It’s officially the one week anniversary of the greatest day of our lives, aka the day Kim exposed Taylor for the slithering snake with the good lies she is. But it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows and happiness, because of course Taylor had to rain on our parade, first by demanding she be “excluded from this narrative” (LOL fat chance), and then by threatening to sue Kim and Kanye. Obviously none of us want America’s first couple to get sued—didn’t Kanye just pay off his $53 million in debt? So we wondered: Is Taylor’s claim even legit? While we could read a bunch of articles and then regurgitate that information back to you and probably misunderstand some of it, we decided to do the legit thing: We asked a lawyer. No, not one of our dads—Eugene Kublanovsky, one of our friend's friends. Totally more legit. Anyway, here's what he had to say.
Let’s get right to it. Is Taylor’s potential lawsuit claim legit?
I practice in New York and New Jersey and not in California, but from what I understand from reading about it, as to the recording that was made by Kanye, under California law, she probably would have a claim. California is a two-party consent state in regards to audio/video recordings that are made of someone.
Translation: Yeah, probs legit.
A two-party consent state means if I was in New York and we were having a discussion on the phone, in New York I don't have to get your approval for recording that conversation. New York is a one-party consent state and the one party on the line, meaning me, wouldn’t have to get your permission to record you. However, California is a handful of 11 or so states that have a different law, which means both you and I need to consent to either of us recording the conversation.
Translation: Depending on where your friends live, do not attempt a 3-way call attack.
So would Kanye and Kim really get in trouble?
What makes this interesting is that if Taylor were to bring this case in California, assuming for my purposes that Kanye may have recorded the conversation in New York, [Editor’s Note: Although a source told TMZ the call was recorded at an LA studio, there is some speculation that Kanye and Kim were in New York when the call was made and recorded] Kanye might be able to argue that New York law should apply. However, in the past in a case with California and Georgia, where even though Georgia was a 1-party consent state and California was a 2-party consent state, the California laws were superior. So I can imagine if she were to bring a lawsuit in California the California law would apply.
Translation: If Kanye recorded Taylor in California, it could make her Slithering Snake Becky With The Good Case.
Are you saying Kimye are screwed?
Not totally. What’s interesting to me on a different level is there has to be some expectation of privacy in that communication [aka when you have a phone call with most people you expect they’re not recording you]. I’m not a huge consumer of reality TV shows or the Kardashians or Kanye West, but even I know that they exist largely and make a good deal of their business from the fact that they’re followed everywhere with mics and cameras and everything they do tends to be recorded. Or at least there’s that prospect. I haven’t seen if there’s ever been an argument that Taylor, knowing who she’s been dealing with (whether she was forced to or not since 2009) can plead that her expectation of privacy was violated given that the parties on the other side of that call are followed everywhere with microphones and cameras. She may have been aware that there were other people in the room, the conversation may have been on speaker, so given that, perhaps there shouldn’t have been an expectation of privacy. There are a lot of layers here, those are just my opinions.
Translation: Taylor Swift (and everyone who interacts with any Kardashian) should know that it’s literally Kim's job to have people recording her at all times. In other words, she may have played herself.
What’s the bottom line?
Bottom line is Taylor definitely has grounds to bring the case, and whether Kanye and the Kardashians have defenses is a question too—whether they can use the defenses regarding her expectations of privacy and which state law applies if they were in different states. If they were both in California then we only have the expectation of privacy to deal with. If Taylor knew there were people on the other line there might not be expectation of privacy, or at least it would be diminished. I’m not sure if it’s been raised before in terms of using celebrity status of one party (in this case, it’s somewhat unique in terms of the Kardashians) because their entire persona is them always being out there and having someone follow them around. I would think that any interaction they have with anyone there’s always going to be the threat that you’re going to be recorded.
Translation: Taylor def would have a case, but it would probs be an epic battle between her and KimYe's legal teams—one that we would want to watch, tbh.