, considered the largest, most successful gang of jewel thieves in the world according to a 2014 report on CBS's 60 Minutes, which credited the gang with over 370 heists worth $500 million.

Elements of the Kardashian robbery are similar to the MO of the Pink Panthers, who got their nickname from the British tabloids after a 2003 London robbery when a thief hid a diamond in a pot of beauty cream — as in the plot of one of the Pink Panther movies from the 1970s, about a doltish French detective played by Peter Sellers.

The gang is a network of loosely organized teams of robbers throughout Europe and made up mostly of former soldiers of Yugoslavia who fought in the Bosnian wars of the 1990s, the 60 Minutes report said. The gang is known for its speed, minimal violence and careful planning, casing targets carefully and gaining entry through a ruse (such as dressing as police officers).

In August, police in Barcelona arrested five suspected members of the Pink Panthers gang as they tried to rob a jewelry shop on the city's main shopping street.

How might thieves have known Kardashian was there with jewelry and alone?

Kardashian often advertises where she is and shows off her baubles on her social media accounts. In recent days, she posted pictures of a huge ring on Twitter and Instagram.


How did the robbers get in?

Police said the thieves entered the 19th-century luxury residence after the concierge let them in around 2:30 a.m. local time. Handcuffed and at gunpoint, the concierge led them to Kardashian's apartment.

Where was her security?

Kardashian is often surrounded by bodyguards, but they may have been working to protect some of her sisters who also were at Paris Fashion Week and spent the night on the town.

Her bodyguard, Pascal Duvier, helped protect Kardashian last week when a serial celebrity accoster, the so-called "Ukrainian prankster," attempted to assault her as she was entering a restaurant. She wasn't hurt.

Only hours before the robbery, Kardashian posted a picture of him on Instagram, joking, "This guy is always in my shot."


Her security was increased after she was attacked outside of a Paris Fashion Week show in 2014. She wasn't hurt.

Where are the other Kardashians?

After the robbery, French police said the rest of Kardashian's family in Paris were placed under police protection at the five-star Hotel George V. Sister Kendall Jenner appeared with Kardashian at Paris fashion shows in recent days and often appears on the catwalk herself.

 

Text by USA Today
 

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