In September 2016, business and beauty mogul Kim Kardashian landed in Paris and checked into Hôtel de Pourtalès with her then-husband, Kanye West. “Parisian Vibes,” read her first Instagram post from the capital city, announcing her arrival to her followers.
Out of the 14 Instagram photos that followed, the SKIMS founder was seen posing with precious jewellery in her mouth and a 20-karat-diamond ring on her finger, which West had reportedly purchased from Lorraine Schwartz Diamonds & Fine Jewelry, New York for around $4 million. At the time, Kardashian signed the post without words, and only three diamond emojis.
During the early hours of 3 October, five men gained entry to Kardashian’s hotel room by posing as cops and robbed $10 million worth of jewellery from the reality TV star at gunpoint. Kardashian was then reportedly bound and gagged, and placed in a bathtub. More than five years later, judges indicted 12 people in connection with the incident—all aged between 60 and 72, earning them the nickname ‘grandpa gangsters’.
Now, in a recent interview with Vice, one of the masterminds behind the robbery has spoken out—blaming Kardashian for the crime by stating that she “should be a little less showy.”
“I went on the internet and it’s true—I saw her jewellery, I saw her ring, I saw that she showed it everywhere and we knew this information through social media,” Yunis Abbas, who was released from prison after 22 months for heart-related health issues, told the publication. Abbas went on to recount the incident and claimed that “Kardashian’s secretary called for help” but dialled 911 despite being in France. He further highlighted how he was traced because of the DNA he left while overpowering a guard.
“I knew her husband, Kanye West, but I didn’t know her,” Abbas continued. “But I saw one of her shows where she threw her diamond in the pool. In that episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, I thought, ‘She’s got a lot of money. This lady doesn’t care at all’.”
When asked if he feels guilty about what happened, Abbas said: “Since she was throwing money away, I was there to collect it, and that was that. Guilty? No, I don’t care.” In terms of celebrities and influencers posting their precious belongings on social media, he further mentioned: “They should be a little less showy towards people who can’t afford it. For some people, it’s provocative.”
To date, Kardashian has repeatedly spoken about the traumatising incident, admitting that the life-changing ordeal has left her fearful and constantly anxious. Appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2017, the mogul recalled the exact moment the robbers burst into her apartment.
“Automatically, your stomach drops. It’s a feeling you can’t even explain. I knew that was it for me. I said a prayer, like, ‘I know I’m going to heaven. I hope my kids are okay, and my husband’,” she said. “But it does happen really fast. It was a good seven or eight minutes of torture, but when I look back and I analyse it, I’m like, ‘Okay, they weren’t aggressive.’ It could have been way worse, so I don’t want to sound like I’m not grateful. I’m out, I’m home, I’m safe, I’m such a better person—it’s okay. Let’s move on.”
“You don’t come out of it unscathed,” Abbas acknowledged when asked about the incident leaving the reality TV star rattled, adding, “We didn’t expect this. Of course, she must have been traumatised. I don’t doubt it.”
According to French media, Abbas has been in and out of jail for various crimes in the past and allegedly robbed the mogul because he was “short on cash.” He has also written about the heist in his memoir called I Kidnapped Kim Kardashian.