Kimye Might Have Committed A Felony Amid The Taylor Swift Phone Call Drama

The Kim Kardashian and Kanye West v. Taylor Swift beef first emerged with the release of West’s controversial track “Famous,” and more than five months later, it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. For secretly recording and sharing the phone call Kardashian posted to her Snapchat story Sunday night without the knowledge or consent of Swift, Kardashian and West could literally face prison time, according to some legal experts.

Kardashian nearly broke the internet Sunday night after posting a series of videos that appeared to show West reading some of his “Famous” lyrics to Swift, and her getting on board with them. In the videos, West reads to Swift the controversial line, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex,” to which Swift responds, “For you to ask me if I’d be OK with it, I really appreciate it.” Swift has since denied in a statement posted to her Instagram and Twitter accounts that West read her the subsequent line, “Why? I made that bitch famous,” or let her hear the song in full before releasing it. This makes sense considering in her grammy acceptance speech back in February, Swift specifically called out “people along the way who try to undercut your success or take credit,” e.g. by claiming they made you famous.

Since Sunday night, multiple sources, including Swift herself, are adamantly claiming the pop star had no knowledge her phone call was being recorded. In the state of California, where there exists the “two-party consent” law, this is illegal. Following the two-party consent law, it’s a felony to record or eavesdrop on confidential communication, which could include a phone call like Swift and West’s, without the awareness and consent of all those involved.

Attorney Gregory G. Brown of the law firm Brown & Charbonneau, LLP told People magazine the “potential punishment” for violating this is $2,500 dollars and, on a less likely but still entirely possible level, up to a year in prison. “There are also civil damages that you can get, which is $3,000 or three times the actual damages,” Brown told the magazine.

As for Kardashian specifically, Brown notes, “In addition, she could be liable under Penal Code 637 for willfully disclosing the contents of a private phone call without permission from all parties. This carries up to one year in prison and up to $5,000 fine.”

$5,000 is quite literally a drop in Kardashian’s pond, but whether or not Swift will even pursue pressing charges against the power couple is yet to be seen. Swift would have to prove she had no knowledge she was being recorded, which could prove difficult.

Since releasing an impassioned statement responding to Kardashian’s Snapchat story by identifying it as “character assassination,” Swift has remained relatively silent about the drama. Should she choose to pursue charges against Kimye, her supporters will likely stand by her, but I don’t doubt that as a woman fighting for justice after having her privacy violated, she’d also see a good amount of backlash and criticism.