The reality star says she’ll continue to advocate for social justice following her meeting with Trump: ‘I just don’t want to give up’
Kim Kardashian West’s new reality is being a social justice activist.
The “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” star, who persuaded President Trump to commute 63-year-old Alice Marie Johnson’s life sentence for drug-related charges, said she hopes to continue to help other non-violent criminal offenders like Johnson in an interview with “Today” show anchor Hoda Kotb that aired Thursday.
When asked if Kardashian West’s involvement in Johnson’s case stemmed from an interest in politics, the 37-year-old mother of three told Kotb: “I’m still doing me, but I enjoy this. This has fulfilled my heart, and since I feel so fulfilled, why would I stop that?”
Kardashian West met Johnson in an emotional sit-down, the first time the two women have met face-to-face since the reality star hired her own personal legal team to take over Johnson’s case. Kardashian West revealed that she first called Ivanka Trump to have a “conversation about women and wanting to help each other,” and they eventually brought it to President Trump’s attention at the White House.
“It became this mission that I just didn’t want to give up,” Kardashian West said, adding that this took a long time to coordinate. “I think to some people it might seem like, ‘OK, Kim made a phone call to the president.’ We had been in talks and working on this for seven months.”
Kardashian West first learned that Johnson was serving a life sentence for a first-time, non-violent offense related to cocaine possession last year when she tweeted out, “This is so unfair,” with a link to a Mic.com story detailing Johnson’s case. On June 6, Trump commuted Johnson’s sentence, and she was released after serving 21 years in prison.
So grateful to @realDonaldTrump, Jared Kushner & to everyone who has showed compassion & contributed countless hours to this important moment for Ms. Alice Marie Johnson. Her commutation is inspirational & gives hope to so many others who are also deserving of a second chance.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 6, 2018
Almost half (47%) of sentenced federal prisoners were serving time for a drug offense in 2016, according to the most recent data available. And more than half (56%) of female federal prisoners in particular were incarcerated for drug offenses, compared to 47% of men.
Johnson, who was all smiles during the “Today” show interview, admitted that she did not know who Kardashian West was while she was in prison. But once she got the call from her team, she read every magazine that she could to learn more about her celebrity advocate. She said thanking the TV star simply was not enough.
“I have to walk it out,” she told Kotb. “I have to live it out for her, for my family.”
Johnson says she’s also committed to helping others like her seek justice, and is focused on her future.
“I plan on continuing to magnify this issue,” she said. “My life is completely intertwined forever with those who were left behind.”
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