Taylor Swift Says Leaked Kanye West Phone Call ‘Took Me Down Psychologically’

The pop star accused Ye and his then-wife Kim Kardashian of orchestrating a “frame job” against her.
Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian and Kanye "Ye" West.
Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian and Kanye "Ye" West.
Getty Images

Taylor Swift is reflecting on the moment she says led to her career getting “taken away” from her during her years-old public feud with Kanye West.

In a wide-ranging new interview for Time’s Person of the Year issue, the pop superstar opened up about the infamous viral leaked recording with the Donda rapper, in which he asked her permission to mention her in his 2016 song, Famous.

If you need a refresher on the drama, seven years ago, Ye released the tune where he raps: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex. Why? I made that bitch famous.”

After the song dropped, the Bad Blood singer claimed she was never made aware of the latter part of the lyrics, although the Jesus Walks rapper and his then-wife Kim Kardashian insisted that Taylor had given him the green light.

The Skims founder then released an edited video of a phone call between Taylor and Ye that seemingly showed the singer signing off on the lyrics.

Taylor told Time that the whole debacle felt like a “fully manufactured frame job”.

Taylor Swift says she "didn’t leave" her house for a year after Kim Kardashian released her infamous phone call with Kanye West.
Taylor Swift says she "didn’t leave" her house for a year after Kim Kardashian released her infamous phone call with Kanye West.
James Devaney via Getty Images

“[It was] an illegally recorded phone call, which Kim Kardashian edited and then put out to say to everyone that I was a liar,” the 12-time Grammy winner recalled.

She added: “Make no mistake — my career was taken away from me... I thought that moment of backlash was going to define me negatively for the rest of my life.”

The majority of the public sided with the Wests at the time, prompting Taylor to withdraw from the world and move to a different country.

“That took me down psychologically to a place I’ve never been before,” she said of the beef. “I moved to a foreign country. I didn’t leave a rental house for a year. I was afraid to get on phone calls. I pushed away most people in my life because I didn’t trust anyone anymore. I went down really, really hard.”

She later hit the music scene again in 2017 with her appropriately named album Reputation.

“But I’ve also learned there’s no point in actively trying to quote unquote defeat your enemies,” Taylor noted. “Trash takes itself out every single time.”

In 2020, her trusty Swifties went on to clear the Cruel Summer crooner’s name by surfacing the unedited footage of her phone call, proving what she was actually told about by Kanye was a different lyric.

On Wednesday, Taylor earned the honour of becoming Time’s Person of the Year, making her the first woman to appear twice on a Person of the Year cover since the franchise kicked off in 1927. She also received the honour in 2017 as part of a group of “silence breakers”.


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