Have you seen those recent pictures of Kim Kardashian? You know the ones, the pictures that had Kim turning her Mexico vacation into a 24-hour thirst trap. Well here’s a fun fact: all of those photos were taken at the Punta Mita home of Joe Francis, better known as the man who created Girls Gone Wild.
You may have already known that there’s a connection between Kim, the Kardashians, and Francis, but like, have you ever actually thought about it? Kim is one of the most famous people in the world—and she (and Kanye West, by the way) frequently associates with a guy who peaked before the internet truly took off. Joe and Kim Kardashian’s relationship runs so deep that it wouldn’t be unfair to claim that Joe’s needle works in tandem with Kris Jenner’s to weave an ever expanding and impenetrable Kardashian fabric. But it makes NO sense—until you know the history. So let’s take a look at how Kim and Joe initially became friends, and why he and the Kardashians just can’t seem to quit one another.
Casa Aramara opens its doors in Punta Mita, Mexico. The 22-room mansion serves as Francis’ home while doubling as a private resort for celebrities. Over the years, the Kardashians will come to heavily utilize Casa Aramara: pictures of the family vacationing there even pre-date Kylie Jenner’s lips.
Before you could find traces of a relationship on social media sites, before the proliferation of weird paparazzi photos of “couples” leaving a restaurant with their heads down, it’s rumored that Paris Hilton and Joe Francis are an item. The relationship doesn’t last long but the two remain friends, all while smuggling drugs from country to country, like rich people do. Also this year, Kim Kardashian West records her sex tape with failed vocalist, Ray J. This fact seems irrelevant now, but it won’t for long.
Paris Hilton hires, and becomes friends with, Kim Kardashian. Kim works as Paris’ assistant and closet organizer. She is also introduced to Paris’ friend, and former boyfriend, Joe Francis. Now, Kim, ever a child of Kris Jenner, knows an opportunity when she sees one, so she sets up her sister, Kourtney Kardashian, with Joe. Kourtney and Joe date for a matter of months before they split, but like Joe and Paris, the two remain friends.
Joe Francis introduces Kourtney and Scott Disick to one another at his home in Punta Mita. Kanye has been known as the one to claim responsibility for other people’s children, but Joe might have an even better argument. Mason, Penelope, Reign—you guys better thank Joe.
The year it all came together. Joe Francis really solidifies his role in the Kardashian narrative in 2007 by making Kimberly Noel Kardashian West a millionaire. According to multiple sources, including Ian Halperin, the author of the unauthorized Kardashian tell-all biography, Kardashian Dynasty, Joe advises Kim to work with Vivid Entertainment in releasing her 2003 sex tape with Ray J. Kim initially wanted the material to disappear and sue both Ray J and Vivid for the infringement on her personal rights, but Joe, who knows a thing or two about making money off of videos and who saw how profitable a sex tape was for his ex-girlfriend, Paris Hilton, moved Kim to broker a deal with Vivid instead. It earned her a cumulative $4.5 million, an upfront lump sum of $300,000, and you know, a foundation of fame for Kim and Kris to expand on.
Also in 2007, Joe appears on the inaugural season of E!’s long running docu-soap opera, Keeping Up with the Kardashians. In episode 3, he invites the Kardashian women to Casa Aramara to model a line of bikinis.
Former Kardashian step-brother, Brody Jenner, accuses Joe Francis of assaulting his then-girlfriend, Jayde Nicole, at the nightclub Guys & Dolls in Los Angeles. The battery claims land Joe, Jayde, and Brody in court, with Jayde and Brody suing Joe for $1 million. However, Brody later reneges his claims in 2010 and calls everything a “misunderstanding,” because he’s always known Joe to be a “gentleman.” Meanwhile, the Kardashian girls are seen partying with Joe.
Skipping ahead to more modern times, Kourtney Kardashian celebrates her 32nd birthday at Joe’s Punta Mita home with Scott Disick, Kim Kardashian, and walking shell of a human, Kris Humphries.
Just a year later, Kim cleanses her palate of Kris in Punta Mita and invites Kanye West to come with her. Joe is there as well and the trio go ziplining, where Kanye is photographed having a moderate to OK time.
Joe Francis is one of the lucky few dozen civilians to be invited Kanye West’s proposal to Kim in San Francisco. Francis gives a lengthy review of the engagement to Huffington Post, in which he tells the publication that the moment was so touching even “men were crying.”
Joe of course goes to Kim and Kanye’s Italian wedding, and the newlywed couple then spends part of their honeymoon at Joe’s home. It’s true what they say: no place screams “Fresh Love” like a house that was paid for by drunk, naked young women.
Joe tries his little hardest to make his couple project, Kourtney and Scott, work out their issues after their breakup. Joe also hosts Kylie Jenner and her friends for Kylie’s 18th birthday vacation at Casa Aramara.
Scott Disick pays a visit to Punta Mita home and takes a break from partying in L.A. by partying in Mexico. And that leads us to this past week, in which Joe also hosted Kim Kardashian, her children, twerking skills, and barely-there bikinis at his home.
The more you know, Dolls, the more you know.