Let’s Unpack the Whirlwind Kanye West and Julia Fox Romance

What? You don’t offer magazines exclusive photos from your date night?

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

Just when you thought it was safe to finally mute the names “Kim Kardashian” and “Kanye West” on Twitter, we're gifted with some of the most interesting celebrity gossip in eons. 

In case you decided to spend the beginning of the year with family or leaning into your New Year’s resolution to “be less online” (good for you, but come back for this one), there has, of late, been much ado about the newest celeb couple in town. To wit: Kanye West, or “Ye” as he now legally uses, took Uncut Gems actress Julia Fox out on a date. Why so much ado? Well, several reasons. 

First, said date was meticulously documented by photographers and released in exclusive photo spreads for both People and Interview magazines. That’s some serious coverage to just willingly hand off to the public! Second, because Julia Fox penned a story about said date alongside the Interview spread shortly after it occurred. In the piece, Fox shared details from their whirlwind romance—from meeting in Miami and attending a New Year’s Eve bash and then lunch at impossible-to-get-a-reservation Italian joint Carbone, to flying to New York to catch a production of playwright Jeremy O. Harris’s Slave Play on Broadway and then dinner at the other location of Carbone. Along the way there was an impromptu photo shoot at—you guessed it—Carbone, a fashion fitting in a hotel suite, and some steamy PDA. As one does.

And third, because shortly before these images and article were released, Ye’s ex-wife Kim Kardashian, who filed to be declared legally single in mid-December, was photographed in the Bahamas on a romantic getaway with her rumored 28-year-old SNL boyfriend Pete Davidson. Which begs a few questions about the timing of Ye’s interesting date night, no? But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

So why the public push around Ye and Fox, two hot famous people, dating each other? Is it merely an eccentric billionaire and his muse du jour exploring all that being incredibly wealthy has to offer? Yet another spontaneous exhibition by a rapper who has historically displayed a creative approach to—albeit shaky grasp of—“performance art?” Is it something else entirely? 

Here are some of the internet's best theories about why the public is being offered so much information about this relationship, broken down for your discernment (and because my boyfriend has declared he “doesn’t care” about this enough to discuss it with me, despite the fact that I already catalogued these theories for easy perusal):

1.) All the coverage is Ye’s attempt to distract from something else.

Let’s get the most detailed theory out of the way first. The Daily Beast’s Marlow Stern warns that, while West’s antics with Fox may at first blush look like a response to Kim’s relationship with Pete Davidson (itself a rumored distraction from the Astroworld tragedy involving Travis Scott and, by extension, Kylie Jenner), it’s actually meant to call attention away from something sinister.

You may recall that Ye was a big supporter of Donald Trump before and during the 2020 election cycle, including after his own failed bid for president. (In response to a chaotic rally held by Ye, Kim released a statement that alluded to the fact that West may have been suffering a mental health crisis—something West denied.) Ye was routinely spotted sporting a MAGA hat, and tweeted his support for Trump. As recently as last Thursday, West was photographed having a friendly lunch in Miami with former Trump staffer and continuous Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner. 

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West hugging Trump in 2018.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

But that all leads to the theory at hand. While we were watching his date night with Julia Fox, Stern notes that Ye’s reported publicist, Trevian Kutti, was outed in a December Reuters investigation for threatening a Georgia election official who had been singled out by Trump. During his media tour to spread election misinformation in the wake of his failed run for a second term (the same tour that ended in an insurrection at the country’s Capitol), the ex-president falsely accused one specific Georgia official of tampering with election results, and video of the woman counting ballots (a normal task for election officials) became part of a larger election loss lie.

In a piece published December 23, Reuters reported that Kutti actually showed up at the home of the official following the election, claiming to be sent by an unnamed “high profile individual” and threatening the woman and her family members with unspecified harm if she did not confess to the false accusations of election fraud. The police got involved, and eventually told the woman not to return home for her own safety. Kutti did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment, and a spokesperson for Ye said that Kutti was not at the time and is not currently a member of West’s team.

In short: The Beast piece is suggesting that the highly publicized nature of the Fox romance is actually an elaborate ploy to distract from a totally unrelated incident with the potential to make Ye look pretty bad if it got a lot of attention.

Very intriguing theory. What else we got?

2.) Ye is hoping the press coverage makes Kim jealous.

When it comes to understanding why this new romance is getting splashed all over the internet, Page Six suggests we look at the divorce of it all. A source reportedly close to Kim told the publication, “It’s a desperate play for attention. There’s no other explanation when he chooses … [Fox] to go public with.”

