It's been nearly five years since Blac Chyna sued Rob Kardashian, accusing him and the rest of his family of "sl**-shaming her on social media" and orchestrating the cancellation of her and Rob's E! reality series, Rob & Chyna. In the years since, each side has filed hundreds of court documents in the Los Angeles Superior Court. The legal battle has been fierce, to say the least.
With the trial finally set to start Monday, ET takes a closer look at why Blac Chyna mounted a $100 million lawsuit against the Kardashian family and what to expect in the coming days.
What they're saying ahead of the trial
In a statement to ET and just days before the trial, the Kardashian's family attorney, Michael Rhodes, addressed the allegations saying, "We aren't going to sully the process by responding to slanderous nonsense."
Blac Chyna's attorney, Lynne Ciani, told ET that "the defendants' illegal conduct not only cost Chyna millions and millions of dollars, [but] their conduct was emotionally devastating to her." Ciani added that "Chyna will appear in court to testify and to personally witness the entire trial, from start to finish."
According to CBS News, Rhodes told the judge that the Kardashians made a settlement offer earlier this week that was rejected by Chyna. Neither attorney discussed specifics about the settlement proposal but Ciani told the outlet that she would make a counteroffer before the trial gets underway. If a counteroffer is accepted, it likely won't end the bitter feud between Rob and Chyna. Rolling Stone reports Chyna's separate trial in her "revenge porn" case is set to start in early May.
The trial gets underway
On Monday, April 18, jury selection begins and the trial is expected to last approximately two weeks. The headline here is that, once opening statements are presented, a number of member of the Kardashian-Jenner family will be called to take the witness stand in person, and that includes Rob, Kim and Khloe Kardashian as well as Kris and Kylie Jenner and Kris' boyfriend, Corey Gamble. Rhodes told CBS News that Kim, Khloe, Kris and Kylie will be present for the opening statements.
That's not all.
Ryan Seacrest, the architect behind Keeping Up With the Kardashians and its slew of spinoffs, is also expected to testify, though CBS News reports that Seacrest may come by way of video deposition. A number of former executives with E! and the production company behind the Kardashian shows, Bunim Murray Productions, will also take the witness stand at some point in the trial.
It should also be noted that Kris is listed as an "adverse witness," which means she will be considered a hostile witness by Blac Chyna's legal team. Kris' total time on the witness stand — from direct to cross-examination — has been allotted for just under five hours.
How we got here
Rob and Chyna — born Angela Renée White — first confirmed that they were dating in January 2016 and got engaged three months later. The following month, they confirmed they were expecting their first child, and welcomed their daughter, Dream, in November.
They broke up the following month, but appeared to remain friendly over the next few months, before it all went south.
The point of no return
Rob and Chyna's relationship imploded in July 2017, when Rob took to Instagram and shared a video of Chyna kissing another man. They would go on to accuse each other of cheating, but the tense mudslinging reached a boiling point when Rob shared a series of NSFW naked images, claiming to be of Chyna, who subsequently filed for a restraining order.
The public stunt triggered Instagram to temporarily disable Rob's account, but that didn't deter him as he took his tirade against Blac Chyna to Twitter, where he levied more cheating accusations against Chyna and tweeted the same video of a mystery man kissing her.
In since-deleted posts on Snapchat, Chyna claimed Rob physically abused her.
“Rob u did all this but u beat me up and try act it never happen !!!!! U put hand on me I swear on god !!!!! On my kids but I’m supposed to be quiet because you’re a Kardashian," she wrote at the time.
Things took a turn for the worse when Rob alleged his ex was using drugs.
"I got receipts for days and when it comes to doing drugs and f**king dudes in the bed my daughter lays I don't play," he wrote at the time. "So I don't care that this is the mother of my child. I told Chyna a million times even after seeing and knowing this that I still will support and be there for her but I can't take this anymore so yes I'm being petty with this woman is fakes like we all good on Father's Day and begged me to go and staged the paparazzi to be there in front of her house and at Disneyland. I'm done with this woman thank God for God! Showing me the light!"
Blac Chyna files $100 million lawsuit
Three months after the volatile relationship went public, Chyna filed a $100 million lawsuit in October 2017 against Rob (for assault, battery, harassment) and his family (defamation) claiming, for starters, that the "Kardashian-Jenner family became media predators, sl**-shaming her on social media and killing her hit television show," as a form of "revenge" for leaving Rob.
The documents also alleged, "The unwritten rule no one told [Blac Chyna] when she embarked on a relationship with Mr. Kardashian is: the entire family takes it personally if you leave and will come after you, using their fame, wealth and power to take you down."
