Khloé Kardashian Talks Hulu, Motherhood, Relationships & Good American

Khloé Kardashian Talks Hulu, Motherhood, Relationships & Good American

When “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” debuted, Kendall and Kylie Jenner were just kids, and it was Khloé Kardashian who was known to audiences as the youngest sister of the core trio.

Over the decade-and-a-half that the Kardashian-Jenner family has ruled television, Khloé has transformed from a 20-something reality star to a successful businesswoman and mother. With a slew of spinoffs under her belt (E!’s “Revenge Body” was a fan-favorite), Khloé has parlayed her passion for inclusivity and self-love into her company Good American, a full-size range clothing brand with the tagline, “Denim designed to serve your curves.”

Consistently the subject of some of the harshest comment criticism the Kardashians have faced (and there has been plenty), Khloé admits that the constant negativity is still hurtful, even after so many years of public life.

From Lamar Odom to Tristian Thompson, with whom she shares a 3-year-old daughter, True, Khloé’s relationships have always been the subject of tabloid fodder — and she’s always set the record straight on her family’s reality show. Their new show, “The Kardashians,” which premieres April 14 on Hulu, will be no exception. Earlier this year, Thompson admitted that a paternity test confirmed he fathered a child with another woman. Khloé has never publicly spoken about the rumors but, in conversation with Variety, she confirms she will address the personal matter on the upcoming series.

“I wish I never had to talk about that because it’s not a fun thing to talk about,” Khloé says. “But it is part of my journey in life, so we will see it on the show.”

As part of Variety’s cover story on the Kardashians, Khloé spoke to us on a recent Saturday afternoon in the midst of her mommy duties. She had just returned from a kid’s birthday party with True, and was soon leaving to what she calls a “like, a toddler amusement park” with her nieces and nephews.

Ive spoken to your other sisters, and all of you have scheduled your interviews around your kids. You all seem like very handson mothers.

Everyone is always so surprised by that. We’re really hands-on moms. We are very present and active with our kids. Family comes before everything – that’s always been who we are, since we started on TV in our 20’s, and now, we’ve all evolved and have our own little families within our big family umbrella. It’s just who we are. It’s what makes us happy. It’s what we work hard for, so we can give them certain luxuries and have certain securities. It literally makes life worth living, having kids.

What is the toughest part about being in the public eye?

It’s really tough when you’re 22 or even 32, and you’re still figuring yourself out. I think making mistakes publicly – or maybe not even mistakes, just living life publicly – sometimes can get heavy. And if you’re not strong enough to remind yourself that you’re still human and you’re still allowed to experience life and evolve, that can be tiresome. But it’s also super rewarding at the same. It’s a gift and a curse, but it is hard doing it on a public stage, of course.

 Quite frankly, I feel like the tabloids have said some pretty terrible things about you, in particular. Im sure youre used to it, but is it still tough?

 It definitely is tough. None of us get it — my sisters will talk about it, like, “Why are they so much more vicious towards you?” We don’t have an explanation for that. None of us really understand, and there’s no rhyme or reason. The more it happens, the more you become numb to it, but that doesn’t mean you’re completely immune to it. So, I do have my days. Sometimes I’ll hear or see something and you just feel the weight of the world, and you tend to have a pretty bad day – but it’s a day; not a life. You move on and you remind yourself how many great things are in your life and all these blessings. The good definitely outweighs the bad. You’ve just got to roll with it. But you always have to check in with yourself and say that you know who you are and you’re a good person. You have to talk to yourself a little bit and remind yourself all these good things, because you do tend to hear a lot of negative in this position. This isn’t “woe is me,” but sometimes you have to remind yourself about all the good, because the negative can consume you. And that’s not the reality.

How do you deal with the negativity when it gets to you?

We’re in a really unique situation. We are doing this all together. I get it when I see other celebrities that are spiraling or have a lot of trust issues because they don’t know where to turn. Nobody really understands the pressure of what it feels like to be spoken about so negatively on a daily basis. It’s really easy for someone that’s not in that position to say, “Oh, just get over it.” But you do have much more compassion once you’re in it and you get how horrendous it can be to your soul and your spirit. It does tend to break you at times. I’m so grateful that I have my family because they get it and they’re my support system. I get how destructive and how horrible it might be for someone, but you can’t ever really say that because people are like, “Oh, poor you,” because you’re someone who is in magazines. People don’t have sympathy for someone that maybe is doing something differently than them and complaining about it.

What has been the most hurtful thing said about you?

Oh my goodness. There’s a lot. When I was younger, always being compared to my sisters in a way where I can’t be related to them because we look different. It was always emphasized that they were so much prettier. And that’s just really poor taste. Those things were definitely really hurtful, just to always be compared to them, especially in the fashion or beauty world comparing our bodies or faces.

Also, I’m very vulnerable and very transparent and I’ve had my relationships in the public eye. If your significant other is doing something wrong, for the woman to be blamed, that’s always been really hurtful for me. I’ve never quite understood that instead of there being some sympathy or like, “Wow, that must really suck to have to go through that.” And not only go through it, but then go through it so publicly. I don’t even care if people have sympathy. I just don’t understand why there’s so much finger pointing – like it must be me. That’s a heavy thing to carry.

