Kim K: Wedded to One & With Child by Another; Is that Immoral?
Or does she get a pass? After all, she's not the first.
News of Kim Kardashian's pregnancy has largely been reported with congratulations and compliments, but that doesn't mean one tiny detail is being overlooked: that though she is expecting a baby with boyfriend, Kanye West, she is still legally married to estranged husband, Kris Humphries.
Let's get you up to speed: On October 31, 2011, after seven months of dating, a three-month engagement (marked by a 20.5-carat, $2 million ring), and a four-hour, two-night televised special (of their $10 million wedding), Kim filed for divorce from Kris after just 72 days of marriage.
Six months later, in April 2012, she and Kanye went public as a couple and, nine months after that, on New Year's Eve, all headlines regarding resolutions (the ones you likely won't keep) were quickly replaced by the news of their pending celeb-spawn.
As you can see, nowhere in that summary is a divorce mentioned because Kris has refused to sign the documents unless Kim admits, at his request, that their union was a fraud, and returns the aforementioned ring. She hasn't. (Their divorce has now lasted 5 times longer than the marriage itself.)
While many have applauded (and encouraged) women to move on and find happiness following failed relationships (see: any Jennifer Aniston headline since 2005), it seems Kim—clearly not plagued by her pesky divorce proceedings—has called their bluff, having moved on in a way that's, well, not as widely accepted.
Jenny Triplett, who co-authored with her husband "Surviving Marriage in the 21st Century: 13 Easy Tips That Will Help You Get to 20 Years and Beyond," believes Kim's made (yet another) misstep.
"Having a baby with someone out of wedlock period is immoral," said Triplett. "Having a baby with someone else while married to another is a double immoral conundrum. Marriage is being made a mockery of because she is a Kardashian. It's wrong, by all parties, and it sets an awful message to those that follow her."
Relationship author Theresa Roemer ("Nude: Unveiling Your Inner Beauty and Sensuality") is concerned, too, with how Kim's clout could influence others.
"Our society seems to embrace women having children without being married," said Roemer. "And they seem to shine a spotlight on them as role models, but are these the role models we want for our young children? I would hope that the media would frown upon Kim's behavior. She has a large following that includes younger girls—like her sisters—and we should expect more from her."
Granted, not every star is launched into the spotlight via a sex tape, but Kim certainly isn't the first to be wedded to one while becoming 'with child' by another. (See our gallery above.) Angelina Jolie became pregnant with her and Brad Pitt's first child, daughter Shiloh, while he and actress Jennifer Aniston were still legally married, as the divorce was finalized October 2005, and she gave birth only seven short months later in May 2006. And Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz welcomed their first child, son Egypt, in October 2010, but his divorce from singer Mashonda had only just been finalized five months before in May.
While both women certainly caught flack for being "homewreckers"—a title Kim has actually avoided in her instance—and though the slander was short-lived because both couples proved they were more than just a fluke affair (Brangelina now has six kids, and Alicia and Swizz are married), relationship communication expert Eden Adele still believes celebrities are held to higher standards than the rest of us.
"In this society, where celebrities are idols and objects of worships, the 'rules' are different," said Adele. "They don't live ordinary civilian lives; they have artificial, insulated existences to varying degrees that allow them privileges that, say, a bus driver can only dream of."
Still, she makes no excuses for Kim's actions: "There's usually no substantive reason why celebrities can't legalize their divorces before procreating with other people. Kim has the money and resources; she just chose not to. Whatever the cost to finalize, surely she could comfortably absorb it and move on without putting a dent in her celebrity lifestyle."
Though Kim's circumstance of being pregnant by one man and married to another isn't entirely uncommon, it isn't exactly one supported by statistics and studies either. However, having a baby out-of-wedlock (as it looks like Kim is bound to do this summer if Kris doesn't settle their divorce) is—and numbers show she's not alone.
In fact, nearly two-thirds of children born to U.S. woman under the age of 30 were born outside of marriage. And though Kim is 32, she is still joined by a substantial number of women as, among mothers of all ages, 41 percent are not married when they have children.
"The issue with being pregnant with one man's baby while still legally married to another only becomes a problem [when] regarding morals," said Peachey. "It's obvious that any woman who does find herself in that situation does not feel she is doing anything wrong and if the divorce is pending, is there really anything wrong with it? Some divorces can drag on for years, especially if one partner is playing games, so why should she have to wait until she is a single woman on paper?"