LOS ANGELES — Kris Jenner falsely accused Blac Chyna of physically abusing Jenner’s son Rob Kardashian in a broader effort to force the couple’s reality show “Rob & Chyna” to be canceled, Chyna’s lawyer said Tuesday during opening statements in a Los Angeles trial.
Chyna, a model and former reality star whose legal name is Angela White, is suing the “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” matriarch and her daughters Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian and Kylie Jenner for lost earnings from the end of the 2016 spinoff after one season, and the loss of celebrity earning power that resulted from it.
“Kris Jenner set out to have ‘Rob & Chyna’ canceled,” Chyna’s lawyer Lynne Ciani told the jury, as Jenner and the other Kardashian women sat in the front row of the gallery. “And she brought in her three daughters to help accomplish that.”
The defendants’ attorney, Michael G. Rhodes, began his opening statement by introducing his clients and having them stand, saying that Kris Jenner “manages the vast empire that this family has built from scratch” and calling Kim Kardashian “one of the world’s most famous people.”
Chyna said that she longed for what the others have.
“The evidence is going to show you that Miss White would say or do anything to be part of this family,” Rhodes said.
He said the couple’s reality show was canceled by the E! The Kardashians did not orchestrate the cancellation of Network, he said. It was because the couple broke up.
“There is no ‘Rob & Chyna’ show if there is no Rob and Chyna,” Rhodes said.
Ciani gave an account of the couple’s whirlwind relationship and wild year of 2016.
Their meeting was in January.
“They really clicked, and it was one of those relationships that once they clicked, it really moved fast,” Ciani said.
Both the sides admit that Chyna & Rob Kardashian had a horrible argument about Dec. 4, 2016 as they celebrated the renewed season of their TV show. This caused them to permanently damage their relationship.
The differing accounts of that day will take up much of the trial that’s expected to last seven to 10 days. Each of the four defendants is expected to testify.
Ciani stated that Jenner told Ciani in messages that she had spoken to Jenner about Chyna beating Rob Kardashian using a pole. Jenner also said that Chyna wrapped a cord charging cable around Rob Kardashian’s neck so tight it left marks.
Ciani claimed that unaired footage would prove that Ciani was not significantly hurt.
And she said Kris Jenner used her daughters to spread word of the alleged abuse to key people with power over the show’s future.
Rhodes told the jury there was evidence of abuse, but said that more importantly the couple’s relationship effectively ended that day, as did any real future for the show, though he said it was months before any decision was made to scrap it.
In the closing minutes of the day Chyna stood and described her childhood and first break. Drake saw her as a stripper at a Miami nightclub and decided to name her. Elle returns to Wednesday’s witness chair.
In a lawsuit filed in 2017 against the Kardashians, she is seeking $100 million. She claims defamation as well as interference with contracts.
Tuesday was the final day of the selection process, which saw potential jurors express their dislike for the Kardashians’ and reality TV, and they finally settled for a jury of eight men or eight women to represent them in the trial.
The jurors who will serve as alternates are four, however Superior Court Judge Gregory W. Alarcon stated that he wouldn’t reveal which one until the deliberations start.
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