Can Taylor Swift sue Kim Kardashian, Kanye West for recording phone call?
MANILA, Philippines – Could Taylor Swift sue Kanye West and Kim Kardashian for recording and leaking her and Kanye's phone conversation about "Famous?" According to reports, it's possible. (READ: Kim Kardashian releases Taylor Swift, Kanye West's phone call about 'Famous' line)
On July 18, Kim broke the Internet once again after releasing footage of Kanye asking Taylor if he could use the line "For all my Southside n*ggas that know me best / I feel like me and Taylor could still have sex." (READ: Taylor Swift responds to Kim Kardashian's phone call leak about Kanye West's 'Famous')
The recording made headlines, as previously, Taylor took offense at the song when it was first released, throwing shade at Kanye in her Grammys acceptance speech, saying: "There are gonna be people along the way, there are gonna be people who try to undercut your success, or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame."
Taylor took to her own social media to address the Snapchat bomb Kim dropped, saying she never heard the song in its entirety, and so she never gave approval for any lines about her. She also never heard the next line in the song, where Kanye called her "b*tch": "Why? I made that b*tch famous."
On a possible lawsuit against Kim and Kanye for the phone call, it would depend on where Taylor and Kanye were when it occurred.
US Federal law requires at least one party in a recorded conversation to give consent. However, state laws vary.
While it isn't clear where Kanye made the phone call from, he could have called from California, where he lives. California state law requires two-party consent for wiretapping – both he and Taylor should have allowed the phone call to be recorded for it to be legal.
It isn't clear either where Taylor answered the call from either – she currently resides in New York, which has a one-party consent law – but in her statement after the phone call leak, she said that it was recorded without her knowledge.
At the start of the phone call recording uploaded on Kim's Snapchat, Kanye asks Taylor, "You still got the Nashville number?" The latter replies, "I still have the Nashville area code but i had to change it..."
"That moment when Kanye West secretly records your phone call, then Kim posts it on the Internet," Taylor captioned her Instagram post.
But according to Newsweek, it doesn't matter where Taylor answered the call from. If Kanye called from a two-party consent state, it could spell trouble for him and for Kim, who released the recording without Taylor's consent either.
People reported that Kanye would have to pay $2,500 per violation and face up to a year in prison for wiretapping. Civil damages could amount to $3,000 or 3 times the amount of actual damages.
The possibility of a celebrity legal showdown isn't so far off – Taylor has already hinted at legal action in the past.
Kim first hinted at the phone call between Kanye and Taylor in her GQ cover story, where she defended her husband and argued that Taylor approved the offending lines.
In that interview, she also said that Taylor's lawyers reached out to her and Kanye after the recorded phone call: “No [we haven't been in touch since the call]. Maybe an attorney's letter she sent saying, ‘Don't ever let that footage come out of me saying that. Destroy it.’”
Someone from Kanye's team might have called someone on Taylor's to let them know about the recording. "And then they sent an attorney's letter like, ‘Don't you dare do anything with that footage,’ and asking us to destroy it,'" said Kim.
Taylor's camp sent GQ a statement, saying: "Kanye West and Taylor only spoke once on the phone while she was on vacation with her family in January of 2016 and they have never spoken since.
Taylor has never denied that conversation took place. It was on that phone call that Kanye West also asked her to release the song on her Twitter account, which she declined to do."
"Kim Kardashian's claim that Taylor and her team were aware of being recorded is not true," the statement continued, "and Taylor cannot understand why Kanye West, and now Kim Kardashian, will not just leave her alone.” – Rappler.com