Jury selection for Blac Chyna’s lawsuit against the Kardashians was complicated when prospective jurors expressed disdain for the family in court.
Kim Kardashian, her mother Kris Jenner and her sisters Khloe Kardashian and Kylie Jenner were all sat in the front row of a Los Angeles courtroom on Monday (18 April) when potential jury members excused themselves in a lawsuit brought by Rob Kardashian’s former fiancée Chyna.
All four women are named as defendants in Chyna’s lawsuit, alleging they destroyed her television career and defamed her. She sued the Kardashians for $100m (£76.4m) in 2017.
The Kardashians denied any wrongdoing and said in court filings that they had legitimate concerns about Chyna as well as fears for Rob’s safety given the “violence and toxicity” of the relationship.
Model and influencer Chyna – real name Angela White – began dating the lone Kardashian brother over six years ago. By the time 2016 was was over, they were engaged, had a daughter together and were starring in their own Keeping Up With The Kardashians spin off Rob & Chyna on the E! network.
During jury selection on Monday, Chyna’s lawyer Lynne Ciana asked dozens of candidates their feelings about the plaintiff and defendants, and the reality shows the case stems from.
“Anything that you have to do with their names is just a big no for me,” one man said, adding, “I don’t think reality TV is good for society.”
Another said, “I sincerely hope none of these people get any wealthier because of this.”
One woman told Ciana that her teenage daughter tried to watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians when it first came on in 2007, but she “wouldn’t let her watch anything involving them”.
“I just want to say I have a very negative perception of the parties and I’m not sure I could be unbiased,” a man said, excusing himself from the trial.
Access unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video Sign up now for a 30-day free trial
Another said he didn’t like the pampered treatment he felt the defendants were getting.
Michael G Rhodes, the Kardashians’ attorney, explained that courthouse security drove them in and escorted them into the courtroom for a reason.
“Do you understand that there is a dark side to celebrity,” Rhodes said, “and that people that are famous sometimes need extra security?”
“Does that mean that they need Fiji water hand-delivered to them as they sit in court?” the man responded.
Meanwhile, the Kardashians appeared unfazed by these comments and were spotted smiling and talking to each other during breaks.
However, Judge Gregory W Alarcon reminded the panel that everybody is “entitled to a fair trial” regardless of their wealth.
Jury selection is expected to continue Tuesday (19 April), with opening statements to follow. The Kardashian women are all expected to testify during the trial, and had been expected to attend at least parts of it, but their appearance for jury selection was something of a surprise.
The family did have supporters in the room too, with one prospective jury member telling the court he couldn’t be “very fair” since he’s a “big fan” of the Kardashians.
Additional reporting by agencies.