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Julia Fox at a Louboutin event in 2021.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ye’s attempts to “win” Kim back aren’t exactly a secret. In addition to a series of supermodels he’s been connected to since the dissolution of their marriage, he’s also been pretty blunt about his desire to reunite with Kardashian. According to TMZ, at a show in Los Angeles in December, West began freestyling during a rendition of his song “Runaway” with the lyrics, “Run right back to me…More specifically, Kimberly.” (For her part, Kim reportedly thought it “strange” that he would make this attempt to woo her while he was linked romantically to the model Vinetria.)

Another source told the Sun that Kim isn’t too worried about this latest possible ploy. "Kim thinks it's another desperate attempt to make her jealous. She honestly doesn't care, she's very over him at this point so his little game isn't working,” they told the publication, adding, “All she cares about right now involving Kanye is raising their four kids and making sure they have a happy life, that's it.”

So this theory could track. Julia Fox is a solid jealousy-making date choice, as she has both cool cred (because Uncut Gems is the perennial fave of a certain hip film set) and hot babe cred (because she, like Kim, is an objectively hot babe).

Also, this theory could be added on top of other theories. Theories, for example, like…

3.) This is actually about Julia Fox and Pete Davidson.

Many New Yorkers were already aware of Julia Fox before this recent "Kanye's new girlfriend" press push, mainly because, as aforementioned, she is very cool. The 31-year-old has been an “It” girl in the NYC nightlife scene for ages, and her role in Uncut Gems was actually written specifically for her. But New York fame doesn’t automatically translate to worldwide fame, and no doubt these Ye outings have seriously increased her visibility.

One conspiracy theory floated on Twitter and reported on by Newsweek suggests that the relationship with Ye actually involves Pete Davidson, with whom Fox was photographed in a 2019 Paper magazine spread as the Barbie to his Ken (see it here.)

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Julia Fox with co-star Adam Sandler at an 'Uncut Gems' screening.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Is this, as another social media user described, a ploy to make Julia Fox “famous enough” to date Pete Davidson? Could Pete Davidson and Julia Fox be the puppet masters of a wider conspiracy, itself a commentary on the fleeting nature of online fame?! Is all of this somehow a three-dimensional love pyramid with four points on the base, rather than a two-dimensional love triangle with three points?!?! 

Actually, this one feels too dumb to be true. A fun theory, if half-baked. 

4.) Most of reality is just Balenciaga spon.

Here comes my personal favorite. As reported by Naomi Fry in the New Yorker, who appears to also be spending the weekend pontificating on this subject, Balenciaga has been oddly present throughout the West-Kardashian divorce timeline. Sure, the “hotel suite full of clothes” that West bestowed upon Fox during their tryst was filled with various designer duds, but both of them donned Balenciaga throughout the date weekend.

Writes Fry: “The role played here by Balenciaga, with whose designer, Demna Gvasalia, West and Kardashian have forged a particularly close relationship in recent years, was intriguing. Observers had already noted the strangeness of the separated couple continuing to deck themselves in the brand, almost as if they were still coördinating outfits.” (Dieresis the New Yorker’s, obviously.)

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Kourtney, Kim, and Ye front-row at Balenciaga during Paris Fashion Week 2020.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Fry continued, “By continuing to wear Balenciaga…Kardashian and West signalled a kind of outré uniformity that continued to tie them together in a common aesthetic project, if not in a romantic relationship. And now Fox was wearing the brand.”

The article also cited a tweet by writer Patrik Sandberg that reads, “To sponsor and dress a celebrity divorce feels like a cynical yet brilliant new breed of endorsement.”

Cynical and brilliant? Sign me up for this theory. 

And while we're down this "Kim is in on it" rabbit hole, isn't it curious that Kim herself was interviewed by Jeremy O. Harris for i-D in December, and then Ye and Fox went to see Harris's show Slave Play and had dinner with him after it? Curious indeed!

Regardless, anything that gets more people to follow the work of Jeremy O. Harris is probably a net good. 


5.) Ye likes Julia Fox, Julia Fox likes Ye, and everybody likes attention.

Okay so this one posits that Ye could also just be a famous person bestowing lavish gifts and worldwide attention upon a new girlfriend to impress her. Which...well, yeah. Occam’s Razor and all that.

And sure, is publicizing your big date with exclusive photo spreads in consumer magazines and elaborate set pieces involving trendy restaurants, plays, and designers kind of weird? Of course it is. That’s why we’re here. But do famous people, including but not limited to Ye and the Kardashians, do weird stuff all the time? Also a resounding yes. 

And so this could be a totally innocuous display by someone who has been in the public eye long enough to know that if you willingly offer the fandom some nuggets of insider info, they may leave you alone when it comes to other matters.

Ultimately, the only thing we can know for sure is that gossip is fun and, for some of us (I won’t speak for everyone but please note that you are reading this), it’s mildly entertaining to pose theories about celebrities we will never meet on a cold winter day. I’m comfortable with that being the case, too.

Cady Drell

Cady Drell is a writer, editor, researcher and pet enthusiast from Brooklyn.