What do you think it says about society that the media or people on social media often pass judgement on you, rather than criticizing the man for his wrongdoings at your expense?

I think it says a lot. Everyone has their problems, so you don’t have to point the finger at anyone, but to make it the woman’s responsibility, it’s really sad. And it says a lot about our society that people would rather spew venom, as opposed to some sort of sensitivity or compassion, or just nothing at all. There is also a way to report something that’s happening without making somebody that reason why it happened. You don’t have to point the finger really at anyone. I just think the media has to be more responsible, but they’re so desperate click bait, I guess. It’s sad and it puts so much on the women’s shoulders emotionally. It’s a big burden to carry, and I don’t think people realize what it does psychologically to the women. And the men, it’s almost like another notch on their belt because they’re kind of celebrated in a way. But this is nothing new. It’s always been the boys’ club. I feel like it’s been like this for quite a long time.

A lot is playing out in the tabloids, regarding you and Tristian. You have not commented on any of it, so Im not assuming what might be true or not — it could all be rumors, for all I know, and I usually would never ask a personal question like this, but since your familys brand is all about sharing your personal life with the public, I hope it’s alright for me to ask if this will be addressed on the show?

It will be addressed on the show. We try as a family to protect the privacy of our partners or significant others, since they didn’t really sign up for this; we did. But if something is really public like this was, it would be strange if Tristan was a part of the show and then all of a sudden he disappears and we don’t ever talk about it. Viewers will almost feel slighted, like we aren’t sharing things and it’s not as real. So yes, we do address it. I always try to be as respectful as possible, but it is reality. But it’s not going to be some long, drawn-out situation. I think people are probably a little tired of it.

Does that add a layer of pressure when you are dealing with a personal matter, but then you have to put on your producer hat to consider it as a storyline for your show?

A lot of the times when we were filming, we discover some of these things, so you get a real-time reactions. It’s not always pretty, but it’s the reality of things.

Id imagine thats not easy to continuously re-live painful situation for the cameras. How are you doing today?

That’s really nice of you to ask. Umm, I’m good. The beauty of having children is that you just keep going and you keep being a mom. We really are so badass as women. We can take it all and we just keep going and you just persevere and you push through. And like I said, we can have bad days, but we don’t have bad lives. There’s so much more to love about life than these little blips that happen to us. I do believe there’s no coincidences in life, and everything happens for a reason – sometimes we have no idea why this is happening and what on earth could the reason be, but there’s definitely a reason for every event that happens in our lives, and if we can’t see it now, we’ll see it one day.

What are you most proud of that youve been able to do with your platform?

This might sound really corny, but I try to be kind to spread positivity on my platforms. I know I sound like a hippie right now, but I experience so much hate and negativity that I want do the complete opposite. I have so many people that will write and say they’re suicidal or they’re going through this or that. I can say literally one sentence and it’s prevented them from doing something really harmful to themselves, so if I can make someone feel seen, I am proud of that.

Your company, Good American, turned five last fall. What was the most important aspect of your business when building the company?

It’s been so important to me to have many different shapes, sizes, colors, however many tattoos, no tattoos, shaved heads, long hair — whatever it is, I want representation of all varieties. I think people need to see that, and if somebody feels that they can be represented in that way and it gives them more confidence, then I’ve done my job.

A lot has been said about the impact you and your family has had on image and beauty standardsboth good and bad. What do you think your impact has been, in the way that you present yourself?

I would like to think that I’ve had a positive impact. I would like to think that I’ve made people feel more inclusive and more seen.

With Good American, I’ve really fought — the department stores that carry my brand, they’re not allowed to stop at sizing; they have to carry the full-size range, which is a 00 to a 32. And you can’t separate them on the floor; they all have to be put together, so there’s no segregating different sizes or anything like that. I hope it’s made women feel better about the shopping experience that they don’t have to go to different departments, if you are in a certain side range. We were also one of the first brands to have three different size models on our websites. This is really what we believe. It’s the ethos of the brand.

Lets talk about the new show. Youre heading to Hulu, after 20 seasons at E! Are you excited about being on a streaming platform?

I remember years ago when streaming became a thing, I was like, “What is streaming?” It was just so foreign. When we were up for extending our contract with E! – and we love E! – but we just wanted to take a little break. And then when we did take a break, we got all these opportunities and offers, and when we were offered from Hulu and Disney, it just was something we couldn’t really pass up. It sounds so old fashioned, but we are people who applaud ourselves in so many other facets of our life that we are ahead of the time. We wanted to be with someone that’s tech forward, so we’re with the times. For us to be still on cable was just not so on brand for us.

You mentioned you had other offers. Id imagine at this point in your success, you could ask for pretty much whatever you want. How important was the monetary component when choosing a new partner for your new show?

It definitely played a factor because we give so much of our personal lives up for entertainment. We always have our private family conversations, and we’re pretty brutal, me and my sisters, with what we will settle for or not settle for. But not all money is good money. It has to be a good fit, and Hulu was just the perfect fit for us. It can’t just be for monetary gain. That doesn’t seem to work for us.

My mom deals with all the negotiating, and we let her do that because it is uncomfortable. She fights like a pit bull. She loves to do it and we let her do it.

Do you all make the same amount on the show, or do you divvy it up in a different way?

We do. We all are equals.