One way, Chyna's lawyer claimed, is "they will get your television show cancelled. They will go after your endorsement deals. They will condone sl**-shaming of you. They will spread lies about you. They will claim you are a bad mother, without evidence."
According to documents, Blac Chyna claimed that Rob & Chyna was going to be renewed for a second season after delivering impressive ratings for the show's initial six-episode run. The proposed second season was "to consist of eight episodes and was expected to air some time in 2017," and "all necessary parties agreed to film a second season focusing on Rob and Chyna’s relationship co-parenting their baby girl."
However, in March, the network announced that Rob & Chyna would not be filming a second season.
The suit claims that Chyna believes that the Kardashian-Jenner family "intentionally interfered with her contract with the E! Network, and therefore her prospective economic advantage in filming a second season of Rob & Chyna."
Furthermore, Chyna alleged that in "killing the second season of Rob & Chyna, Defendants ensured that the E! network had room in its schedule for Kylie Jenner to star in her own show, in which she heavily promoted Kylie Cosmetics, which was once in direct competition with LASHED by Blac Chyna."
As for her assault and battery allegations, Chyna claimed Rob was "verbally abusive" and "physically violent" during their relationship.
The suit recounted one alleged incident from April 2017, in which Chyna claimed Rob "knocked her to the ground where she landed on her hands and knees," after taking away her cell phone. The suit alleged that the altercation occurred in front of Chyna's then-4-year-old son, King Cairo — whom she shares with her ex, rapper Tyga.
Chyna then allegedly locked herself in her bedroom and the suit claimed Rob "lost all control and tore the hinges off of [her] bedroom door" and then ransacked her closet.
The legal documents included photographs of Chyna's bedroom door, which appeared to be damaged.
Rob drops lawsuit against Blac Chyna
In February, Rob decided to withdraw a lawsuit against the mother of his child and his ex-fiancée, that he filed in 2017, which accused her of assault and battery.
Four years ago, Rob and his sister, Kylie Jenner, filed the lawsuit together, alleging that Chyna attempted to choke Rob with an iPhone cord during an intense fight at a home owned by Kylie. He claimed in the lawsuit that the altercation allegedly left him with injuries to his neck, head and face. Additionally, Rob claimed that Chyna caused extensive damage to Kylie's home, which the makeup mogul said was in excess of $100,000. In 2018, Kylie was dismissed from the case per her request.
In February, Rob filed his own dismissal, and released a statement to ET giving his reasons for withdrawing the lawsuit.
"My love for Dream far outweighs my desire to proceed with my claims against her mother in a public trial," the reality star said, making mention of his and Chyna's 5-year-old daughter. "Now that the court has ruled that there is sufficient evidence to warrant a jury trial on my claim for assault, for our daughter's sake, I am dismissing the action and focusing on my co-parenting relationship with Chyna."
While Rob seemed to want to move on, Chyna's lawyer, Lynne Ciani, told ET that the lawsuit should not have been filed in the first place against the model.
"Rob Kardashian should have thought of his daughter, Dream, before he filed his malicious and baseless assault and battery lawsuit against Dream's mother more than four years ago," Ciani said in her statement at the time. "Rob has sought to use his wealth and power via this vexatious lawsuit to smear Chyna as a mother and even as a human being for more than four years."
Chyna's attorney noted that her client "was finally about to have her day in court at a Feb. 23 jury trial in Los Angeles Superior Court where she was prepared to prove with evidence that Rob's claim that she physically attacked and assaulted him was a malicious lie."
"Instead, Rob dropped his case on the eve of trial, not because he suddenly wanted to drop the case for the sake of his daughter, but because he knew his assault and battery accusations against Chyna were false," Ciani claimed in her statement. "In other words, Rob's avoidance of the serious consequences of an adverse jury verdict is why he dropped his case, not his supposed 'concern' for his daughter."
However, Chyna previously requested a dismissal of this lawsuit, which was denied in September 2020. Her renewed request was also denied on Feb. 15.
Kardashians speak out
During the Keeping Up With the Kardashians reunion special, Rob's family addressed their legal battle with Chyna over the cancellation of Rob & Chyna.
"We can only imagine how hard that is for him, and I know he feels really guilty about that, so none of us ever make him feel bad about it," Khloe said. "Dream is honestly one of the most incredible little girls in the entire world. We never blur the two… We respect that Chyna is the mother of Dream, and we'll always respect that that's her position. So we never try to [let that bleed through] and make Rob feel more guilty. 'Cause that's out of his control."
ETonline will continue to update this story as more information comes in regarding the trial.
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